opencv videocapture on beaglebone black

Has anybody managed to capture video from a usb webcam on a BBB with any recent Linux distribution using OpenCV cv::VideoCapture functions?

I’m using a Logitech C615 which works perfectly with OpenCV on x86 PCs and on a Raspberry Pi 2 (a little slow but it works) running the latest Raspbian Jessie image.

But I haven’t yet managed to get anything but completely black images running the same program on my BBB. I’ve tried it with a recent Arch Linux image. I’ve tried Ubuntu 14.04, Debian 7.9 and 8.3 (with a few different kernels) from BeagleBoard. Nothing! No problems doing anything else in OpenCV – it can load and display individual images and videos from files, just not from the camera. And in all of these installations I can capture video from the camera with other programs (using v4l2) – just not with OpenCV.

I’ve seen Derek Molloy’s videos demonstrating use of OpenCV on a BBB – but he was running it under Angstrom, and as far as I can see the last Angstrom distro was at least 3 years ago.

Any suggestions for something more recent?

By the way, here’s a sample of a program that’s fails to capture any video on the BBB (it displays the frame size and then just gives a series of “select timeout” messages):

#include <opencv2/highgui/highgui.hpp>

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
cv::VideoCapture cap;;

if(!cap.isOpened()) {
std::cout << “Did not connect to camera.” << std::endl;;
return -1;

double dWidth = cap.get(CV_CAP_PROP_FRAME_WIDTH);
double dHeight = cap.get(CV_CAP_PROP_FRAME_HEIGHT);

std::cout << "Frame size: " << dWidth << " x " << dHeight << std::endl;

while(1) {
cv::Mat frame;
bool bSuccess =;
if(!bSuccess) {
std::cout << “failed to read frame” << std::endl;
cv::imshow(“MyVideo”, frame);
if(cv::waitKey(30) >= 0) break;

return 0;

Can’t get much simpler than that.

Sorry, that wasn’t 100% accurate. When I run that program on the BBB (over ssh from a PC in my lan), it writes the frame size to stdout, then after 10-15 seconds it opens a gray window (sometimes the window immediately opens to the correct size, sometimes opens a tiny window that grows to the correct size after a few seconds), then about 5 seconds later it displays the entirely black frame in that window. I’ve left it open for a few minutes, it remains black. Now, after I click on that window to raise it, hitting any key should cause the program to quit. But I have to keep hitting keys repeatedly for about a minute before that happens.

I should also mention that I’m currently running the lxqt jessie image with linux-image-4.1.17-ti-r48. I get the same results with 4.1.17-bone19 and 4.1.15-ti-r43.

I can’t use the rt kernels because those make /dev/video0 even more unstable – frequently can’t open the camera at all and can’t do a soft reboot.

I went through this a few months ago and got nowhere. The problem seems to be in the uvc driver. To troubleshoot outside of openCV I installed v4l-utils fswebcam gpicview guvcview and permuted available kernels and never could get image capture to work for more than one frame. I posted a thread about it here at the time. I gave up and got another RPi2 for this project instead. I did have success with Derek Molloy’s examples on the old Angstrom image, but Angstrom is too old and has been abandoned, so I didn’t want to use it.

It anyone else stumbles on this the solution is:

sudo rmmod uvcvideo && sudo modprobe uvcvideo nodrop=1 timeout=5000