OpenSource Home Surveillance With ZoneMinder

Updated 18th Feb 2016 : Here’s the physical setup. And I have moved my own server installation to a USD $5 VM at Digital Ocean.

Due to some very unfortunate incidents a few years back, I had to have home surveillance at my doorstep. Being a techie, I would never pay for the expensive licenses home surveillance software and solution, so I got to doing it myself.

This is a simple illustration of my setup.


Zoneminder is an open source project for video surveillance. The main highlights and advantages in my opinion are:

1. The server side motion detection features and capabilities is excellent. It’s comparable many commercial products that will cost an arm and a leg.

2. The access to the system is via the internet. That makes accessing the system very simple.

3. ZoneMinder works with a myriad of network cameras, from the very expensive cameras to my cheap China Foscam network camera.

The server is a reasonably power machine running on CentOS. CPU utilization is not an issue yet with 2 cameras and motion detection turned on.

My initial setup was using an ADSL line for the internet link. The uplink was pathetic, so I could only do 1 frame per second. Anything higher than that, my uplink will be congested.

Just 2 weeks ago however, my FTTH line was activated. My current plan is a 50Mbps down / 25 Mbps up plan from M1. With this major speed improvement, I’m currently doing 10 frames per second. That’s the max my camera can go, otherwise I would like to try 15 frames or more. The current utilization is about 3Mbps per camera because ZoneMinder is pulling MJPEG. I’m now contemplating getting a another camera that supports H.264 for better image quality.

Here’s a few links for reference if anyone wants to get your hands dirty. :)

Author: yibi

YiBi's numb :) YiBi writes about anything. Technology, Gossips, Rubbish YiBi's a half f%#k geek :P

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