Camera Plugins Installation

Camera plugins are libraries required to use your camera with Metavision SDK. They are distributed by camera makers. For some explanations on camera plugins architecture, check our Camera Plugin page.

Camera Plugins Deployment

The method to retrieve and install the camera plugins, depends on the manufacturer of your camera.

Prophesee EVKs

For EVKs manufactured by Prophesee, the plugin comes pre-included in the deployment:

  • Metavision SDK users installing from binary packages/installers already have the plugin installed and ready to use.

  • Metavision SDK Pro users or those compiling OpenEB have the code of the plugin included in the repository which will be compiled along with SDK modules. For this plugin to be visible from Metavision SDK, it should be deployed in the system paths or the MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH environment variable should be set as explained below in the next section.


Prophesee camera plugin is coming with a metavision_psee_hw_layer library allowing application developers to access device specific implementation of facilities as explained in the Hardware Layer Library page. This library file should remain in the folder where the Prophesee plugin is stored and should be moved along with the plugin when the plugin is moved.

Partner’s Cameras

For Third-party cameras, plugins should be retrieved from suppliers. For those plugins to be visible from Metavision SDK, the MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH environment variable should be set as explained in the supplier’s documentation and described also in the Camera Plugins Search Path section.

IMX636 variants emulated plugins

In addition to the IMX636, Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS) and Prophesee offer a range of similar event-based sensors. These sensors are detailed on the SSS Event-based Vision Sensor webpage and can be summarized as follows:

  • IMX636: resolution of 1280*720 (HD), very low latency (e.g. less than 100 microseconds @ 1 Klux on a 9x9 ROI)

  • IMX637: resolution of 640x512 (VGA), very low latency (e.g. less than 100 microseconds @ 1 Klux on a 9x9 ROI)

  • IMX646: resolution of 1280*720 (HD), low latency (e.g. less than 800 microseconds @ 1 Klux on a 9x9 ROI)

  • IMX647: resolution of 640x512 (VGA), low latency (e.g. less than 800 microseconds @ 1 Klux on a 9x9 ROI)

Currently, Prophesee offers EVKs exclusively with the IMX636 sensor. However, by using specific camera plugins, it is possible to use the EVK4 HD (IMX636) to emulate the behavior of the three other IMX636 variants.

Here is the procedure to follow for this emulation:

  • Download the archive matching your SDK version and Operating System from our IMX636 variants emulation plugins KC page

  • Include the path where you extracted the archive in the MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH

  • Connect your EVK4 and launch Metavision Studio. When you open the camera, you should be presented with the 3 emulated variants in addition to the default EVK4 camera plugin:

Plugin choice in Metavision Studio

Camera Plugins Search Path

Camera plugins are searched in the following folders listed by order of priority (note that this list can be customized as explained in the next section):

  • the folder list provided by the environment variable MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH (note that folders are separated by ‘:’ under Unix and ‘;’ under Microsoft environment)

  • the system paths in which the plugins were deployed: <install-prefix>/lib/metavision/hal/plugins/ (i.e. /usr/lib/metavision/hal/plugins/ by default on Ubuntu OS)

To specify the location of the plugins, you should customize the MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH environment variable:


export MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH=/path/to/my/plugins/


set "MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH=C:\path\to\my\plugins\"

If you want to permanently set this environment variable:

  • on Linux, you should include the export in your ~/.bashrc

  • on Windows, right click on your computer in the file browser and select properties. Then, click Advanced system settings in the left hand side bar and click Environment Variables. Finally, add the MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH variable in the System variables section.

Camera Plugins Search Mode

It is possible to customize the paths where plugins are searched by Metavision SDK with the environment variable MV_HAL_PLUGIN_SEARCH_MODE that can take the following values:

  • PLUGIN_PATH_ONLY: consider only paths defined by MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH (the system paths are ignored)

  • SYSTEM_PATHS_ONLY: consider only system paths (paths defined by MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH are ignored)

  • DEFAULT: check both system paths and the ones defined by MV_HAL_PLUGIN_PATH