disclaimer: I am new to OpenCV and Raspberry Pi, although I have a fair amount of experience with linux systems in general

Here is what I am attempting to accomplish:

  • I am trying to use a Raspberry Pi with OpenCV (version 3.0.0) to read a live video stream from a GoPro (or any camera with a live video output).

Here is my setup:

  • I have am running Raspbian 3.18.16
  • I have an STK1160 video capture card (USB connection)
  • I have read that in my version of Raspbian, the necessary drivers for the STK1160 (v4l2) are pre-installed. I have verified this with man v4l2-ctl

My problem:

  • When I try to load the driver with sudo modprobe bcm2835-v4l2, I get the following error: modprobe: ERROR: could not insert 'bcm2835_v4l2': Operation not permitted. I am able to read in video with the camera, so it is not an issue with the camera's connection (however, the video feed is bad and looks like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHOFd74NCD0 must be a problem with the driver?)

  • In addition, when I run dmesg I get the following error:

bcm2835-v4l2: error -1 while loading driver

I've spent about two weeks searching for an answer to this problem and the closest issue that I've found to my problem is on this link: Camera, Ubuntu, modprobe bcm2835-v4l2 ERROR: could not insert 'bcm2835_v4l2': Operation not permitted

This user seems to have a very similar problem. However, I have a Raspberry Pi and I am not running Ubuntu. (I tried to ask this question on that thread but I don't have enough "reputation" yet).

Has anyone encountered this issue with a Raspberry Pi before?


  • I'd be pretty amazed if the Pi could handle a live video feed via a USB dongle. It is not very powerful. Have you seen any reports of success?
    – joan
    Jun 26, 2015 at 17:55
  • Yea, I know someone who used the same model USB video capture card and a raspberry pi to capture live video. I am building off their project - only first I have to get it to work again! I should mention that I'm hoping to read in (and analyze) video at around 1fps.
    – nuskita97
    Jun 26, 2015 at 18:29
  • bcm2835-v4l2 is the driver for the official camera module , not a generic V4L2 driver
    – flakeshake
    Jan 23, 2016 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


SOLVED: with the command lsmod, you can see which drivers are installed. I had v4l2_common installed. I successfully loaded this driver with sudo modprobe v4l2_common (insert correct driver).

And yes, the pi can handle a live video feed!

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