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Capturing images from USB(UVC) webcam on linux machines (a fork that fixes the time.h bug)





IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a fork of the original node-v4l2camera module. It exists only to fix bellbind/node-v4l2camera#30, which hasn't been fixed upstream yet. This fork will not receive any further updates, once the upstream repository has fixed the issue!

Capturing images from USB(UVC) webcam on linux machines.


  • node >= 4.x
  • video4linux2 headers
  • c and c++ compiler with -std=c11 and -std=c++14
    • gcc >= 4.9


On linux machines:

npm install @joepie91/v4l2camera
  • package details:


var v4l2camera = require("v4l2camera");

var cam = new v4l2camera.Camera("/dev/video0");
if (cam.configGet().formatName !== "MJPG") {
  console.log("NOTICE: MJPG camera required");
cam.capture(function (success) {
  var frame = cam.frameRaw();

For more detail see: examples/*.js (required "pngjs" modules)


Initializing and Configuration API

  • var cam = new v4l2camera.Camera(device)
    • device: e.g. "/dev/video0"
  • cam.formats: Array of available frame formats
  • var format = cam.formats[n]
    • format.formatName: Name of pixel format. e.g. "YUYV", "MJPG"
    • format.format: ID number of pixel format
    • format.width: Frame width
    • format.height: Frame height
    • format.interval.numerator and format.interval.denominator : Capturing interval per numerator/denominator seconds (e.g. 30fps is 1/30)
  • cam.configSet(format) : Set capture width, height, interval per numerator/denominator sec if the members exist in the format object
  • cam.configGet() : Get a format object of current config

Capturing API (control flow)

  • cam.start()
  • cam.stop(afterStoped)
    • call re-config(format) or re-start() in afterStoped() callback
  • cam.capture(afterCaptured): Do cache a current captured frame
    • use cam.frameRaw() in afterCaptured(true) callback

Capturing API (frame access)

  • cam.frameRaw(): Get the cached raw frame as Uint8Array (YUYU frame is array of YUYV..., MJPG frame is single JPEG compressed data)
  • cam.toYUYV(): Get the cached frame as Uint8Array of pixels YUYVYUYV... (will be deprecated method)
  • cam.toRGB(): Get the cached frame as Uint8Array of pixels RGBRGB... (will be deprecated method)

Capturing API (camera frame info)

  • cam.device: the device file name e.g. "/dev/video0"
  • cam.width: pixel width of the camera
  • cam.height: pixel height of the camera

Control API

  • cam.controls: Array of the control information
  • cam.controlGet(id): Get int value of the control of the id (id is one of cam.controls[n].id)
  • cam.controlSet(id, value): Set int value of the control of the id
  • var control = cam.controls[n]: Control spec
    • Control id for controlGet and controlSet
    • Control name string
    • control.type: "int", "bool", "button", "menu" or other types
    • control.max, control.min, control.step: value should be min <= v and v <= max and (v - min) % step === 0
    • control.default: default value of the control
    • control.flags: Several bool flags of the controls
    • Array of items. A control value is the index of the menu item when type is "menu".

Build for Development

On linux machines:

cd myproject
mkdir -p node_modules
cd node_modules
git clone v4l2camera
cd v4l2camera
npm install
cd ../..

"build/Release/v4l2camera.node" is exist after the build.

Tested Environments

  • Ubuntu wily armhf on BeagleBone Black with USB Buffalo BSW13K10H
  • Ubuntu wily amd64 on Acer Aspire One with its screen facecam
  • Travis-CI (build only): Build Status


MIT and LGPL-3.0 dual