blob: aae6b79f709caec94b13156308ce658c4777edc6 [file] [log] [blame]
.. SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-SA-4.0
.. section-begin-libcamera
**A complex camera support library for Linux, Android, and ChromeOS**
Cameras are complex devices that need heavy hardware image processing
operations. Control of the processing is based on advanced algorithms that must
run on a programmable processor. This has traditionally been implemented in a
dedicated MCU in the camera, but in embedded devices algorithms have been moved
to the main CPU to save cost. Blurring the boundary between camera devices and
Linux often left the user with no other option than a vendor-specific
closed-source solution.
To address this problem the Linux media community has very recently started
collaboration with the industry to develop a camera stack that will be
open-source-friendly while still protecting vendor core IP. libcamera was born
out of that collaboration and will offer modern camera support to Linux-based
systems, including traditional Linux distributions, ChromeOS and Android.
.. section-end-libcamera
.. section-begin-getting-started
Getting Started
To fetch the sources, build and install:
git clone
cd libcamera
meson build
ninja -C build install
The following Debian/Ubuntu packages are required for building libcamera.
Other distributions may have differing package names:
A C++ toolchain: [required]
Either {g++, clang}
Meson Build system: [required]
meson (>= 0.53) ninja-build pkg-config
meson (>= 0.55) is required for building Android (-Dandroid=enabled)
If your distribution doesn't provide a recent enough version of meson,
you can install or upgrade it using pip3.
.. code::
pip3 install --user meson
pip3 install --user --upgrade meson
for the libcamera core: [required]
python3-yaml python3-ply python3-jinja2
for IPA module signing: [required]
libgnutls28-dev openssl
for improved debugging: [optional]
libdw-dev libunwind-dev
libdw and libunwind provide backtraces to help debugging assertion
failures. Their functions overlap, libdw provides the most detailed
information, and libunwind is not needed if both libdw and the glibc
backtrace() function are available.
for the Raspberry Pi IPA: [optional]
Support for Raspberry Pi can be disabled through the meson
'pipelines' option to avoid this dependency.
for device hotplug enumeration: [optional]
for documentation: [optional]
python3-sphinx doxygen graphviz texlive-latex-extra
for gstreamer: [optional]
libgstreamer1.0-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-dev
for cam: [optional]
for qcam: [optional]
qtbase5-dev libqt5core5a libqt5gui5 libqt5widgets5 qttools5-dev-tools libtiff-dev
for tracing with lttng: [optional]
liblttng-ust-dev python3-jinja2 lttng-tools
for android: [optional]
libexif-dev libjpeg-dev libyaml-dev
for lc-compliance: [optional]
Using GStreamer plugin
To use GStreamer plugin from source tree, set the following environment so that
GStreamer can find it. This isn't necessary when libcamera is installed.
export GST_PLUGIN_PATH=$(pwd)/build/src/gstreamer
The debugging tool ``gst-launch-1.0`` can be used to construct a pipeline and
test it. The following pipeline will stream from the camera named "Camera 1"
onto the OpenGL accelerated display element on your system.
.. code::
gst-launch-1.0 libcamerasrc camera-name="Camera 1" ! glimagesink
To show the first camera found you can omit the camera-name property, or you
can list the cameras and their capabilities using:
.. code::
gst-device-monitor-1.0 Video
This will also show the supported stream sizes which can be manually selected
if desired with a pipeline such as:
.. code::
gst-launch-1.0 libcamerasrc ! 'video/x-raw,width=1280,height=720' ! \
The libcamerasrc element has two log categories, named libcamera-provider (for
the video device provider) and libcamerasrc (for the operation of the camera).
All corresponding debug messages can be enabled by setting the ``GST_DEBUG``
environment variable to ``libcamera*:7``.
Presently, to prevent element negotiation failures it is required to specify
the colorimetry and framerate as part of your pipeline construction. For
instance, to capture and encode as a JPEG stream and receive on another device
the following example could be used as a starting point:
.. code::
gst-launch-1.0 libcamerasrc ! \
video/x-raw,colorimetry=bt709,format=NV12,width=1280,height=720,framerate=30/1 ! \
jpegenc ! multipartmux ! \
tcpserversink host= port=5000
Which can be received on another device over the network with:
.. code::
gst-launch-1.0 tcpclientsrc host=$DEVICE_IP port=5000 ! \
multipartdemux ! jpegdec ! autovideosink
.. section-end-getting-started
Several users have reported issues with meson installation, crux of the issue
is a potential version mismatch between the version that root uses, and the
version that the normal user uses. On calling `ninja -C build`, it can't find
the module. This is a snippet of the error message.
ninja: Entering directory `build'
ninja: error: loading '': No such file or directory
This can be solved in two ways:
1) Don't install meson again if it is already installed system-wide.
2) If a version of meson which is different from the system-wide version is
already installed, uninstall that meson using pip3, and install again without
the --user argument.