A Weird Imagination

Virtual web cam using GStreamer and v4l2loopback

The problem#

I want to make my smartphone's camera appear as an actual camera device on my desktop so any application (primarily Discord) can use it like it were a normal USB web cam.

My previous post introduced minimal-webrtc-gstreamer, which got as far as getting the video stream from any web browser into a GStreamer pipeline, which reduces the problem to outputting a GStreamer pipeline into a virtual web cam device.

The solution#

Download minimal-webrtc-gstreamer and install v4l2loopback. Then run

sudo modprobe v4l2loopback video_nr="42"\
    exclusive_caps=1 max_buffers=2
    --url "https://apps.aweirdimagination.net/camera/"\
    --receiveVideoTo /dev/video42\
    --sendAudio false

You can test by watching the stream with

gst-launch-1.0 v4l2src device=/dev/video42 ! autovideosink

Note that some applications, including the current desktop release of Discord may not support the virtual camera, showing a solid black square or failing to connect to it at all. It should work in the latest Chromium/Chrome browser, including for the Discord web app.

When done, remove the virtual camera device:

sudo modprobe -r v4l2loopback

The details#

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