I am trying to auto-start a script, that starts a video stream via vlc on a raspberry pi with raspi camera. This is the code that starts the stream:

raspivid -o - -t 0 -hf -w 640 -h 360 -fps 25 | cvlc -vvv stream:///dev/stdin --sout '#rtp{sdp=rtsp://:8554}' :demux=h264

I have tried to add the script to init.d which does work as the LED on the camera blinks, but the startup seems to stop the script after a second. I also tried to add the script to rc.local and autologin and it didn't even blink. I tried to edit /etc/bash.bashrc too, with the following code:

if [ $(tty) == /dev/tty1 ]; then

But that didn't work either. Any suggestions? The script runs fine on its own.

I should also add that the stream gives an output constantly and it can't be hidden or ignored.

  • 1
    Hi! You might try adding sleep X at the beginning of script (where X is a reasonable number of seconds) and changing the line of your code into ./script & . However, I haven't tested it, it's basically only a blind shot.
    – yo'
    Mar 12, 2014 at 13:56
  • I forgot to add, use init.d of course, using .bashrc seems just wrong! The idea was simply to add a long sleep in the process.
    – yo'
    Mar 12, 2014 at 14:26
  • Unfortunately it did not work. The Camera does not blink or anything.
    – Diego
    Mar 13, 2014 at 6:17
  • Try run from ~/.xinitrc
    – hendry
    Mar 13, 2014 at 11:36
  • Try putting it in /etc/rc.local with the & after.
    – Fred
    Mar 13, 2014 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


I have now found out two solutions.

  1. Making a script that run another script (This is the one I'm using at the moment)

I have made a script (check.sh) that searches the processes-list for "vlc", and if it get any hit it will exit the script. If there are no processes called "vlc" running, it execute a script (video.sh) which start the stream. In crontab I added the first script (check.sh) to be run when booting:

crontab -e @reboot /home/pi/check.sh 

This is what check.sh looks like:

pidof='pidof vlc' if [[ -z $pidof ]] 
/home/pi/video.sh fi

And this is what video.sh looks like:

raspivid -o - -t 0 -hf -w 640 -h 360 -fps 25 | cvlc -vvv
stream:///dev/stdin --sout '#rtp{sdp=rtsp://:8554}' :demux=h264 OBS!
This will not work with **sudo crontab -e** as vlc only run as
regular user (pi works fine)

2. Adding only execution-line into rc.local

I have not tried this, but a collegue got this to work with vlc on raspberry. This way you only have to add one string to rc.local with a pause before the string, like this:

(sleep 5;su - pi -c "raspivid -o - -t 0 -n -w 640 -h 480 -fps 15 | cvlc -vvv stream:///dev/stdin --sout '#rtp{sdp=rtsp://:8554/}' :demux=h264")&

There may be more ways to do this, but this is what I have found out so far.

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