Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On 8:59 AM by Richard St-Pierre   5 comments


The BeagleBone Black takes a 'selfie'.
Add a low-cost USB camera to your BeagleBone Black and take photos in seconds.

What You Will Need

NOTE: This tutorial is based on Angstrom-Linux.

STEP 1 - Install Cheese Image Capture Program

First we will install a popular capture program called "cheese".

Using SSH/putty or an open terminal window, enter this command:

opkg install cheese

STEP 2 - Install Your USB WebCam

Remove power to your BeagleBone, Install the USB camera and reboot your BeagleBone.

Verify that the camera is recognized.

ls /dev

The USB camera is usually installed as /dev/video0

STEP 3 - Start Cheese Program

You will need a graphical interface such a VNC to view the photos - unless you have a keyboard and monitor directly connected to the HDMI video port.

Type this command to start the photo capture program.


If you see a broken up image...you may have to change the resolution.

Edit->Preferences->Resolution of the cheese capture program to match your camera.

Start at a low resolution (320x240) and increase to the maximum supported by your particular camera.

STEP 4 - Take a photo


Cheese is a Gnome application, which stores your photos here:

cd ~/.gnome2/cheese/media

These file storage location settings are stored in GConf.
You can change the settings with the gconf-editor.

Cheese can take single photos, a sequence of photos or even short video.

You can alter the photos with a good selection of effects. Have Fun!

Hope you 'get the picture' of this simple tutorial. Thank you!


  1. Is it possible to trigger the camera connecting the beagleboard to, let's say, a Zigbee relay?

  2. Why "opkg install cheese" doesn't work??

  3. Either you are not connected to the internet or you have a different distribution like Ubuntu on your beaglebone.

  4. "opkg install cheese" won't work if your linux operating system is Angstrom. For Debian OS users, type the following command:

    sudo apt-get install cheese

  5. I think you meant to write :

    opkg install cheese (works for Angstrom)
    sudo apt-get install cheese (for Debian)