A complex camera support library for Linux, Android, and ChromeOS

Cameras are complex devices that need heavy hardware image processing operations. Control of the processing is based on advanced algorithms that must run on a programmable processor. This has traditionally been implemented in a dedicated MCU in the camera, but in embedded devices algorithms have been moved to the main CPU to save cost. Blurring the boundary between camera devices and Linux often left the user with no other option than a vendor-specific closed-source solution.

To address this problem the Linux media community has very recently started collaboration with the industry to develop a camera stack that will be open-source-friendly while still protecting vendor core IP. libcamera was born out of that collaboration and will offer modern camera support to Linux-based systems, including traditional Linux distributions, ChromeOS and Android.

Getting Started

To build and install:

meson build
cd build
ninja install


The following Debian/Ubuntu packages are required for building libcamera. Other distributions may have differing package names:

A C++ toolchain: [required]
Either {g++, clang}
for libcamera: [required]
meson ninja-build python3-yaml
for device hotplug enumeration: [optional]
pkg-config libudev-dev
for qcam: [optional]
qtbase5-dev libqt5core5a libqt5gui5 libqt5widgets5
for documentation: [optional]
python3-sphinx doxygen