7.6.1. Name

VIDIOC_DBG_G_REGISTER - VIDIOC_DBG_S_REGISTER - Read or write hardware registers

7.6.2. Synopsis


int ioctl(int fd, VIDIOC_DBG_G_REGISTER, struct v4l2_dbg_register *argp)


int ioctl(int fd, VIDIOC_DBG_S_REGISTER, const struct v4l2_dbg_register *argp)

7.6.3. Arguments


File descriptor returned by open().


Pointer to struct v4l2_dbg_register.

7.6.4. Description


This is an Experimental API Elements interface and may change in the future.

For driver debugging purposes these ioctls allow test applications to access hardware registers directly. Regular applications must not use them.

Since writing or even reading registers can jeopardize the system security, its stability and damage the hardware, both ioctls require superuser privileges. Additionally the Linux kernel must be compiled with the CONFIG_VIDEO_ADV_DEBUG option to enable these ioctls.

To write a register applications must initialize all fields of a struct v4l2_dbg_register except for size and call VIDIOC_DBG_S_REGISTER with a pointer to this structure. The match.type and match.addr or match.name fields select a chip on the TV card, the reg field specifies a register number and the val field the value to be written into the register.

To read a register applications must initialize the match.type, match.addr or match.name and reg fields, and call VIDIOC_DBG_G_REGISTER with a pointer to this structure. On success the driver stores the register value in the val field and the size (in bytes) of the value in size.

When match.type is V4L2_CHIP_MATCH_BRIDGE, match.addr selects the nth non-sub-device chip on the TV card. The number zero always selects the host chip, e. g. the chip connected to the PCI or USB bus. You can find out which chips are present with the ioctl VIDIOC_DBG_G_CHIP_INFO ioctl.

When match.type is V4L2_CHIP_MATCH_SUBDEV, match.addr selects the nth sub-device.

These ioctls are optional, not all drivers may support them. However when a driver supports these ioctls it must also support ioctl VIDIOC_DBG_G_CHIP_INFO. Conversely it may support VIDIOC_DBG_G_CHIP_INFO but not these ioctls.

VIDIOC_DBG_G_REGISTER and VIDIOC_DBG_S_REGISTER were introduced in Linux 2.6.21, but their API was changed to the one described here in kernel 2.6.29.

We recommended the v4l2-dbg utility over calling these ioctls directly. It is available from the LinuxTV v4l-dvb repository; see https://linuxtv.org/repo/ for access instructions.

type v4l2_dbg_match
struct v4l2_dbg_match



See Chip Match Types for a list of possible types.

union {




Match a chip by this number, interpreted according to the type field.



Match a chip by this name, interpreted according to the type field. Currently unused.


type v4l2_dbg_register
struct v4l2_dbg_register

struct v4l2_dbg_match


How to match the chip, see v4l2_dbg_match.



The register size in bytes.



A register number.



The value read from, or to be written into the register.

Chip Match Types



Match the nth chip on the card, zero for the bridge chip. Does not match sub-devices.



Match the nth sub-device.

7.6.5. Return Value

On success 0 is returned, on error -1 and the errno variable is set appropriately. The generic error codes are described at the Generic Error Codes chapter.


Insufficient permissions. Root privileges are required to execute these ioctls.