[ubuntu-uk] Webcam as a security camera

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Wed Jul 1 15:47:24 BST 2009

javadayaz wrote:
> Hi,
> As some of you may know i have an android phone G1 phone. I would like 
> to avail the phones unlimited data plan. Some of you may also know 
> about my exploits are linking my media to a TV in my new house.
> I was just wondering if anyone here uses a webcam as security camera. 
> Preferably in Ubuntu. I would like the ability to "dial in" and look 
> in as well.
> Has anyone had any experience in this?
Yes, there is a program in the repositories called Motion.  It can 
capture still images or video (not sure about audio too) from a webcam 
or TV tuner (so you could plug a better camera in) and it will save the 
images, e-mail them or upload them to a web site.  I used it for a 
studio web cam in a radio station I used to work at.  IIRC it worked 
happily on an old P3 733 with 256MB Ram for capturing images and doing 
motion detection.  It is also possible to use multiple cameras too and 
it also supports network webcams.

The web site for motion is here: 

There are other applications available, some simple and some more 
complicated (I found one which had a fancy web interface and all sorts 
of complicated stuff in it and never managed to get it working, but 
motion is fairly simple if you read the instructions on the 
configuration files).

Hope this helps.


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