Intended for people trying to configure 'Motion' with a mixture of cheap usb web cameras and IP cameras but can't get multiple and mixed cameras configured.
I couldn't find an example of configuration files for this type of set-up anywhere and guess you can't either. I assume you have motion installed and are up and running with one webcam.
This is just about the motion.conf and threadX.config files only.
I wanted the jpg/avi files in a different folder for each camera, and each camera to be viewed in a browser.
First the location of the .conf files, for Ubuntu the best place to put all 4 .conf files is in
for other distros they may be better of elsewhere, see the motion site for info.
When in the right location you do not need to specify where they are when you run motion, but you can actually put them anywhere you like and use the -c opt like this
motion -c /path-to-file/motion.conf
Most of my trouble was that the config files were not actually being found but motion doesn't tell you (this could have been my fault after misreading the website).
It was only when i ran motion in daemon mode did it actually tell me the files were missing and being skipped, motion still ran as such but not as i expected.
make sure the files are readable and writeable to you.
Multiple camera mode
Confusingly when using multiple cameras the motion.conf kinda changes it's purpose and simply holds all the global or common settings for all cameras and each camera will need it's own threadX.conf with it's individual settings.
With 3 cameras i needed the main motion.conf file and 3 threadX.conf files.
So that's 4 files in total, motion.conf which is now just a global setter plus thread1.conf thread2.conf and thread3.conf.
I ended up commented these out when i was testing but not totally sure if it helped.
It's prolly ok to leave motion.conf pretty much as it was but this works fine for me and that's how it's gonna stay now it's fully working.
The labels and timestamps wern't clear in my jpg's due to £5 webcams unless i set this
Now it's all working properly i start motion silently (daemon mode).
It's a good idea to store the PID on start up, it may be useful later.
i have 3 cameras in total (2 usb webcams and a Foscam IP) so needed to enable 3 thread config files at the very bottom of motion.conf.
The thread.conf files need very little info, this is all i have in mine for now.
text_left Foscam IP
*IP Cam's generally need a user/pass to be accessed.
If you have two usb webcams you should see video0 and video1 in your /dev folder and the above *should* work. The file folders will be re-created by motion so you can just delete the whole lot anytime.
Good to go
We're ready to rock so from the command line...
The reponse confirms it found and loaded all the conf files...
 Processing thread 0 - config file /etc/motion/motion.conf
 Processing config file /etc/motion/thread1.conf
 Processing config file /etc/motion/thread2.conf
 Processing config file /etc/motion/thread3.conf
 Motion 3.2.11 Started
 Motion going to daemon mode
Yay, i can see files pouring into the three folders.
Time to fire up the browser and have a peep.
OMG i can see again, it's miracle!
Bizarely i do not intend to use the zone/motion detection zones thing because even high quality cams trigger when shadows/daylight/trees/reflections move, and don't forget movement is relative so panning the camera will trigger and cause a dump of unwanted files so i set the threshold in the global motion.conf to make sure they never trigger and jpg/avi files are not created.
However, during testing i set the threshold low so the camera's trigger and create files as soon as motion fires up without me having to dash around the house and dance in front of each one.
Because i start my motion with threshold 1000000 i need a method of creating videos when my burglar actually does turn up.
I have my Arduinos hooked up with motion, smoke and other sensors which make a much better decision if i am being burgled again.
The Arduino's trigger the BeagleBone to kill the process (the PID is in that file we configured earlier) and restarts motion using a different set of .conf files which are set to threshold 1 so it constantly records files
motion -c /path-to-file-always-record/motion.conf
I use the youtube data api to push the videos into my account using
and sends me a text and email with all the sensor values. It also posts the data and ftp's the much clearer jpg's into my Drupal site.
After iv'e been robbed Arduino triggers BeagleBone to restart motion with the threshold 100000 .conf again ready for the next burglar.
A £60 PTZ foscam, 2 x £5 webcams, a £12 Arduino Uno and the almighty £60 BeagleBone.
Thank you to Linux, Motion, Drupal and the Youtube cloud for a high quality cheap, flexible and reliable alarm.
Oh yes, a big thanks to my burglar without whom this post would never have happened.
I really hope this helps someone.