Webcam (v4l2 source) available to remote session

Stuart Doherty stu.doherty at
Thu Mar 18 08:00:31 PDT 2010

I should have been clearer on this.  Everything works fine when I'm sitting
at my desktop, logged into the local machine.  In my case I'm use the
gstreamer framework to make use of my webcam (v4l is running fine).  If I

$ls -al /dev/video0

I see that the file is there.  I log out, and drive 10 minutes to work, then
log into my machine remotely and try to list /dev/video0 and it doesn't
exist.  There is some system that is making the device available to local
sessions only (or I'm missing something?).  My research led me to
dbus/udev/etc. because these are frameworks/layers for abstracting hardware,
providing hotplug, etc. etc.  This sounded like a hotplug type thing to me.
It would make sense to me that Ubuntu might set this system up to only allow
local webcam use (so people can't spy on people), but I need to get around
this (not for spying though ;) ).

Where else would you recommend I look, given this additional explanation?
Stuart Doherty
stu at

On Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 10:49 AM, Thiago Macieira <thiago at> wrote:

> Em Quinta-feira 18 Março 2010, às 12:59:27, Stuart Doherty escreveu:
> > Hi All,
> >   I'm very sorry if this is the wrong place for this message.  I started
> at
> > hal, then udev, then ended up at this level.  Maybe I need to move on to
> > gnome desktop.  I'm hoping this is just a matter of tweaking some dbus
> > rules or something.
> >
> > I want my webcam available to remote sessions so I can work with it when
> > I'm away from home.  I can't seem to figure out how to do this.  I can
> see
> > "/dev/video0" when I'm at home.  But when I drive to work and log in the
> > device file isn't there.  My research led me to believe dbus might be
> > enforcing this policy.
> >
> > If I'm wrong, pointers to where I might look would be great.
> Hi Stu
> I really don't see how this is relevant to D-Bus. You seem to have a V4L
> problem, which is neither D-Bus, nor HAL nor udev nor even the desktop.
> If the device file isn't there, it's either because the kernel module isn't
> loaded or because the the device itself (hardware) isn't found.
> --
> Thiago Macieira - thiago (AT) - thiago (AT)
>  Senior Product Manager - Nokia, Qt Development Frameworks
>      PGP/GPG: 0x6EF45358; fingerprint:
>      E067 918B B660 DBD1 105C  966C 33F5 F005 6EF4 5358
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