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Webcam is not working on skype with Ubuntu 12.04

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Casual Adventurer

I posted a week ago that I had solved the problem by downloading Skype 4.0 for Linux. However it turns out I spoke too soon. The video just freezes in Skype, though it is fine in Cheese, the Ubuntu webcam app. So I'm still high and dry and have to resort to booting Windows, darn it.


I am running 64 bit Xubuntu 12.04 on an AMD quadcore system.

17 Replies
Casual Adventurer

bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ skype'

64 Bit
bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype'


Make a launcher and try either of the above.


Below may help you.

Copy and paste the line below into the Terminal and press Enter.

sudo gedit /usr/local/bin/skype

This will open your editor with a blank text file, copy and paste the following lines into your blank text file.

Use lines below for x86(32bit)

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ /usr/bin/skype


Use lines below for x64(64bit)

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ /usr/bin/skype

Save the file and close it.

Now to make the file executable, copy and paste the following line into Terminal.

sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/skype

Press Enter and close the Terminal, start Skype and webcam works.

Now your webcam is working you can optionally (to improve the quality of your webcam picture), install v4l2ucp(video for linux 2 universal control panel) from the Software Manager.

Type "v4l2ucp" in the search box and then select it.

After installation go to

Menu> Preferences > Video4Linux Control Panel

This will allow you to adjust the Contrast, Gamma, Auto Gain and Sharpness of your video. Simply click "Preview" and adjust the sliders to suit your requirements.

If your webcam has a built-in microphone, to set it to default for use with Skype, go to

Menu> Preferences > Sound

Click on the input tab and select your webcam microphone from the choices listed for input devices.

(Make sure microphone volume is not muted).

As an alternative if the above fix does not work try using the lines below instead.

Use lines below for x86(32bit)

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ /usr/bin/skype


Use lines below for x64(64bit)

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ /usr/bin/skype

Make file executable as above.

Tested on Linux Mint 9(Isadora) 32 and 64 bit, Linux Mint 10(Julia) 32 and 64 bit

Skype with Logitech E1000 and Genius VideoCAM GE111 webcams

1.1. Skype

This information might be for the old versions of Skype and obsolete in 2010 and later

Go to main menu, System, Preferences, Menus: Applications, Internet, Items: Skype, Properties, and replace the Command with

bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ skype'

1.1.1. 64-bit

bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype'

If you get an error similar to the following:

ERROR: object '/usr/......../' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.

Check the correct path to "" on your system: Go to the menu places, "search for files" and search for "" Then, substitute the right path into the previous commands as follows:

bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/The/Right/Path/ skype'

If the above doesn't work then try running the command from a terminal and look at the output. If it is complaining about "error unexpected width / height in JPEG headerexpected: 320x240, header: 1600x1200" then try the following

bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ skype'

1.1.2. 64-bit

bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype'

If the above even doesn't work then try the following

bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ skype'

1.1.3. 64-bit

bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ /usr/bin/skype'

1.2. A clean start for skype

This can be tidied up by writing a small script in /usr/local/bin called skype that comes higher in the loading sequence that the script of the same name in /usr/bin/. That script is in charge of running skype; the new script loads the correct libraries then hands control to the former script.

In terminal type:

$ sudo gedit /usr/local/bin/skype

and paste the following 2 line code snippet into gedit:


save and close. Now back in terminal make it executable

$ sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/skype

Reboot type skype and the web cam just works. This was tested on Lucid with a Logitech Quick Cam Communicator.

Message 2 of 18 (28,168 Views)
Casual Adventurer
Download the Linux Static and then
# gksudo nautilus
enter your password and rename the File System/usr/bin/skype to skype.old
2. Copy the downloaded Skype Static and paste into the /usr/bin folder
3 Close all and check out the video settings in Skype Tools Options, see if all works.
The above is what I did and Logitech Quickcam works OK.
Good Luck.
Message 3 of 18 (28,134 Views)
Casual Adventurer

Hi Moshebagelfress,


Thanks for your response. I had previously put the following line into my /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop file:

Exec=bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ /usr/bin/skype "$@"'

That gave me video but it freezes for a few to many seconds then continues, then freezes, then continues. I also tried the line

Exec=bash -c 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ /usr/bin/skype'

but get the same results.

I have downloaded v4l2ucp but cannot find it in Menu->Preferences->Sound. I have Pulse Audio Volume control loaded and it gives me a Sound Input tab, where I can see the Webcam. 


My problem is not the sound but the video. Why does it freeze and not provide continuous video?


You provided a lot of bagels, I mean information and I'm not sure I applied the right changes.


I tried gstreamer-properties and the video tested fine. But, with guvcview the video freezes and messages are repeatedly displayed in the terminal, as follows:

Could not grab image (select timeout): Resource temporarily unavailable


If I wave my hands in front of the webcam the video unfreezes.


What gives?

Message 4 of 18 (28,132 Views)
Casual Adventurer
I tried this too, and get the same result. Video freezes unless I wave my hand near the webcam.
Message 5 of 18 (28,128 Views)
Casual Adventurer

Regarding the video freezing, I too have this and it unfreezes with a head waggle. I hope my head won't drop off one day :tongue:. But really I have a feeling that Microsoft Linux Skype's server must be on the moon due to time lagging. This is really what I think the Video freeze is. My dsl is 10 Megabit which really is enough for Skype calls. Skype Windows server must be nearby as there's no lagging/freezing.


Yes I do I like Bakels especially with Lox (Smoke Salmon) and Cream Cheese.



Message 6 of 18 (27,813 Views)
Casual Adventurer

Thanks, but that does not give me much comfort. I just read on that Skype doesn't care about providing a 64 bit version for Ubuntu. 

Message 7 of 18 (27,803 Views)
Casual Adventurer

I have concluded all my frustration by buying a Logitech C310 webcam and the video works OOB. Audio needs to be set up in the Ubuntu Pulse Audio Volume Control. The webcam needs to be set up in the Input devices tab and the Configuration tab. Then you're GTG (good to go).

Message 8 of 18 (26,274 Views)
Casual Adventurer

Yes in choosing a linux distro I had to think twice what might work with Skype and what not. Sound was a problem also that I managed to overcome and I chose Ultimate Edition 3.4 which more than less took care of sound. I had a problem of the front mike not being recognised and the sound being tinny with the Logitech Quickcam built in webcam mike. Fortunately I managed to sort this out. Pulse with Skype works OK. I did think like a lot of people that ALSA was the answer, but the jury is still out on that one. 


From all this I learnt that sorting out sound monkey business can be a worse problem than video freezing.


I had a thought that some of the freezing video could be due to the sensativity of white light. These webcams all have auto exposure, and the linux versions may be prone to a white or overbright background. In Windows XP white out is also a problem and I mounted an NDX gray camera lens filter on a clothes peg clip mount which I swivel in front of the webcam in over bright light. This cuts down the glare drastically and the picture is sharp. 


Message 9 of 18 (26,216 Views)
Novel Tourist

my webcam is not working on skype with ubuntu 12.04

Message 10 of 18 (9,281 Views)
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