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Quick Start Guide


This page is mainly designed and developed for the Quick Start Guide of Arducam cameras on NVIDIA Jetson Nano and NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX. For another NVIDIA Jetson Platforms, please refer to the following index to land in the corresponding pages:

Quick Start Guide for Arducam Cameras on NVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano/NX
Quick Start Guide for Arducam Cameras on NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin

Hardware Connection

A. Locate the camera connector (CSI). It’s on the side of the carrier board, opposite to the GPIO pins.

B. Pull up on the plastic edges of the camera port. Do it gently to avoid pulling it off.

plastic edges pulled up jetson nano camera connector csi

C. Push in the camera ribbon. Make sure the contacts are facing the heatsinks.

Do not bend the flex cable, and make sure it’s firmly inserted into the bottom of the connector.

white camera ribbon cable contactsRibbon Cable Contacts – 15pin-15pin

white cable silver contacts facing heatsinksSilver Contacts facing inside to the heatsinks

white cable silver ribbon cable inserted into the bottom of the connectorRibbon cable fully inserted to the bottom of the CSI connector

D. Push the plastic connector down. Do it while holding the flex cable until the connector is back in place.


Supported Platforms and JetPack L4T versions

Please refer to the following doc for specific supported Platforms and JetPack versions:

Supported Platforms and JetPack Version - Arducam Camera for NVIDIA Jetson

Install driver

For the Jetvariety Camera, you need to install the following steps:

Jetvariety camera Board list:

Resolution Camera Module
0.3MP OV7251
2MP OV2311
1MP OV9281
2.3MP AR0234
18MP AR1820
21MP IMX230


Before you install the Jetvariety driver, please refer to the Jetpack suppourted version. Kindly note if your Jetpack version is not in the list of it, you need to re-burn your OS to the supported Jetpack version.

Step 1. Download the bash scripts

cd ~

Step 2. Install the driver

chmod +x
./ -m arducam

Use arducam_displayer app to access camera

1.Check and validate the camera connection

Make sure you have installed the camera driver before you proceed.

  • Check whether the camera is detected
ls /dev/video*

You should find new video devices from /dev/videoX (X might vary from 0 ~ N).

  • Check the video format supported

Install the v4l-utils package:

sudo apt-get install v4l-utils

Determine which format and resolution the current camera supported:

v4l2-ctl --list-formats-ext


2.Run the camera

Some of the video preview software tools like VLC player only supports formats like GRAY, YUV etc., it might not support Bayer format. In this case we provide a python demo script to illustrate how to open and preview our cameras with OpenCV. In the demo code the most important three steps should be followed.


The official SD Card Image provided by Nvidia comes with a Python version of OpenCV version 4.1.1.

Designate the VideoCapture apiPreference parameter as CAP_V4L2
Disable the RGB conversion
Shift the data bit to match with the camera real output bit width and do color conversion when necessary.

  • Install v4l2 python module

for Python3.x:

sudo python3  
sudo pip3 install v4l2-fix  

for Python2.7:

sudo python  
sudo pip install v4l2  


If you want to install pip for both python3.x and python2.7, install python3 pip first, then python2.7 pip, otherwise the pip command will be overwritten by pip3. You can use pip -- version and pip3 --version to check if the pip version is correct.

  • Download the demo code
git clone  
cd MIPI_Camera/Jetson/Jetvariety/example  
  • Check the help message of the parameters
python -d 0


  • Run the Demo

3.Read the sensor register

Arducam MIPI Camera driver for Jetson Nano support accessing the registers of the camera sensor and driver board by ioctl. Refer to rw_sensor.c and rw_sensor.pyfor an example of how to use it.

  • help file


  • demo

Read a single register

python -d 0 -r 0x3500

Read multiple registers

python -d 0 -r 0x3500 0x3501 0x3502

Write a single register

python -d 0 -r 0x3500 -v 0x01

Write multiple registers

python -d 0 -r 0x3500 0x3501 -v 0x01 0x02

Display in VLC


Some cameras support using VLC to capture images. But please notice that some formats will not be supported by VLC.

Before Using

Please first check if your camera formats can be supported.

# input the command to check the camera formats
sudo apt-get install -y v4l-utils
v4l2-ctl --list-formats-ext

Using VLC

Open VLC media player


  • Display the image

Press Ctrl+C


【Video device name】→ select "/dev/video0"→ click 【Play】.


  • Adjust exposure, gain, and frame rate

Press Ctrl+E, drag the sliders at "Exposure", "Gain" and "Frame_rate" to make adjustments under the "v4l2 control" tab.