Fixin Raspistill and Raspivid for Headless Streaming on the Raspberry Pi

Recently I got 2 Raspberry Pi Camera modules for my Raspberry Pi boards for some projects I have in mind. I was sad to find out I could not stream unless I had a monitor connected to the Pi and after some additional digging I found out that the initial version of the tools Raspistill and Raspivid the no preview option was broken causing it to not work. After some digging in the forums and trial and error I found how to fix it while the tools are updated and added to the package repo. Plus it was a good exercise in compiling files for ARM.

Update your system applications and download the required software to compile userland:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install git gcc build-essential cmake vlc

Download and configure sources

Create a folder to hold development files and clone the latest userland for raspian.

cd ~
mkdir Development
git clone git://
cd userland

Create the proper make files:

sed -i 's/if (DEFINED CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE)/if (NOT DEFINED CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE)/g' makefiles/cmake/arm-linux.cmake

Fix Raspistill

Open Raspistill command source file at line 1034:

nano +1034 host_applications/linux/apps/raspicam/RaspiStill.c

Modify the line from:

MMAL_STATUS_T status = -1;



Fix Raspivid

Open the raspivid source file at line 852:

nano +852 host_applications/linux/apps/raspicam/RaspiVid.c

Modify the line from:

MMAL_STATUS_T status = -1;



Build and Install the Latest Userland

Configure a build folder and build and install the userland binaries. This should take around 30 to 45 minutes:

mkdir build
cd build
sudo cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
sudo make
sudo make install

You should now be able to create a steam with VLC and connect to it on a headless system using the -n parameter for no preview:

raspivid -o - -t -1 -w 920 -h 540-n | cvlc -vvv --network-caching=0 stream:///dev/stdin --sout '#rtp{sdp=rtsp://:8554/}' :demux=h264