How to Install a Webcam in Ubuntu

Updated March 23, 2017

Although the Ubuntu operating system is not as mainstream as other operating system such as Windows or Mac OS X, it is still capable of supporting external input devices such as a webcam. Ubuntu is based on the Linux operating system and has built-in support for webcams through the Linux UVC universal driver. The process to install the webcam on your Ubuntu computer is straightforward, and Ubuntu also has free software that you can use with your webcam.

Install the Cheese application. Cheese can be used to test whether your webcam is properly installed in Ubuntu. Click "Applications" on the menu at the top-left corner of the desktop. Select "Accessories" from the drop-down list, and then click "Terminal." The Terminal window opens.

Type "sudo apt-get install cheese" at the command prompt, and then press "Enter." The software is installed on your system.

Insert the end of the webcam's USB cable into an open USB port on the computer. Ubuntu automatically recognises and installs the webcam.

Run the Cheese application. The webcam is automatically detected by Cheese and the image from the webcam appears on the screen. Position the webcam in the direction you want to take pictures or video.

Click "Photo" and then "Take a Photo," or "Video" and then "Start Recording" in Cheese to use your webcam.

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About the Author

An avid technology enthusiast, Steve Gregory has been writing professionally since 2002. With more than 10 years of experience as a network administrator, Gregory holds an Information Management certificate from the University of Maryland and is pursuing MCSE certification. His work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Chron and GlobalPost.