Cheese Booth shows an error:

There was an error playing video from the webcam

Cheese Booth

I test if webcam works fine or not by opening google hangout, its works fine.

Google Hangout Screenshot

Please tell, what is the issue in cheese booth.

Note: Sometimes the cheese booth works fine but most of time not

  1. Open Preferences, and change these resolutions to the lowest.



2.Now restart cheese.

3.The webcam should work. Keep increasing the resolution until it stops working again.For many webcams, this limit is 640x480.

  • Thanks man.. I currently install 16.04 and follow your suggestion. It works fine – Tamil Selvan C Apr 23 '16 at 10:25
  • Worked for me on ubuntu 14.04. Thanks a lot – desmond13 Feb 20 '17 at 16:05
  • This doesn't work for me because I can't change the Photo or Video resolutions. I can choose from only one. Even if I use modprobe to change the resolution, cheese still shows only one and it never changes. Attempted multiple options attempting to get this method to work and I can only surmise that it's due to the fact that I'm using third party applications and hardware with limited capabilities. – user383919 Apr 26 '17 at 19:25

I faced similar problem with cheese so I installed GTK UVC Video Viewer. It rich in terms of feature as compared to cheese. You can install it by entering following in terminal:

sudo apt-get install guvcview
  • 1
    I have the same problem and I installed guvcview and it didn't work – SnorriChinchilla Jun 2 '15 at 14:36
  • It works in a pinch even though it's not the most stable alternative. – user383919 Apr 26 '17 at 19:27

UPDATE: Actually, I just found that you need to manually add your user to the audio and video groups. The easiest way is to launch the "users and groups" app and go to manage groups

Original answer: There seems to be an issue with the permissions on /dev/video*.

They are owned by root with no read/write permissions for regular users. My quick-and-dirty hack was a simple:

sudo chmod 777 /dev/video*

If you start cheese from the terminal you might see this error:

(cheese:7333): cheese-WARNING **: 09:47:54.438: Device '/dev/video0' is busy: gstv4l2object.c(3706): gst_v4l2_object_set_format_full (): /GstCameraBin:camerabin/GstWrapperCameraBinSrc:camera_source/GstBin:bin18/GstV4l2Src:v4l2src1: Call to S_FMT failed for YUYV @ 160x120: Device or resource busy

Closing the other app (for me it was a Chrome tab with Google Hangouts) is the work around.


Try sudo cheese if it is a permission problem this will let you open it with the super user privileges.

  • When I try above command, it throws an error as (cheese:2994): cheese-WARNING **: Internal data flow error.: gstbasesrc.c(2865): gst_base_src_loop (): /GstCameraBin:camerabin/GstWrapperCameraBinSrc:camera_source/GstBin:bin17/GstV4l2Src:video_source: streaming task paused, reason error (-5) – Tamil Selvan C May 6 '14 at 17:00

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