Webcam turns on/off randomly

Bug #1001132 reported by Andres Gonzalez V. on 2012-05-18
10
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
laptop-mode-tools (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

In my new install of ubuntu 12.04, The webcam light indicator starts flashing randomly, as if the camera is turned on by itself. This happened before only when i logged in, and also when i opened gmail on firefox / chrome, but now it happens at random. My previous workaround was 'turning off' the camera using cheese, but now even this is not working. I have a Thinkpad SL400 with a fresh install of ubuntu 12.04.

This somehow seems to be related to the power manager. If i plug the laptop to the charger, the camera light turns on.

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. It seems that your bug report is not filed about a specific source package though, rather it is just filed against Ubuntu in general. It is important that bug reports be filed about source packages so that people interested in the package can find the bugs about it. You can find some hints about determining what package your bug might be about at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/FindRightPackage. You might also ask for help in the #ubuntu-bugs irc channel on Freenode.

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tags: added: bot-comment

This seems to be related to laptop-mode-tools. I uninstalled this package and so far everything seems to be acting normally.

affects: ubuntu → laptop-mode-tools (Ubuntu)

On Friday 18 May 2012 03:10 PM, Launchpad Bug Tracker wrote:
> You have been subscribed to a public bug:
>
> In my new install of ubuntu 12.04, The webcam light indicator starts
> flashing randomly, as if the camera is turned on by itself. This
> happened before only when i logged in, and also when i opened gmail on
> firefox / chrome, but now it happens at random. My previous workaround
> was 'turning off' the camera using cheese, but now even this is not
> working. I have a Thinkpad SL400 with a fresh install of ubuntu 12.04.
>
> This somehow seems to be related to the power manager. If i plug the
> laptop to the charger, the camera light turns on.
That's because laptop-mode-tools, by default, enables power saving
measures for all devices that broadcast it. In your case, the webcam
driver broadcasts that it can do power saving, where as in reality, it
is not. You might want to also report it as a kernel driver bug.

As for the solution, removing laptop-mode-tools is one option, which you
have already done. The other option is to disable powersavings for this
device by finding its usb ID (using lsusb command) and adding it to
laptop-mode-tools' blacklist section in
/etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/usb-autosuspend.conf config file.

--
Ritesh Raj Sarraf
RESEARCHUT - http://www.researchut.com
"Necessity is the mother of invention."

I had a similar problem. The webcam led flashed constantly. Apparently is caused by the flash plugin Chrome uses by default (libpepflashplayer.so).
Open a tab and enter "about:plugins" or "chrome://plugins/" in the address bar. Once the page loads click the "+Details" in the up right corner to see the files implementing the flash plugin. Disable "libpepflashplayer.so" but keep "libflashplayer.so" enabled. Restart Chrome and the webcam led will not flash.

Source:
http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/chrome/TU74PFU9NNQ/RG7ey9fYAo4J

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in laptop-mode-tools (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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