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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Webcam - video surveillance / HELP



BassKozz
December 15th, 2008, 05:18 PM
I am looking to purchase a webcam that I'd like to setup on my home Ubuntu NAS (on 24/7) so that it will record video when it detects motion, and upload that video to a remote FTP server (in case the person decides to steal my desktop).

So this is a two part question:

What's the best webcam to buy for this sort of setup?
- I am not looking for anything fancy, i.e. I don't need pan/tilt/zoom support
- Are there any webcams that come with Ubuntu/Linux drivers, or Software?

If the camera comes with Linux software you can disregard the second question
Is there Linux software available that can do this for me, and if so is there a list of compatible webcams?

TiA,
-BassKozz

Bunx
December 15th, 2008, 05:34 PM
I've read that Logitech webcams tend to have no problems with Linux. Do some research though. I have a Creative webcam and the generic drivers worked fine for it.

Hospadar
December 15th, 2008, 05:35 PM
This might help:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Webcam

I don't know how exactly you'd work the motion sensing.
I'd assume you'd probably be writing a script or program to handle the actual recording and ftp-ing.
I very much doubt there is any linux software already out there to do just what you want to do.

Assuming you have a camera that works, and a motion sensor that you can detect the state of (either independently, or by virtue of the camera being on or off), I don't think it would be all that difficult. (routinely check if the camera is running, if so, record, then send to ftp, or better yet, use ftpfs/sftpfs to mount your remote location so as soon as you start recording data is landing on your remote server.

Which leads me to think that either
a)
you'd need to find a camera with a motion sensor on it, and be able to detect when the motion sensor detects (if it just turns the camera on and off, that might not be so hard)

b)
you'd need a separate motion detector which you can detect the state of (I.E. motion/no motion) and control your camera accordingly. Maybe you can find instructions online to build a motion sensor, or you can find a commercial motion sensor for not too much that has some linux support.
Maybe too you could hack a motion sensor light to turn your camera on and off (motion sensor triggered, power goes to solid state switch, turns on usb power).

BassKozz
December 15th, 2008, 05:44 PM
This type of software has existed for WinBlows for years now, I remember having a web cam setup on my XP box a few years back that could do this flawlessly, I am surprised that such a thing doesn't exist for Ubuntu :(

BassKozz
December 15th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Wait, I think I found it: http://www.zoneminder.com
:D

sleepingdragon
December 15th, 2008, 07:24 PM
Logitech cameras work great, but you can download motion from the repos that streams video from a webcam over to a webpage (it has it's own internal web server). Motion will also fire up other commands when motion is detected (such as sending an e-mail).

BassKozz
December 15th, 2008, 07:45 PM
Logitech cameras work great, but you can download motion from the repos that streams video from a webcam over to a webpage (it has it's own internal web server). Motion will also fire up other commands when motion is detected (such as sending an e-mail).

Would you happen to know the model number(s) that supports these features?

BDNiner
December 15th, 2008, 08:00 PM
Yes Zoneminder is just of the CCTV options for linux. I would do a google search but at the last company i worked for there were 3 serious linux CCTV alternative that they were researching. One was zoneminder, i don't remember the other 2's names but i do remember that the PC would boot straight into the CCTV interface. so no linux desktop would load. This was great since they where supposed to be dedicated to recording video and sound.

I believe that Zoneminder works with a lot of dedicated capture cards like the ones from Avermedia. but that is only if you are going to go as far as running co-ax for the camera system.

http://www.zoneminder.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_hardware#USB_Cameras

This is the list of camera's that zoneminder supports.

BassKozz
December 15th, 2008, 08:06 PM
Yes Zoneminder is just of the CCTV options for linux. I would do a google search but at the last company i worked for there were 3 serious linux CCTV alternative that they were researching. One was zoneminder, i don't remember the other 2's names but i do remember that the PC would boot straight into the CCTV interface. so no linux desktop would load. This was great since they where supposed to be dedicated to recording video and sound.

I believe that Zoneminder works with a lot of dedicated capture cards like the ones from Avermedia. but that is only if you are going to go as far as running co-ax for the camera system.

Yeah, after further review, this is a little bit more in-depth than I need...
I am only going to have 1 USB webcam connected, so I think I am looking for a simpler solution such as the one sleepingdragon mentioned...

sleepingdragon
December 15th, 2008, 08:08 PM
You can find a list of compatible webcams here (http://ubuntuhcl.org/browse/search+webcams?category=33). So long as the webcam works correctly, then motion will be able to use it for motion detection. motion uses anything that can run on the v4l (video 4 linux) drivers, which means that motion is independent of whatever webcam you buy and you can use the full features of motion. Here is a list of motion's features (http://www.lavrsen.dk/twiki/bin/view/Motion/MotionFeatureList)

BDNiner
December 15th, 2008, 08:18 PM
yeah i guess it is kinda overkill for a single camera setup. Just be carefull, recording video can be pretty taxing on a video since it is encoding on the fly. Make sure to stop recording when you are sitting infront of the computer!

sleepingdragon
December 15th, 2008, 08:20 PM
yeah i guess it is kinda overkill for a single camera setup. Just be carefull, recording video can be pretty taxing on a video since it is encoding on the fly. Make sure to stop recording when you are sitting infront of the computer!

motion is has a very small footprint when is comes to CPU demand. my 2.4 Celeron didn't see it go above 1% usage.

BDNiner
December 15th, 2008, 08:25 PM
Really, wasn't the hard disk access slower since it is always trying to write data?

sleepingdragon
December 15th, 2008, 08:31 PM
well, it can depend on the webcam resolution, and the fact that you're not trying to encode full 24-bit colour, it can make a considerable difference to CPU use. If you stick to the usual 320x240 resolution with 16-bit colour, you can get away with a slower CPU. You can also drop the framerate (there's no need for 25fps!), and the video bitrate can also be dropped due to the smaller resolution. Drive usage was hardly noticeable...

BDNiner
December 16th, 2008, 05:31 PM
Yeah there is never a need for framerates that high. The DVR systems that i have worked with would divide 60fps between 8-12 cameras. But they were dedicate machines. I will hook up an old webcam and give motion a try. It seems like a good program for this situation.

Mattie03
February 5th, 2009, 05:31 AM
Video Surveillance Equipment should by now be common knowledge that the camera is primarily a tool of social control.
____________________________________
The used of outdoor security system (http://www.video-surveillance-guide.com/wireless-outdoor-surveillance-systems.htm).

dustigroove
November 17th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Video Surveillance Equipment should by now be common knowledge that the camera is primarily a tool of social control.

Your point?

ukripper
November 17th, 2009, 03:50 PM
motion should be enough for your needs. http://www.lavrsen.dk/twiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHome

Zoneminder will be full-fledged CCTV solution and is overkill in your situation.