I am running Ubuntu 18.04 on a carbon X1 which has an integrated IR camera, and an integrated ordinary webcam.

However, devices such as Skype and Chrome have mysteriously only started recognizing the IR camera. They have previously successfully found the regular webcam, but on latest reboot the webcam is not even selectable in these applications.

I understand from here that there are tools for identifying the names of my multiple camera peripherals.

What are the command line tools for restarting the webcam/resetting if some other application is holding on to it? How can I force Cheese/skype/chromium to acknowledge the normal camera exists?

(Additionally, can I make the machine completely ignore the IR Camera? It is essentially never what I want, but seems to be an Ubuntu default.)

  • Do both cameras show up as separate devices (using the commands you linked to)?
    – danzel
    Nov 13, 2018 at 8:43
  • Yes. And a reboot solved this, but I'd looking for an equivalent of restarting the network when that gets fishy, rather than having to reboot whole machine. Nov 13, 2018 at 14:25
  • You can remove and insert the kernel module that is responsible for your webcam. Most USB webcams (integrated cams are usually connected via USB internally) are handled by uvcvideo, so sudo modprobe -r uvcvideo followed by sudo modprobe uvcvideo is probably what you're looking for. However, I'd be more concerned about the application that obviously is using your webcam without your consent.
    – danzel
    Nov 14, 2018 at 14:30
  • I'm having this same issue; part of the problem seems to be that the IR camera is set to /dev/video0. I've found that I can confirm the standard camera works properly by adjusting preferences with Cheese, but I still haven't figured out how to set the default behavior.
    – zzu
    Dec 13, 2018 at 4:39

2 Answers 2


The script presented here worked for me. It changes the device name of the IR camera and creates a symlink in its place that points to the standard camera. I added it to my crontab as a @reboot, and it works like a charm.


I had the same problem and disabled the IR camera by detaching the driver at startup from the usb device with usb_modeswitch. Also my solution uses the vendor id and product id, so it doesn't accidentally touch anything else if the system configuration changes.

My solution is here: How do I change the default webcam?

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