Most laptops these days have a built-in webcam that lets you video call, live stream, or take pictures of yourself. However, unlike Mac or Windows, some Linux distributions do not come with a built-in camera app.
Therefore, if you want to use your webcam effectively, you need a third-party camera app on your computer. Linux has several options in this regard. Unfortunately, not all of them are equally good and lack the necessary webcam features.
Therefore, we have compiled a list of the best camera apps for Linux to help you get the most out of your webcam.
Webcamoid is a free, cross-platform webcam suite for Linux. It allows you to take photos and record videos with your webcam. If you have a multi-webcam setup, the tool offers custom controls for each webcam, making it easy to manage all of your webcams at once.
Webcamoid supports multiple recording formats. It also includes support for a virtual webcam, which comes in handy when you want to transmit a video recording to other programs.
If you’re in the mood for effects, Webcamoid gives you a variety of effects to choose from (such as blur, cartoon, color filter, and pixelated) that you can apply to your photos and videos. Moreover, plug-ins are also supported, allowing you to extend the functionality of the software when one is missing.
How to install Webcamoid
To install Webcamoid on Ubuntu/Debian, open the terminal and run:
sudo apt install webcamoid
On Arch Linux, use:
yay -S webcamoid
In the case of any other distro, you can download the Webcamoid AppImage from the link below and then turn it into an executable by running the following command in the terminal:
chmod +x webcamoid-x-x.x.x.appimage
To download: Webcamoid
Kamoso is Qt-based webcam software for Linux that lets you capture screenshots and record video from the built-in webcam or an external webcam connected to your PC.
Kamoso’s greatest asset is its user-friendly interface which includes only the most essential features. This makes it easy for beginners to familiarize themselves with the app and start using it. Unlike most camera apps, Kamoso includes a unique capture mode, called burst mode, which lets you take multiple photos with a single tap. And, there is a decent collection of effects to choose from for your captures to add a visual touch to them.
Kamoso also helps you after capture. It gives you several options to share your captured images and videos, so you can share your captured images and videos with others via email, Imgur or Nextcloud.
How to install Kamoso
If you are using Ubuntu/Debian, you can install Kamoso with:
sudo apt install kamoso
On Arch Linux, use:
sudo pacman -S kamoso
Other Linux distribution users can install Kamoso from Flathub using the link below:
To download: Kamoso
Cheese is a lightweight webcam application for Linux. It is open-source and comes pre-installed on Ubuntu. Using Cheese, you can take photos and capture video from your computer’s built-in or external webcam.
Cheese offers two capture modes: burst and kiosk, to do this. Burst mode lets you capture multiple images with one click at a time, while kiosk mode lets you record video or take photos in full-screen mode.
The cheese also comes with a countdown timer. As the name suggests, this feature gives you a countdown before capturing the image, allowing you to prepare for the perfect shot.
Similar to a few other camera apps, Cheese also offers a variety of effects. You can apply these effects to your photos or videos to add special effects and give them a distinct visual appeal.
How to install the cheese
On Debian-based distributions, you can install Cheese by running:
sudo apt install cheese
If you are using Fedora, CentOS or RHEL, use:
sudo dnf install cheese
On any other distro, you can install Cheese via Snap. First, run this command to make sure Snap is installed on your system:
If this generates a version number, you have Snap on your system and can proceed to install Cheese. Alternatively, install Snap using our Snap guide, then run the command below to install Cheese:
sudo snap install cheese
To download: Cheese
Camorama is an open source webcam tool that contains a range of useful features. It’s easy to use and lets you take photos from your webcam or any other remotely located device.
What stands out about Camorama, compared to other webcam utilities, is that it allows you to set the output directory and filename of images according to your preferences. Plus, if you want, you even have the option to add a timestamp to your images. For this, there is an option to use the default string format or define a custom one in the settings.
Apart from these features, Camorama also offers an auto capture feature. You can use it to specify the interval (in minutes) after which you want to capture the image to save you from having to manually click images.
As a feature-rich tool, Camorama also allows you to adjust image parameters such as contrast, brightness, color, tint, white balance, exposure, etc. for you. allow you to control the images you capture via your webcam.
How to install Camorama
Camorama is easier to install from a tar.gz file. For this, download the source code from the link below and follow the instructions on Camoram’s GitHub to install the program on your Linux machine.
To download: Camorama
Next, open the terminal and navigate to the Downloads directory using the cd command and the ls command. Then run this command to unzip the TAR file:
tar -xzvf camorama-0..x.x.tar.gz
Finally, use cd to navigate to the Camorama folder and run:
sudo make install
If there is an error, head to Camorama GitHub and download the build dependencies using the appropriate commands for your Linux distribution.
QtCAM is an open-source Linux webcam software that allows you to capture images and record videos from your device’s internal or external webcam. It allows you to connect up to 6 cameras and stream them live simultaneously.
QtCAM’s user interface is quite easy to use and includes all the controls up front. Once you choose the capture device, the app lets you set capture preferences for photos and videos. Output size, compression, and frame rates are a few settings that you can change to your liking on the app.
Moreover, QtCAM also offers you multiple image capture modes including RAW which makes it stand out from other tools on the list. Another nice addition in QtCAM is the ability to choose a different input device than your built-in microphone for audio, so you can record hi-res audio using your favorite external mic.
How to install QtCAM
Ubuntu and Debian users can install QtCAM by running the following commands:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:qtcam/focal
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install qtcam
On the other hand, if you are using another Linux distribution, you can build QtCAM from source. To do this, clone the QtCAM GitHub repository with:
git clone https:
Then follow the instructions in the QtCAM installation guide to create the program on your computer.
6. O.B.S. Studio
OBS Studio is the most popular video recording and live streaming software on Linux. It is open-source and free and offers a range of advanced recording options, making it the most powerful recording tool on the market.
What makes OBS Studio unique is its ability to let you create scenes from multiple sources, like desktop and webcam. So if you have multiple webcam streams, you can also manage each of them individually. And, with included support for services like Twitch and YouTube, using Linux doesn’t mean missing out on how Twitch streaming has changed video games.
Finally, OBS also gives you support for plugins and scripts. So, if you think the tool is lacking in features then you can get it by installing a plugin for the same. Or, if you know how to code, you can create custom scripts yourself to extend the functionality of OBS even further.
How to install OBS Studio
If you are using Ubuntu or its derivatives on your machine, run:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:obsproject/obs-studio
sudo apt update
sudo apt install obs-studio
On other distros, the easiest way to get OBS Studio is Flathub, linked below:
To download: O.B.S. Studio
Get the most out of your webcam in Linux
A good camera app can greatly improve your photo capturing and video recording experience on your computer. This not only simplifies the process, but also offers various options to give you more control over different aspects of your photos and videos, so you can be sure to share them without having to make any post-processing changes to them.
If you just got a new webcam, it might be worth exploring other ways to use it beyond video calls and live streaming.