I have a rather old Logitech webcam which I have been testing on Ubuntu 18.04. The camera gets mounted automatically on /dev/video0 and I can use it via VLC ("open capture device" then specifying /dev/video0 as device). However, no other program is able to detect or use it. I have tried web browsers (Chromium), Skype and lightweight apps like Cheese and Streamer. Any ideas how to make it work generally?

Results of lsmod | grep video:

videodev              184320  3 gspca_main,v4l2_common,gspca_spca561
media                  40960  1 videodev
video                  45056  0
  • Have you closed VLC again? I made the experience, that only one software can read the cam and then the others won't get teh signal.
    – Boba Fit
    Mar 27, 2020 at 10:15
  • @BobaFit Yes, VLC is closed when trying the other software.
    – Miguel
    Mar 27, 2020 at 10:17
  • I hope you have 64-bit. env LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libv4l/v4l1compat.so /usr/bin/skype but the source is a little bit old. wiki.ubuntu.com/SkypeWebCams
    – nobody
    Mar 27, 2020 at 10:26
  • @nobody Yes, this works, thanks. Can you post it as an answer and I'll accept it? I exported this environment variable it in my .bashrc and I can use the camera with other apps easily. Will it interfere with newer models?
    – Miguel
    Mar 27, 2020 at 10:38

1 Answer 1


Some programs like Skype use the older Framework v4l instead of the newer v4l2. This is not supported by every module out of the box.

env LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libv4l/v4l1compat.so /usr/bin/skype

This way, the older framework is forced to use for skype. I'm not good in explaining in english. Sorry.

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