Does anybody have a glue why I can't get ffmpeg to record my webcam higher than 8 fps, with ffmpeg? I've tried Cheese and GUVCView, under various settings, but all I get is a still picture. I'm obviously doing this in Linux.

I've tried to force the framerate to 30fps, but then the resulting recording is at the wrong speed, too fast, like in a slapstick movie from the twenties.

My ffmpeg command:

ffmpeg -f alsa -i default -f v4l2 -s 1280x720 -r 30 -i /dev/video0 -c:a copy -b:v 2000k output.mkv

I thought I might record a video in the Web Camera application in Windows 10 - which works - examine the resulting video in ffmpeg, and try to mimick the codecs somehow. However I'm lost at how I can do that.

This is how ffmpeg describes the Windows recording:

Input #0, mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2, from 'prufaLenCam_160223.mp4': Metadata: major_brand : mp42 minor_version : 0 compatible_brands: mp41isom creation_time : 2016-02-23 07:56:11 Duration: 00:00:28.50, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 8116 kb/s Stream #0:0(und): Video: h264 (Main) (avc1 / 0x31637661), yuvj420p(pc), 1280x720 [SAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 7949 kb/s, 29.69 fps, 30 tbr, 30k tbn, 60 tbc (default) Metadata: creation_time : 2016-02-23 07:56:11 handler_name : VideoHandler encoder : AVC Coding Stream #0:1(und): Audio: aac (LC) (mp4a / 0x6134706D), 48000 Hz, stereo, fltp, 159 kb/s (default) Metadata: creation_time : 2016-02-23 07:56:11 handler_name : SoundHandler No pixel format specified, yuvj420p for H.264 encoding chosen. Use -pix_fmt yuv420p for compatibility with outdated media players.

Output from the Linux ffmpeg command tried:


  • Please show the complete console output from your ffmpeg command and not just an excerpt, and also show the output of v4l2-ctl --list-formats-ext.
    – llogan
    Feb 24, 2016 at 3:03
  • Just edited my question to include the output. I don't have v412-ctl installed. I believe the key was to use the mjpeg codec - see my own answer below. After I found out how to record my webcam in VLC, I think I even prefer that.
    – theodorn
    Feb 24, 2016 at 6:24

1 Answer 1


Did some more research, and believe I've solved the issue with this command:

ffmpeg -f alsa -i default -f v4l2 -c:v mjpeg -s 1280x720 -i /dev/video0 -t 30 -b:v 2000k test.mp4

Based on the information here - the last comment from the author of the question, but adapted for my own system and preferences.

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