The Pi camera in my Pi Zero W stopped working. Possibly because /dev/video0 vanished. Can anyone say why?

In the meantime I have these three devices instead ..

pi@easy:~ $ ls -l /dev/video*
crw-rw---- 1 root video 81, 0 Oct 24 07:17 /dev/video10
crw-rw---- 1 root video 81, 1 Oct 24 07:17 /dev/video11
crw-rw---- 1 root video 81, 2 Oct 24 07:17 /dev/video12

I don't know what they're for. (does anyone?)

I am loading the bcm2835-v4l2 driver at boot time, my /etc/modules is simple enough


The driver/module loads well enough, according to lsmod

pi@easy:~ $ sudo lsmod | grep bcm2835
snd_bcm2835            17068  0
snd_pcm                92916  1 snd_bcm2835
snd                    63223  3 snd_timer,snd_bcm2835,snd_pcm
bcm2835_codec          28684  0
v4l2_mem2mem           18877  1 bcm2835_codec
videobuf2_dma_contig    10303  1 bcm2835_codec
bcm2835_v4l2           35910  0
bcm2835_mmal_vchiq     20644  2 bcm2835_codec,bcm2835_v4l2
vc_sm_cma              25091  1 bcm2835_mmal_vchiq
v4l2_common             7385  1 bcm2835_v4l2
videobuf2_vmalloc       6084  1 bcm2835_v4l2
videobuf2_v4l2         16373  3 bcm2835_codec,bcm2835_v4l2,v4l2_mem2mem
videobuf2_common       37369  4 bcm2835_codec,bcm2835_v4l2,v4l2_mem2mem,videobuf2_v4l2
videodev              182789  6 bcm2835_codec,v4l2_common,videobuf2_common,bcm2835_v4l2,v4l2_mem2mem,videobuf2_v4l2

and calling sudo modprobe bcm2835-v4l2 has an exit code of 0, and doesn't change the output of lsmod.

This is everything dmsg has to say about bcm2835

pi@easy:~ $ dmesg | grep bcm2835
[    0.000202] bcm2835: system timer (irq = 27)
[    0.093961] bcm2835-mbox 2000b880.mailbox: mailbox enabled
[    0.138816] bcm2835-dma 20007000.dma: DMA legacy API manager at (ptrval), dmachans=0x1
[    0.359298] bcm2835-rng 20104000.rng: hwrng registered
[    0.361524] gpiomem-bcm2835 20200000.gpiomem: Initialised: Registers at 0x20200000
[    0.833807] bcm2835-wdt bcm2835-wdt: Broadcom BCM2835 watchdog timer
[    0.834308] bcm2835-cpufreq: min=700000 max=1000000
[    0.835720] mmc-bcm2835 20300000.mmcnr: could not get clk, deferring probe
[    0.836458] sdhost-bcm2835 20202000.mmc: could not get clk, deferring probe
[    0.868215] mmc-bcm2835 20300000.mmcnr: mmc_debug:0 mmc_debug2:0
[    0.868235] mmc-bcm2835 20300000.mmcnr: DMA channel allocated
[    0.946792] mmc0: sdhost-bcm2835 loaded - DMA enabled (>1)
[    5.237667] bcm2835_vc_sm_cma_probe: Videocore shared memory driver
[    5.270823] bcm2835_mmal_vchiq: module is from the staging directory, the quality is unknown, you have been warned.
[    5.298441] bcm2835_v4l2: module is from the staging directory, the quality is unknown, you have been warned.
[   10.650795] bcm2835_codec: module is from the staging directory, the quality is unknown, you have been warned.
[   10.698862] bcm2835-codec bcm2835-codec: Device registered as /dev/video10
[   10.698885] bcm2835-codec bcm2835-codec: Loaded V4L2 decode
[   10.709040] bcm2835-codec bcm2835-codec: Device registered as /dev/video11
[   10.709062] bcm2835-codec bcm2835-codec: Loaded V4L2 encode
[   10.720060] bcm2835-codec bcm2835-codec: Device registered as /dev/video12
[   10.720081] bcm2835-codec bcm2835-codec: Loaded V4L2 isp
[   11.500167] snd_bcm2835: module is from the staging directory, the quality is unknown, you have been warned.
[   11.652618] bcm2835_audio soc:audio: card created with 8 channels
  • What video hardware do you have? If it's an official Raspberry Pi 5MP or 8MP camera then you need to load the bcm2835_v4l2 module with sudo modprobe bcm2835_v4l2 (or by adding it to /etc/modules).
    – Dougie
    Nov 23, 2019 at 22:57
  • Good point. Clarification added to the question. I am loading bcm2835-v4l2 at boot time via /etc/modules. Nov 24, 2019 at 16:33
  • have you checked it's loaded OK? Check it with sudo lsmod or reload it with sudo modprobe bcm2835-v4l2.
    – Dougie
    Nov 24, 2019 at 16:38
  • Thanks @Dougie, I've added that too. Nov 25, 2019 at 8:28
  • Run sudo rpi-update && sudo reboot if the 4.19.85+ kernel doesn't fix it you've either got a hardware problem or gpu_mem isn't set to a high enough value. Try setting gpu_mem=128 and start_x=1 in /boot/config.txt. Check the cable between the RPi and the camera. Run vcgencmd get_camera to check the status.
    – Dougie
    Nov 25, 2019 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


Check vcgencmd get_camera result.

It will return how many cameras are supported and detected. Normally you will get "supported=1 detected=1".

If you get "detected=0" then camera is not detected : double check your connection, ribbon cable integrity and orientation, or consider that a picamera can fry from times to times.

I never met "supported=0", but I suppose it would hint to a misconfiguration problem.

  • A new camera module, and the problem vanished. It had been running continuously for a year after all. Feb 5, 2020 at 17:55
  • 1
    Update! When the new camera briefly exhibited the same issue, the fundamental issue came into focus: the p5v04a connector on the camera daughter board had come unplugged. Once replugged, both new and old cameras revived. Feb 5, 2020 at 21:40

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