I have been attempting to use RaspiStill in PHP for a number of days now. I have searched around and have been unable to come up with a solution.

I have been attempting to use shell_exec() in my php file like so:

shell_exec("/usr/bin/raspistill -rot 180 -q 70 -w 1920 -h 1080  -o /media/64GB/www/timelapse/image_image.jpg 2>&1")

Which works if you use it from the console and type:

php php_script.php

At first I was getting this error when running the php script in the browser:

sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified

This was resolved by updating /etc/sudoers with:

Defaults:www-data !requiretty

I also added this line:


No error is returned in the apache logs so I am not sure what else to try.

  • What else is in your PHP script? The shell_exec command shown doesn't use sudo, so I don't see how the sudo error you received is related to that command. – HeatfanJohn Oct 13 '13 at 13:31
  • was this ever resolved? I'm encountering the same issue and have tried every suggestion but to no avail. – Emanegux May 3 '16 at 3:05

If you find your apache web service is unable to run the raspistill command you may need to modify the www-data apache user to allow it to run the command:

echo 'SUBSYSTEM=="vchiq",GROUP="video",MODE="0660"' > /etc/udev/rules.d/10-vchiq-permissions.rules

and this one

usermod -a -G video www-data

Try adding the "-n" param to your raspistill command to disable previews, see if that helps. You may also try "-t 0" to reduce wait time.

  • That didn't help either – jason Oct 14 '13 at 1:05

Found a tutorial for something similar that helped me: http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=56209&hilit=+php

The part that helped me in particular was:
sudo chmod 777 /var/www
sudo chmod 777 /dev/vchiq

after entering those commands Shell_exec would successfully invoke raspistill.


I was able to get it working by using the following:

sudo chmod 777 /dev/vchiq


usermod -a -G video www-data

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