I started picamera.start_preview() in Raspbian but I don't see the preview window which I thought was supposed to appear.

import picamera

cam = picamera.PiCamera()
<picamera.renderers.PiPreviewRenderer object at 0x766c1130>
  • Did the follow the instructions and test it according to this documentation? In particular, was the Pi off when you attached the camera? picamera.readthedocs.io/en/release-1.13/quickstart.html – Peter Jun 10 '17 at 21:03
  • @Peter Thanks. I looked at the link you shared but I think I've already done all of those things. It was probably not off when I originally connected the camera, but I restarted it 2x since then. I can take pictures and record video. I can even stream video over the LAN to my laptop, but I just can't get the preview window to show up in Raspberrian. – Hack-R Jun 10 '17 at 21:32
  • 2
    I'm not sure why that one functionality wouldn't work but others would. I recall having some quirks come up with start_preview() before on my own, but nothing from the docs jumps out at me at the moment. – Peter Jun 10 '17 at 21:38

If you're using your Raspberry Pi via VNC or SSH, you won't see any preview on your screen.

Now, you have two options.

  1. Try connecting using HDMI.
  2. Try turning on "Direct Capture mode". Follow these steps to do so:

Open the VNC Server dialog (on the RPi), then navigate to Menu > Options > Troubleshooting, and select "Enable experimental direct capture mode".


If you are connected with VNC viewer or SSH you won't see the preview. Try connecting to a display by HDMI and you should see the preview.

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