I am looking for a simple solution to turn a standard webcam on a Windows or Linux PC into a source for webcam images in a website hosted on another machine. Ideally it implements a minimal web server, sitting idle until an image is requested by a browser visiting the site.

The various solutions I found sofar seem to be continuously reading images from the webcam and writing things out to disk, seriously impacting the overall performance of the host PC. This is not desirable in my application, as the host PC's are also performing other tasks.

Any suggestions or pointers to home-grown solutions?

7 Answers 7


See for example: Setting up a Live Webcam Feed.

  • This is again one of those "heavy weight" solutions. The problem is in the "live" part. I only need on-request images, and no live streaming.
    – Timo
    Jul 17, 2010 at 11:09
  • @Timo: This "heavy" solution doesn't impact too much the disk. The only on-request solution would be instant messaging, such as skype or ehow.com/how_6315532_use-yahoo-messenger-windows-vista.html.
    – harrymc
    Jul 17, 2010 at 11:20

Yawcam is free, simple and easy to use, and includes all these features:

  • Video streaming
  • Image snapshots
  • Built-in webserver
  • Motion detection
  • Ftp-upload
  • Text and image overlays
  • Password protection
  • Online announcements for communities
  • Scheduler for online time
  • Multi languages

enter image description here


This method should be fairly easy to modify for your preferred Linux distro. Obviously install methods, names etc will need to be modified, but you can easily give it a go.


Here is what I use to let my friends see my webcam: WebcamServer

It's an old project, but pretty simple to install and low on resources. All you need is a Linux machine, a webserver and a fixed IP. You can set up resolution and framerate, but it's pretty light both on PC and network. I have core2 duo and a simple broadband connection and if someone is watching it at 640x480 @ 10fps it's seemless.


This sourceforge query should help you.


If you only want to make the stream available to a limited set of users, try Skype or even Bambuser.


It seems a bit wasteful to leave a PC on all the time just to manage a camera.

Linksys makes a wifi enabled webcam http://homestore.cisco.com/en-us/cameras/linksys-WVC80N_stcVVproductId84737621VVcatId543809VVviewprod.htm?icid=home_linksys_camera_all&src2=home_linksys_camera_all

( a bit cheaper elsewhere) that seems to do what you need. It has a built in server that can serve up a motion jpeg or video feed, as well as the ability to FTP the video/image to another source.

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