External USB web cam on Gen12 under Ubuntu

I have an external USB web cam that I am trying to run on my Gen12 laptop. I am running Ubuntu 22.04. The camera is not recognized on the computer. It doesn’t show when I do an ‘lsusb’ listing.
That same camera is running perfectly fine on a Gen 11 laptop (also running Ubuntu 22.04)
Plugging the camera into a different USB port on the Gen 12 laptop showed one occasion where lsusb actually saw the camera (but program had issues displaying anything - program is ‘cheese’)
After messing about with moving adapter cards all over the place, the camera seems to now be recognized most (if not all) of the time in lsusb. Unfortunately the ‘Cheese’ program still reports ‘no device found’. Again, this camera works fine on a Gen 11 laptop.
Anybody run into this problem before ? Suggestions ?

Edit: On occasion the program (cheese) recognizes the camera but reports ‘there was an error playing video from the webcam’ … the entire thing is very flaky :frowning:
Oh, the internal camera works just fine with cheese …

Another edit: well there were three occasions when Cheese actually displayed video but now we are back to ‘error playing video’
I installed ‘guvcview’ and it too reports errors although it does recognize the camera … and as of a minute ago, both programs have decided to work.

Hi @Jens

Open a terminal window (Activities, search for Terminal), then paste in:

sudo apt install v4l-utils

Now run:

v4l2-ctl --list-devices

You should be looking at something similar to (my USB camera is a Logitech BRIO):

Now if this also comes up as flaky, as in, you run that command when the camera is failing and it doesn’t show it in the list shown above…then I’d test out a different slot for your USB expansion card; if this also fails, I’d reach out to support as you may have a bad USB expansion card.

Lastly, make sure the webcam is directly connected - no USB extension cables.

Thank you, for reasons unknown, the camera seems to work now. I did try different USB cards as well as different slots before and there was no definitive ‘yes it works’ or ‘no it doesn’t work’
I have had weird issues with USB before so it’s not completely unexpected … but for now it works.


Glad to hear it’s working now. If it happens again and you installed the package described above, run this immediately so we can see what might be happen. For next time, of course.

v4l2-ctl --list-devices

For now, thrilled this is working! :slight_smile:

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It was nice while it lasted - we are back to the USB camera not being recognized.
Running v4l2-ctl – list-devices gets me 'cannot open device /dev/video0, exiting.
A few minutes later things started to work again and now I am back to the camera not being recognized :frowning:
Running lsusb I see the camera listed as ‘General general webcam’
Multiple reboots did not fix anything - sometimes the camera displays a picture using ‘cheese’ in Ubuntu and sometimes cheese reports ‘no device found’

is this happening upon a resume from suspend?

No. Also, the computer has suspend disabled if it makes a difference.

Should not make any difference there. To be overly clear, this is a known working camera with an intact cable? I am sure it is, but I have to ask.

That aside, the very next time this happens, please run:

journalctl --since="15 minutes ago" > ~/journal.log

Then message me directly with the journal.log that will appear in your home directory.