I know to take a picture you type into the command line: fswebcam name.jpg. And a photo will be taken and saved to the file name.jpg.

But I want to see the picture I am taking. Like how you do it on a photo, you aim and shoot.

How can I do this on a Rasperry Pi 3B with a USB webcam?

  • 1
    For example fswebcam -|display The display tool is part of the ImageMagick (alternative: GraphicsMagick) package. You need to be more specific in your question and also, this question isn't very specific to the Raspberry Pi.
    – Janka
    Jun 4, 2018 at 17:45
  • Nothing happen. It just said Writing JPEG image to '-'. What does that mean? Jun 4, 2018 at 18:44
  • According to the manpage, it should write the captured image to stdout. The pipe symbol | then redirects stdout into stdin of the next program in the pipeline, display, which displays the received image data. But it seems the manpage of fswebcam is wrong then. Try without the -, maybe that works as intended with your version of fswebcam.
    – Janka
    Jun 4, 2018 at 18:51
  • Do you use Raspbian Stretch Lite (try raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/78119/78211 ) or a desktop environment (which one)?
    – Fabian
    Jun 4, 2018 at 19:07
  • @Fabian, I use LXPanel 0.9.3 Jun 5, 2018 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


You could use mplayer to watch the video stream, and press "s" to take a snapshot.

  • how to i download a launch the mplayer? what is the command for it? Jun 5, 2018 at 13:48
  • "apt-get install mplayer". I do have "deb deb-multimedia.org stretch main non-free" in my /etc/apt/sources.list. That is "h t t p : / / www.deb-multimedia.org" Jun 5, 2018 at 13:51
  • @mostvenerablesir In future please use a search engine before you ask a live human being to spend their time explaining things to you. google.ca/search?q=mplayer
    – goldilocks
    Jun 5, 2018 at 13:52
  • 1
    only root can add new packages to your system. You need to be "system administrator". "stretch main non-free" indicates what debian version and kind of packages I want to retrieve from deb-multimedia.org. Also, if you're that new, mplayer is not the right program for you, you should find an equivalent with a graphical interface. Perhaps the 3B can handle VLC. Jun 5, 2018 at 14:07
  • 1
    Better have a look at a couple of these articles: duckduckgo.com/?q=mplayer+watch+webcam&t=ftas&ia=web and if you're not satisfied with the result, show exactly what command you tried. Just "mplayer" on its own won't do. Jun 5, 2018 at 16:48

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