I found out that my Android phone's cam has a higher quality than the one of my PC and I'm wondering if there is a way to use my phone as a webcam for the computer. Is that possible?

USB (preferred), Bluetooth and LAN connections are all suitable as any other solution that doesn't require any expense (otherwise I would just buy a webcam), but I would prefer to use only open source software if possible.


You can use any android phone as a webcam for your Ubuntu PC by using droidcam.

  1. First download the droidcam app on your android device via the play store

  2. Next install adb on your Ubuntu PC

    sudo apt install adb

  3. Follow the instructions to install the droidcam linux client:

  4. On your android phone, enable USB debugging (you need to enable developer mode to do this).

  5. Find the drivers for your device. This page provides links to most manufacturers websites: http://developer.android.com/tools/extras/oem-usb.html#Drivers. You can also search Google “ADB Drivers for ___”

  6. Plug the device back into computer over USB. If you get a dialog asking “Allow USB Debugging”, you need to tap OK.

  7. Open DroidCam and select the USB option. On the phone you may get a dialog asking “Allow USB Debugging”, you need to tap OK. Sometimes you need to open “USB Options” from the notification area on the device and pick “PTP” mode for that to show up.

For more information on how to set up droidcam, click here

To use your android phone as a microphone, check out WO Mic.

To install the linux client see this.

You will also need to download the WO Mic app from the playstore.

Theoretically you can use both WO Mic and Droidcam in conjunction to turn your android device into a webcam with a microphone.

  • According to their site, this is video only, no mic. Is there a simply way to make the mic work as well ?? – mark May 20 '20 at 19:37
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    Yes, I did - even double-checked them to be sure. The v4l2loopback_dc module is not installed, as I said above. It is a 64 bit system & I did the step for that as well. Isn't the info I posted above about the FATAL error pointing to what I've just said as well ?? Thanks. – mark May 21 '20 at 16:45
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    It worked for me with a newer cellphone. For older phones (such as mine Samsung galaxy S3) which Droidcam is not compatible, there is also a solution with IPcamera, but I have not been able to make it work in Ubuntu 20.04. Here are the details: github.com/bluezio/ipwebcam-gst/issues/100 – Yannis Dran Nov 30 '20 at 19:57
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    @YannisDran For an alternative to Wo Mic, perhaps see if askubuntu.com/questions/889164/use-phone-as-microphone-in-linux or perhaps play.google.com/store/apps/… works – ldias Dec 1 '20 at 1:54
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    To fix the "quality" problem I installed the latest OBS (26.1.2) using snap since it includes a virtual camera feature by default, used IP Webcam on my phone and added that as an OBS camera source. Another advantage of this approach is that I can custom-crop my webcam view in OBS :) – NeilenMarais Mar 17 at 13:20

Apparently running OBS Studio (on your PC) can use a Smartphone (or other PC, as long as it has a current browser) as Microphone/Camera input. This requires obs studio with the "Browser Plugin", which is apparently not yet part of the linux packages. One then opens a site like https://obs.ninja/ or https://kevin.c3voc.de/ on the Smartphone, and copies the generated url as "Browser Source" into obs studio on the receiving device.

  • So you can not use the OBS Studio in Ubuntu? – jarno Mar 10 at 7:00
  • @jarno of course you can, but it doesn't (or didn't? have not checked since) include the "browser plugin" and therefore you cannot use obs.ninja or KEVIN to read in the microphone/camera of another device. – azrdev Mar 10 at 13:17

The solution suggested by azrdev ist pretty neat, because now OBS Studio for Linux does have the "Browser Plugin" and with this solution you can also benefit from all the other nice OBS features. Instead of using a site like obs.ninja, I installed the android app "IP Webcam" on my phone. With the app you can start "broadcasting" your phone's video signal in your wireless network. With your computer and your smartphone in the same wireless network, you just add an browser source in OBS with the IP adress given to you by IP Webcam. And that's it! Got it to work in about three minutes...

  • I installed obs-studio (version 25.0.3) from universe repository of Ubuntu 20.04, but I can not see any browser source I could add the URL to. – jarno Mar 13 at 1:09
  • I installed the version from snap store and it has the Browser source, but I can't get it show the video stream of IP Webcam, but just some kind of configuration window of it. – jarno Mar 13 at 1:46
  • Then, can the output from OBS can be used in other software (e.g. Skype, Google Meet, Cheese)? – Archisman Panigrahi Mar 28 at 5:27
  • Yes. In OBS click the button in the bottom right saying "Start Virtual Camera". It now emulates a webcam called "OBS Virtual Camera" that you need to choose as source for the video signal in the software (Skype, discord,...) your using. – miezbla Mar 29 at 8:13
  • @jarno So you do see something in OBS? Did you start the streaming of the video signal in IPWebcam on your phone? When I used it, I never saw something like a configuration window. Maybe this video tutorial can give you a hint? youtube.com/watch?v=_MNFlfgKvz4 – miezbla Mar 29 at 8:21

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