How to fix raspivid '* failed to open vchiq instance'


You want to capture a video using raspivid, e.g. using a command like

raspivid -o vid.h264

but you only see this error message:

* failed to open vchiq instance

with no video being captured.

Quick solution:

Run raspivid using sudo:

sudo raspivid -o vid.h264

Now either the video will be captured or you will see another error message if there is another issue with your camera setup.

Better solution:

Add your user to the video group so you don’t have to run raspivid as root:

sudo usermod -a -G video $USER

You only need to do this once. After that, log out and log back in (or close your SSH session and connect again). If in doubt, restart the Raspberry Pi. See What does ’sudo usermod -a -G group $USER‘ do on Linux? for more details.

Now you will be able to capture video as normal user:

raspivid -o vid.h264