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I want to find a cheap solution for video surveillance, and I'm considering web cams. However, there's tons of software for web cams out there, and I have no clue what is good and what is not.

Here are my requirements:

  • Open Source (preferably, but at least free)
  • Works on any Unix based platform
  • Motion triggered
  • Can save footage for a limited amount of time (say, 1 month)
  • Uploads footage to a server

Any good tips?

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Webcam streaming is supported on linux via the Video4Linux stack. There are a lot of applications on linux supporting Video4Linux. So look for programs supporting this. –  Roalt Sep 10 '10 at 6:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

We use ZoneMinder, it allows for motion detection, with recording, works with a ton of cameras including a bunch that are IP. We have a single server that have 15 cameras attached to it and it works like a charm. All the cameras are PoE and then hung them around the building, some are at remote sites that connect back to the main network, and they work as well. We even have been testing some hi-def ones that work great. Some of the nicer IP enabled cameras will multi-cast as well so that Zone Minder can be watching one stream and then with a STB or VLC you can watch the native feeds.

As for the upload part you have a couple of options, you can have a simple script, or go all the way and have an NFS mount. You could even use ChironFS mount to have a local and remote copy so that it would be all transparent, and if the remote location then Zone Minder wouldn't care.

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Not sure if cheese will meet all your requirements but at least its Linux and FOSS. see http://projects.gnome.org/cheese/ I've used it but I don't remember seeing a motion sensing option. It does more of a timer sequence thing if I recall.

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