[ubuntu-uk] Webcam as a security camera

David Jones djones.dancol at googlemail.com
Wed Jul 1 15:50:38 BST 2009

Rob Beard wrote:
> 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: 
> http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHome
> 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.
> Rob
I'd second the vote for motion mentioned by Rob, I used it on a 
similarly spec'd machine with no problems.

One thing to be aware of though, I found that if you tried to view the 
stream/feed from the camera via the web from a windows machines, 
Internet explorer wasn't capeable of displaying the feed.  It was 
something about the mjpeg format that motion uses is a classed as a 
video stream, and the IE developers wouldn't include it because it was 
video and not a fixed image.


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