My builtin webcam stopped working after a kernel update issued after 22 April 2020 . Before this date i was able to take pictures on cheese and video call etc , and for a while i didn't use my webcam until yesterday i noticed that my webcam is getting detected as "usb 2.0 web camera" but its not working at all . Cheese shows a black screen when opened and Firefox asks for permission and then nothing happens . So i changed the kernel to version 5.0 and webcam started working properly . But i need to work it on the latest Ubuntu kernel . Any help will be thankful .

output of sudo lshw:

    description: Video
    product: USB 2.0 Web Camera
    vendor: Alcor Micro, Corp.
    physical id: 2
    bus info: usb@1:1.2
    version: 0.08
    capabilities: usb-2.00
    configuration: driver=uvcvideo maxpower=200mA speed=480Mbit/s
  • 1
    If you are sure it is a kernel then you either have to wait or use the old kernel. Just guessing maybe you can install a snap of cheese and see is that see the webcam. You can try lsusb to see if the device is there and given a number. You can sudo lshw and see if the hardware profile(name and model) of the webcam come up correctly. You can go to additional hardware drivers and see if there is something there. May 30, 2020 at 2:29
  • @walttheboss question updated with ouput of sudo lshw .
    – Afsal
    May 30, 2020 at 2:37
  • If you're on 20.04, why did you revert to kernel 5.0? It was never supported by Ubuntu/Canonical (testing only) and is now EOL, rather than a prior 5.4 kernel already on your system./ Are you using Ubuntu 20.04?
    – guiverc
    May 30, 2020 at 2:55
  • @guiverc im on Ubuntu 20.04 . Any kernel released after 5.2 and before 5.6 slows down my system . And the only kernel version which is working good in this range is the default kernel in Ubuntu 20.04 .Other 5.4 , 5.3 versions from kernels.ubuntu lags very much .
    – Afsal
    May 30, 2020 at 2:59
  • @guiverc i thought 5.0 was supported in 19.04 . And my webcam is not getting detected with latest mainline kernel .
    – Afsal
    May 30, 2020 at 3:02

4 Answers 4


For me there was permission issue.

The group and permissions for your /dev/video* files were icorrect. The group root for your /dev/video* will deny access to the camera for users outside this group.

The output of ls -l /dev/video0 should look like this:

crw-rw----+ 1 root video 81, 1 Apr 19 22:25 /dev/video0
crw-rw----+ 1 root video 81, 1 Apr 19 22:25 /dev/video1

Try fixing the group by running:

sudo chown root:video /dev/video*

Then fix permissions by running:

sudo chmod 666 /dev/video*

It worked!!

  • For me this fixed the issue. Note that as in the previous question, it seems a very recent kernel update causes problems with permisions and that's what broke the thing. Aug 2, 2021 at 1:56
  • This also fixed my webcam issue.
    – Rocket
    Sep 23, 2021 at 22:35
  • 1
    If it worked for you, please upvote the answer so it has more visibility. It didn't fix it for me, though. My whole OS (Kubuntu 20.04) just turns completely unresponsive, despite seeming to remain operational (music keeps playing, mic/headset keep working during conference, etc.).
    – gyohza
    Nov 8, 2021 at 19:10
  • have suddenly the same issue, tried all given suggestions... none worked sudo chown root: video /dev/video* produces "chown: Zugriff auf '/dev/video*' nicht möglich: Datei oder Verzeichnis nicht gefunden" B.
    – Buelent
    Jan 18, 2022 at 7:53
  • Works for 5.13.0-51-generic as well. Thanks Jul 18, 2022 at 8:04

issue got solved with kernel 5.4.0-37-generic . https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux-signed/+bug/1881757

  • 4
    For the records, the issue returns with newer kernel versions. The Launchpad link shared by Afsal mentions this is the case again with 5.4.0-52. I have been experiencing this problem with 5.4.0-54 Nov 21, 2020 at 8:16
  • 1
    Still broken on 5.4.0-65
    – michid
    Feb 11, 2021 at 14:13
  • 1
    Broken 5.8.0-50 May 10, 2021 at 22:36
  • For me the fix was: askubuntu.com/a/1322287/877575 an issue with permission after a very recent kernel update (August 2021) Aug 2, 2021 at 1:57
  • 1
    ^ Same. Not sure this should be an accepted answer over the one by Neeraj, as it fixed it for me.
    – Rocket
    Sep 23, 2021 at 22:36

The solution for me is to use my laptop's webcam toggle button to turn it off and back on. On my keyboard, the toggle is Fn+F6.


In my case I don't know what the issue was but:

  1. Go to BIOS and disable the cam.
  2. Restart.
  3. Go to BIOS and enable back the camera.

This helped me.

  • My BIOS didn't have a toggle for my webcam
    – crypdick
    Mar 8, 2023 at 12:05
  • "Go to BIOS and disable the cam" -- how might one go about doing this exactly?
    – ggorlen
    May 17, 2023 at 23:38
  • Made no difference for me. Feb 6 at 14:30

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