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How to record your webcam on Linux

Do you have a webcam? Are you trying to figure out how to record video footage with it on your Linux PC? Not sure how to take pictures with it? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we show you how to record your webcam on Linux!

Note: for this guide to work, you will need a webcam that is compatible with the Linux platform. Ensure you are using a webcam that works with Linux by installing the correct drivers for your Linux distribution, or by purchasing one that has open-source drivers included in the Linux kernel.

Installing Cheese on Linux

To record webcam footage on Linux, you will need to install a webcam utility. There are many types of webcam utilities on Linux. However, in this guide, we will be focusing on the Cheese application.

Why Cheese? It is the most reliable out of all of the other webcam apps on Linux. Furthermore, it is the most modern and the most widely used of all the other apps available. No other webcam app is as popular as Cheese on Linux, or as easy to install.

To start the installation of the Cheese webcam app on your Linux PC, start by launching a terminal window on the Linux desktop. To launch a terminal window press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Alternatively, search for “Terminal” in the app menu.

Once the terminal window is open and ready to use on the Linux desktop, follow the command-line instructions outlined below that correspond with the Linux OS, you use to get everything going.

Note: you may have Cheese installed on your Linux PC already. To check to see if you already have the app installed, open up your app menu, and search for “Cheese.” If you cannot find it, you must follow the installation instructions in this guide to use the app.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu Linux, it is possible to quickly install the Cheese webcam application with the following Apt command below.

sudo apt install cheese

Debian

Are you using Debian Linux? Need to get the latest Cheese app up and running? Use the following Apt-get command below in a terminal window.

sudo apt-get install cheese

Arch Linux

Those on Arch Linux can quickly get the Cheese webcam utility up and running by executing the following Pacman installation command in a terminal window.

sudo pacman -S cheese

Fedora

Fedora Linux users have access to the Cheese webcam app via the Dnf installation command. To get it working on your system, enter the command below in a terminal window.

sudo dnf install cheese

OpenSUSE

Are you on OpenSUSE Linux? Need access to the Cheese webcam program on your PC? Use the Zypper command below in a terminal window to get it working.

sudo zypper install cheese

Flatpak

Many Linux users may not know this, but the Cheese webcam application is available as a Flatpak application. So, even if you’re using an obscure Linux distribution, you’ll always have access to Cheese so long as your distribution supports Flatpak.

To start the installation, follow the guide here to set up the Flatpak runtime. Then, enter the commands below to get the app working.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Cheese

Recording video with Cheese

Recording video footage with Cheese is simple thanks to the straightforward user interface it has. To start the recording process, launch the application on your Linux desktop. You can launch it by searching for “Cheese” in the app menu.

Once the Cheese application is open, ensure your webcam is being captured. You’ll know that your camera is being captured if you see yourself on the screen. If your camera is not being captured, unplug the device from your PC, and close Cheese. Then, plug it back in and re-launch the app.

When you’ve confirmed, Cheese is capturing your webcam, follow the step-by-step instructions down below to learn how to record video from your webcam using Cheese on Linux.

Step 1: Locate the “Video” section of the Cheese app and click on it with the mouse. Selecting this option will take Cheese into video mode. On some installations, you may not need to select “Video,” as it opens there by default.

Step 2: In video mode, your camera should be displaying a live feed in the preview window. To confirm the quality of the camera, watch yourself in Cheese, and move around a little bit to confirm that the app is capturing video correctly.

Step 3: Find the webcam icon and click it with the mouse. It will instantly start recording. It will record audio from the default microphone on your Linux PC.

Step 4: When you’ve finished recording your webcam and want to end the recording, click on the stop button.

You’ll be able to access all webcam recordings in the “Videos” folder of your home directory.

Taking pictures with Cheese

Did you know that it is possible to take pictures with your webcam? Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Find the “Photo” section in Cheese, and click on it with the mouse.

Step 2: After selecting the “Photo” option, Cheese will enter picture mode. From here, select the webcam icon to take a picture.

Pictures taken with Cheese are saved to the “Photo” folder of your home directory.

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