How to Detect a Webcam in Xubuntu

Written by marissa robert Google
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How to Detect a Webcam in Xubuntu
Most webcams are easily detected in Xubuntu. (NA/ Images)

Xubuntu is a version of Ubuntu, a distribution of Linux. Ubuntu uses a different graphical interface than Xubuntu, but the essentials are the same. Xubuntu enables hardware to work without any special installation of drivers or software, so most webcams work without having to do anything special -- even USB webcams work easily. With a few simple steps and minimal troubleshooting, you can ensure that your webcam is properly captured.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Plug your USB webcam into your computer. If your webcam is already installed, as in a laptop, skip this step.

  2. 2

    Boot up your Xubuntu installation.

  3. 3

    Launch the "Cheese" application. Open a terminal window by clicking the "Applications" menu. From the "Accessories" submenu, type the following command into the terminal:


  4. 4

    Watch the Cheese window capture your webcam and see yourself on the screen. If your webcam has a light, it will illuminate to indicate that the camera is active.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have difficulty getting Cheese to capture your webcam, you may need to install a new driver for it. Enter the following commands into your terminal window to add the new driver and compile it:
  • sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`
  • wget
  • tar -xvf ov51x-jpeg-1.5.4.tar.gz
  • cd ov51x-jpeg-1.5.4
  • make
  • sudo make install
  • sudo depmod -A
  • sudo modprobe ov51x-jpeg
  • There is a list of supported webcams on RastaGeeks: Working webcams (See Resources.)

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