I am not sure if this is an appropriate question to ask but I am really intimidated by security concerns, so here we go.

Is there any way I can check which programs (like Google Chrome, Skype, etc.) are currently (at particular moment, not in general) using my laptop's camera or speakers or microphone. For example, there could be some malware installed by some program which opens up a connection and send the live microphone recording every now and then. Is there any way of finding out which software/programs are using which resources (resources here mean - audio, camera, etc.) at a given time.

Current OS: Ubuntu

1 Answer 1


The easiest way is to use pavucontrol, which is similar to the Windows volume control.

From the terminal run pavucontrol; if it is not installed you will need to install it using sudo apt-get install pavucontrol.

This will give you a "Volume Control" interface. Playback has a "Show" dropdown box which can be "All Streams", "Applications", "Virtual Streams". If you have "Applications" selecting, it will display the list of applications using the sound output.

Likewise, under "Recording", it will display whether or not anything is active.

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