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What Is the State of Linux Security DVR Software? 112

Posted by timothy
from the peer-out-of-the-basement dept.
StonyCreekBare writes "I am wondering what slashdotters have to offer on the idea of Linux based security systems, especially DVR software. I am aware of Zoneminder, but wonder what else is out there? Are there applications that will not only monitor video cameras, but motion sensors and contact closure alarms? What is state of the art in this area, and how do the various Linux platforms stack up in comparison to dedicated embedded solutions? Will these 'play nice' with other software, such as Asterisk, and Misterhouse? Can one server host three or four services applications of this nature, assuming CPU/memory/disk resources are sufficient?"
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What Is the State of Linux Security DVR Software?

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  • Ive tried them all (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:04PM (#30446182) Homepage

    Zoneminder hands down is the best. I have tried several commercial apps and the couple of windows OSS/freeware ones and a linux box with zoneminder kicks their butt IF you have good hardware. If you thin you want to use the $9.95 ebay copies of the typical BT878 cards you will be in for pain and suffering.. Get a good 120fps 4 channel card and you will be very happy.

    • What's a good 4 channel card though? I've never seen one that can stream all four channels simultaneously without stability problems.
      • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:47PM (#30447030) Homepage

        http://store.bluecherry.net/Provideo_PV_149_p/pv-149.htm [bluecherry.net]

        works great for me, but I also wont use anything less than a dual core processor for my recorder.

        • That says it has 4 bt878s on it. So what's the difference between this board and 4 cheap/used bt878 cards, particularly if I only need 4 or fewer inputs?

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            the bhips are fine it the crappy design of the board and firmware load that causes issues. the china 9.95 cards on ebay are garbage designs that are nearly 15 years old.

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Which doesn't make sense to me. Why would a video tuner require any processor power at all. Good ones have MPEG encoding on board, and don't require a fast processor at all, even when recording at very high bit rates. I'm not sure if any cards support 4 streams at once, but if you plug in 2 hauppauge dual tuner cards I think it would do the trick.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Lumpy (12016)

            Because you dont know how zoneminder works. If it were to record everything 24/7 blindly.. yes you are right almost zero processor used.. Zoneminder looks at every frame doing motion zones and detection. It's 1000% better than the best commercial DVR you can buy. Really it is. I have tried all them including the high dollar ones, Zoneminder kicks their butts hard.

            • Because you dont know how zoneminder works. If it were to record everything 24/7 blindly.. yes you are right almost zero processor used.. Zoneminder looks at every frame doing motion zones and detection. It's 1000% better than the best commercial DVR you can buy. Really it is. I have tried all them including the high dollar ones, Zoneminder kicks their butts hard.

              Sorry, but your completely wrong. The idea of motion detection on digital video recorders is over 10 years old. All DVRs of any value have motion detection built in, and the BT878 MJPEG cards mostly used with Zoneminder are garbage. The MJPEG codec is the wrong one to use for most applications because of the high storage requirements. Yes, you can process motion detection faster, but you loose out on bandwidth and storage. Zoneminder can use IP cameras, so that is a plus in its favor.

              Also, your po

    • by Rennt (582550) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:13PM (#30447444)
      If you use IP cameras you don't need any capture cards at all. I set up a 9 camera Zoneminder system like this recently.
      • by licamell (778753)
        Mind sharing some more details, specifically what IP cameras you're using (or have tried) and your thoughts on how they work? Thanks!
        • by Rennt (582550) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @03:51PM (#30449548)

          Sure, used the Vivotek VT-IP7130 (indoor) and VT-IP7330 (outdoor with IR flood) cameras. They have a built in web interface for configuration of the video stream.

          I set up a landing page on the Zoneminder webserver that authenticates the user, then allows them to access either the normal ZM interface or the web interface of any camera using mod-proxy.

          The cameras can do a much higher video quality then the server was capable of handling simultaneously (no fancy server, just a white-box Core2 system) but you are able to tune the stream bandwith settings till they are acceptable. IIRC I had to drop the framerate down from 30 to 15 which allowed decent playback while capturing from all cameras.

          All in all, setup was pretty smooth, if you just set up the cameras once and forget about the mod-proxy customisations the whole thing is practically plug and play.

          • by Rennt (582550)
            Onemorething. These cameras allow you to configure dual stream, so you can have one high quality and one low. This gives you more options with ZM, which can be configured to treat each stream differently.
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Excatly, I use AXIS IP cameras for anything new and they work fantastic. I have 8 analog cameras for places wher you cant buy the IP camera that can do what the analogs can do. (0.0007Lux in color, underwater, etc....)

      • by DKolendo (1633933)
        I have a couple of the cheapy D-Link DCS-920 Wireless IP Camera's both work great with ZM.
    • by tuxicle (996538)
      No matter what BT878 card you use, be sure that the case has adequate ventilation. Those chips run hot, and tend to flake out when temps rise too high. I've seen many forum postings advising the use of glue-on heatsinks. I've done that, as well as put extra fans in the server case.
  • Zoneminder (Score:5, Informative)

    by savanik (1090193) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:05PM (#30446188)

    Sorry, but... Zoneminder *is* the state of the art in Linux DVR software.

    And for reference, having recently compared many different versions on different operating systems for a project at my company, Zoneminder IS the state of the art in all platforms of DVR software. It's one of the only systems that will work with many varieties of end-point hardware cleanly. Most dedicated embedded systems will only work with their brand of camera, or a single video protocol.

    There are systems that will link motion sensors and contact alarms (Zoneminder can do that, too, though it takes some finangling). Again, most of these only work with *their* hardware.

    The biggest things to keep in mind are bandwidth, storage consumption, and retention. A camera input card may have a very large 'potential framerate', but when you spread that among the 16 inputs you have coming in, things start to add up *very* rapidly. There are physical limitations on the hardware that you will run into if your deployment is of any large size. Our deployment is one of the largest, having 80 cameras currently (planning on adding another 16 before too long), and we have to spread the load out among 5 high-powered servers with relatively large amounts of RAM. Even with that, we still need to upgrade our switch infrastructure to gigabit in order to be able to view all the cameras simultaneously! We've got fiber to our SANs, though, so storage and later retrieval of footage is no issue.

    The only downside is the lack of professional support - Management doesn't have anyone externally that they can point at if something breaks.

    If you're a power Linux user, I'd recommend Zoneminder. If you have a few cameras for a small business and are not technically skilled, I'd recommend a pre-packaged solution - but expect to spend more for a similar sized installation. If you have a LOT of cameras (more than about 16) but are not technically skilled... I'd recommend finding a consultant who can deploy Zoneminder and contract long-term support with them.

    • Re:Zoneminder (Score:5, Informative)

      by ndogg (158021) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nrohr.eht]> on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:14PM (#30446366) Homepage Journal

      The only downside is the lack of professional support - Management doesn't have anyone externally that they can point at if something breaks.

      It seems the original developers are willing to provide this [zoneminder.com]:

      Paid support is also available, please mail for rates and further details.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by savanik (1090193)

        It might be paid support, but unfortunately, it's not truly professional support - when I contacted them about it, they were unable to meet the 15 minute SLA response time and 24x7x365 support that our organization was looking for. And even hunting around the recesses of the internet, I have been unable to find anyone who has both experience with Zoneminder and the ability to provide those support terms.

        Some people might consider those terms unreasonable. Our industry considers it a minimum. In the meantime

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If no one is willing to provide those terms at the price you are willing to pay it is a good indication that at the price you are willing to pay you are citing unreasonable terms. The solutions are simple:

          1- Increase your offering.
          2- Decrease the specification of your terms.

          15 min SLA @ 24x7x265 essentially means that 2-4 people have to be employed (depending on how many hours they want to work), and for JUST your company (since with a 15 minute SLA if two companies happen to break at the same time they wi

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rahvin112 (446269)

            You are assuming the contract is the only one the company has. Any reasonable company should have enough customers that that 700k per year is split over several hundred accounts. You might say they aren't offering enough $, he might say the business isn't taking the risk and spending the money up front with fixed pricing to establish a client base. It's quite possible that there aren't enough customers to support such a venture, it's also possible no one has bothered to spend the initial capital to build th

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by savanik (1090193)

            You misunderstand me: I wasn't able to find anyone who could provide those specifications, at *any* price level. I was saying, 'Here are our requirements, what will this cost?' And the answer I was getting back was, 'We can't meet your requirements, period. Ask someone else.' The word 'cheap' also never appeared in the specifications. :)

            We could lower the requirements. However - in our industry, those requirements are not considered unreasonable. They are what we provide to our own customers. Or we face lar

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by houstonbofh (602064)

              You misunderstand me: I wasn't able to find anyone who could provide those specifications, at *any* price level. I was saying, 'Here are our requirements, what will this cost?' And the answer I was getting back was, 'We can't meet your requirements, period. Ask someone else.' The word 'cheap' also never appeared in the specifications. :)

              Now to be totally honest, that was not what I said. I offered to architect a high availability solution that would eliminate single points of failure (other than the actual camera, but including cabling) and a best effort on repair, with 24x7x365 phone access. But occasionally I am in a car, and more than 15 minutes from the net. :) The problem is that those of us with the knowledge and the ability are geographically separate. Perhaps we should try and get together for shift exchanges...

              Bet you never t

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by selven (1556643)

            24*365 is 1 year. 24*7*365 is 7 years. So you're off by a factor of 7.

            • by DavidTC (10147)

              More the point, the expression is either 24x7, meaning 24 hours a day 7 days a week, or 24x365, meaning 24 hours a day 365 days a year. They both mean the same thing...you just can't combine them. (You could say 24x7x52, I guess. Which isn't strictly an entire year, but, then again, neither is 365.)

        • It might be paid support, but unfortunately, it's not truly professional support - when I contacted them about it, they were unable to meet the 15 minute SLA response time and 24x7x365 support that our organization was looking for.

          Unless you're a company very deep pockets, those are going to be difficult terms to meet. If you have the money that it costs to essentially keep four - six developers (need to be able to handle vacations and illness)on call 24x7 along with a call center and support staff, you
        • by rbcd (1518507)

          Our industry considers it a minimum.

          Which providers of competing systems can provide a comparable SLA, and at what cost?

        • I will provide your company with a 365x24 (366 in 2012) support contract with a 15 minute response SLA for 210,000 per year.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      On the other hand, I've done deployments numbering several hundred cameras using the Linux security-DVR software offered by Cisco: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps9152/index.html [cisco.com].

      It can handle a darn sight more than the 16 cameras per-server you needed. It does not support linking motion sensors or contact alarms to the cameras, but the record-on-motion capability gives similar functionality for most uses.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      BlueCherry offers a stand alone zoneminder live disk that works great.
      http://sourceforge.net/projects/zoneminder-cd/

    • This is a solid recommendation, but I don't really agree. Zoneminder has nice features, and it a long way towards a real DVR, but it is still a home-grown solution. If you are a private home, or a very small business I would still recommend one of the very cheap embedded DVR systems available. You can find 4-8 camera systems for under $250 USD which are still quasi professional grade. You'll still need cameras, power supply, mounts and maybe housings. If you are wanting a bit of fun tinkering with your
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Zoneminder is terrible for any kind of large installation. I tried to run 24 ip based cameras on quad-core with a nice fast raid array. The system load was crazy high all the time, and would lock up and crash the server every 60 days. For a small setup its fine, but anything larger that about 10 cameras gets overloaded with image processing. I really like Linux and linux based solutions, and looked everywhere to find something at a decent price that could handle 30 cameras, and didn't find anything. I

      • I have several system with more than 10 cameras, with uptimes in the range of several months. And the timeline search function rocks. But it is not terribly intuitive to set up...
    • by tha_mink (518151)

      And for reference, having recently compared many different versions on different operating systems for a project at my company, Zoneminder IS the state of the art in all platforms of DVR software

      Wow. That's a pretty bold statement. And completely false BTW. LPR, NPR, Facial recognition, window blanking, etc. The list is long.

      Zoneminder is nice, but let's not get carried away here.

      • by savanik (1090193)

        LPR, NPR, Facial recognition, window blanking, etc.

        I didn't find any systems in my research that offered the features you're describing. It might be that we're just so outside the target market that I wasn't able to find any. However, I can see that a number of companies offer those solutions as bolt-on appliances that would add more systems to our network for management instead of a centralized solution (one of the core requirements we had for our project).

        Do you know of any companies that provide that sort of technology, integrated into a video recording

        • by tha_mink (518151)

          Do you know of any companies that provide that sort of technology, integrated into a video recording and archival system? If so, I'm quite interested for our next round of security system upgrades in the next few years.

          Yep. Check out onSSI.com. They *are* probably the state of the art. Their systems actually can look out for tailgating (one person walking in a door right behind another), track a person or a car through your camera array, push alerts based on certain criteria you set up, push video to local police, etc. There's a whole other league you missed while doing your research. It's not actually all that expensive either, relative to what a good retail store's security budget ought to be. (IMHO)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Generalized software running on generalized hardware such as Linux on standard computer components will never have the same capabilities as an embedded solution that has been specifically engineered for said purpose. It would be unfair to compare them directly. The real question is how sophistcated do you want the system to be? If you just want quality information for law enforcement should something happen, just get a dedicated system and be done with it.

    Typically when people want to explore solutions t

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      You used to require dedicated hardware for all kinds of things, but general purpose hardware has for the most part caught up... You used to get dedicated hardware for decoding mp3 files, and computers never used to be powerful enough to play broadcast quality video...

  • begging the question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can one server host three or four services applications of this nature, assuming CPU/memory/disk resources are sufficient?"

    Uhm, by definition, yes.

  • DVRUSA.COM (Score:3, Informative)

    by dk0de (1701000) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:30PM (#30446692)
    My company has switched from Geovision DVR's to Linux based DVR's from DVRUSA. They run Fedora, postgreSQL, and you're actually given the root password to the machine when you buy it. They do motion tracking with PTZ, etc.
    • [...] and you're actually given the root password to the machine when you buy it.

      You say that as if it were something special. You freakin’ bought the machine and it’s open source. So they better be, or you can sue their ass of!

      • Not necessarily true, there are many packaged systems that run linux where you don't get root, Barracuda comes to mind.
  • by MadCow-ard (330423) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:46PM (#30447022)
    There are hundreds, no, thousands of security embedded linux based DVR systems on the market. But the reference to ZoneMinder leans the question into the area of windowing linux based DVRs. This is a shorter list, but still you find a few. A few quick examples of servers which use a Linux OS you find: VideoEdge (Tyco), March Networks, SeeTec (Germany). All of these offer a client which operates on a Window's workstation, but the recording is done on a Linux box. The Tyco version actually uses the non-journaling EXT2 as the database, so as to take full advantage of the speed and maximum hard drive size. Keep in mind that video systems record multiple TB of data in a normal 30 day record cycle. That is to say, most end-users require between 2-4 weeks of video, and a small number require 6+ months to be saved.

    The fact is the most Linux systems are too complex for the majority of security applications. A lack of skills in maintenance of the OS, networking, and configuration mean that the vendor needs to provide a fully pre-configured kernal+apps which is then loaded on a server, and this means that most professional vendors offer Windows systems as the rule. SeeTec does allow for normal SuSe as the OS and then their application loads on top, but the reality is that 95% of end-users don't choose this because they are window's houses. This means SeeTec develop the Windows version as the priority.

    There is also the politics to consider. The IT department and the Security dept. couldn't come from more disperate worlds. Generally speaking they don't like each other, and don't want to talk to each other, and no matter what the /. readers will flame at me, the IT dept doesn't have the first idea of what to purchase in a physical security system. I've seen this hundreds of times. The IT guy says "IP please", but this translates into a horrible final system purchase.

    The take-away is that as an IP guy, don't look for a pure Linux system if you are serious about security. Integration into Intruder, Access Control, Fire and Building Management (almost all of which are also Windows based systems) will require you to most likely stay on a Windows platform. If you're from the IT department you'll need A) a professional Integrator/Installer to recommend the right system and B) you'll need to remember you're no longer an expert. Security is not IT even though it might be loaded onto a Windows or Linux box. So please don't tell the Integrator what you "need". First get at least 2 opinions and then start to shape your requirements.
    • We have a 16-channel security DVR, standalone, purchased from a large security camera vendor, with their OEM label (they didn't make it, but I don't know who did.) It has 16 video inputs, and 16 monitor outputs (for video.) It also has a VGA output. It can be monitored over the network using a Windows/ActiveX client called "J2K D1.31." We use all 16 camera channels.

      The network client runs under Windows, and also under Parallels on the Mac. I've been searching for some time for a Mac native or xwindows-po

      • Why do you believe you'll get better performance on the Mac? There are vendors which provide non activeX clients, such as Exacq or American Dynamics, but those won't work with the system you have now. If you have VGA monitors and splitters something isn't designed correctly. If you use mostly direct monitor viewing, then you probably don't need a client system, unless you need to review stored video. But then you don't need a dedicated system. If you have an IE client, use a normal workstation for the
        • Why do you believe you'll get better performance on the Mac?

          I don't "believe" it, but I am hoping for a better client at some point, and I'd really like to dump the Windows requirements. I'd be grateful for a better client on Windows, even. I just prefer the Mac, Macs are what we use around here for most things. There's always Parallels, after all.

          If you have VGA monitors and splitters something isn't designed correctly.

          I'm sorry, what? Are you saying I should parallel the monitors somehow? I'm

          • ok, Multiplexers don't usually have a VGA output, so you are probably working with BNC input CRT monitors, correct? Either way, if you are using a combination of live viewing and playback, then you'll need some sort of software package to perform this.

            I did mean Internet Explorer when I used IE, because I was trying to understand if you needed a dedicated box. It seems like you might. Any security system you actually use somewhat frequently should probably have its own dedicated client/workstation.

            I
            • ok, Multiplexers don't usually have a VGA output, so you are probably working with BNC input CRT monitors, correct?

              The DVR has a VGA output that can display 1, 4, 5, 9, 11 or 16 of the cameras at once, as well as a host of status icons. It is controlled with an IR remote. I fed that to a 1:4 VGA buffer/driver/splitter that can drive up to 100 ft of cable per line, and we have four VGA monitors at various places in the building we can look at for a quick update.

              There is also a BNC video output with t

    • by plover (150551) *

      There are two common ways to bring a Linux based system into a Windows shop: the first is that the vendor could be providing just an application to be installed, and expecting you to provide the server and maintain the operating system. The other is that they could be delivering a turn-key LAMP [wikipedia.org] image, and offering to remotely support it for you. That way your shop can look at is as a black-box appliance, and not have to worry about it.

      If you don't have your own people and tools and infrastructure to admi

  • I use a package called "motion" and a collection of shell scripts to handle my cameras and viewing them.

    • by Scotch42 (1120577)
      Just the same. Monitoring about 13 IP axis cameras ans 2 webcams, following a network of about 100 one-wire sensors and vocal feedback with flite and pulseaudio. All is done on a shuttle with Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 430 @ 1.80GHz and !GB of RAM... All is wired with bash and perl scripts launched in response to events fired by motion or by the one-wire monitor. A couple of one-liners are a sufficient glue to configure complex strategies having defined a nice collection of standardized behaviours. Was not
      • by Kazin (3499)

        What's the preferred 1-wire interface on Linux these days? I used to use owfs, but it's been a few years since I did anything like this.

  • kmotion (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    From http://www.kmotion.eu

    We've been testing it for a few months alongside Zoneminder, and it's definitely progressing.

  • Don't get burned (Score:3, Informative)

    by JackDW (904211) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:40PM (#30447818) Homepage

    If you buy a security DVR system that is not based on free software, be very careful to check what you are buying. Check the software requirements very carefully. If it "requires Internet Explorer", find out why this is.

    Many (most?) of the proprietary DVRs use ActiveX controls for remote access. These typically work only with IE6, so not only do you have to use Windows, but an old version at that. And no, this won't ever be fixed. You'll have to carry on using Windows 2000/XP for the lifetime of your DVR. Don't upgrade to IE7, because that will lock you out of the system.

    I know of at least one person who was burned by this, and last year I spent some weeks trying to find a commercial DVR solution that didn't require ActiveX, without success. Zoneminder is miles ahead of the commercial systems in this regard.

    • Sorry, but you are wrong. Non-free software systems, which means just about all of a multi-billion dollar industry, don't all use ActiveX, and the ones that do almost universally don't need IE6 only. Those that do use web based clients are often Java based, but those that do use ActiveX usually have a full software package in addition to the web portal. Web interfaces are very limited in their flexibility and thus are usually only used as a stripped down client. Again another reason why I believe Zonemi
      • by JackDW (904211)
        I didn't look at the high-end of the market, just the things that were affordable for home use. IE6 + ActiveX was still state of the art for commercial systems when I looked at this last summer. This was surprising and therefore I thought it was worth giving a heads-up here.
    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      Good points.

      Another problem I have found with one DVR I setup for a neighbor (forget the model, was linux based though) is the video export function was clumsy and proprietary. At first glance it said on the box you could export video to USB thumb drives or via the built in CD/DVD recorder. Problem is it uses a propriety multi channel video file format that is only works under windows. So when you do export video you get this mess of directories and a windows binary player on your media. Sometimes it didn't

      • Good question. The answer is simple, but not nice to hear. Each codec requires a decompression part to play the video, and each vendor typically has a slightly altered version of any or all of the codecs used. For example, MPEG4 could be used for compression, but what does that really mean? Apple, Windows, Real Media, Adobe all have their own CODEC of MPEG4. So in short, if you use VLC or Windows Media player to play back video, these have installed codecs from these major media vendors. But the DVR m
  • I rolled my own (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yossarian45793 (617611) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:52PM (#30448030)
    I have a 5 camera system (slowly growing) and I evaluated ZoneMinder and decided that it didn't meet my requirements, so I rolled my own. If you are good at C programming Linux has everything you need to write a simple capture/streaming application. I use USB video capture devices (Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder) because they are cheap (no tuner), have excellent quality, and I have no shortage of USB ports.

    Linux natively supports these devices, and the V4L2 APIs make it trivial to reads frames. Using libavcodec from the ffmpeg project you can encode the frames to practically any format imaginable. I encode all 5 cameras to MPEG-4 at 30 fps using minimal CPU power. All of this is possible with only about 500 lines of C code. Of course in my own version I've added a lot of fancy features over time and the project has gotten quite large with support for low-bandwidth streaming, crude motion detection, time-lapse video, etc.

    I won't lie to you and tell you that the documentation for ffmpeg is any good. But there are tutorials out there that explain how to use libavcodec and everything else is a piece of cake. Don't overestimate how simple is it to get something basic working.

    • by monktus (742861)
      If you are good at C programming and have too much free time, Linux has everything you need to write a simple capture/streaming application.
  • This thread is not complete with mentioning the Elphel [elphel.com]. Some instructions [elphel.com]. If this roadmap entry [elphel.com] is up to date, you'll have to choose a specific elphel model. I have no experience with either.
  • As I have been commenting on this post, I have realized I should have said this years ago on /. There are well paid jobs in Security for the IT savvy. I'm talking more for network admins, and general IT skills then programming, but progamming is also needed. The whole multi-billion dollar Seucurity industry is moving quickly into software based, network infrastructure and away from stand alone systems. Its been happening for the last 10 years but it is now accellerating. There is a especially strong ne
  • My experience (Score:3, Informative)

    by b0bby (201198) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @04:46PM (#30450396) Homepage

    I tried a few things in our small business before settling on Zoneminder with a PV-149 8-port analog card & analog cameras. I have it running on a cheap Dell server (Pentium Dual Core, I think), and several weeks of events can be kept on the 80GB drive. It has been an extremely reliable setup for the last couple of years. If you use the Axis IP cameras with their own event triggering you can get away with a very low-powered machine, but the image processing otherwise means you want something at least halfway decent. If your box is powerful enough I can't see why Asterisk wouldn't run ok as well, but I haven't tried that yet. For a while I had it running with some cheap USB webcams, but they weren't as stable as the analog cams, and it's easy to get analog cams that switch over to IR in the dark.

  • ...between a mathematician and a pizza? A pizza can feed a family of four.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Zoneminder has what I consider nice "marketing". The website is relatively easy to navigate, the package is simple enough to install and the ui is easy enough to use without having to read a manual. I donated a couple hundred quid when I first started using it.

    I deployed and used zoneminder in retail settings for a couple of years. The hardware was middle of the road, but the combination of 4 cameras recording at only at 3-6 fps and having constant motion (thus triggering events and recording) 12 hours a

  • I've used ONSSI's surveillance software for windows. About 40 cameras, all megapixel or above Axis cameras, recording on MPEG. One server on a $175 AMD cpu with a 16 channel Adaptec RAID card. (16-1TB 7200rpm SATA drives). Doing record on motion, the CPU is pegged at about 60% all the time.

    I got ONSSI up and running quicker than I am using Zoneminder, although I have more windows IT experience than Linux.

    Currently having some issues playing with Zoneminder/Ubuntu memory management, and I don't think the

  • Check out exacqVision. They have standalone hardware and recording software solutions. It supports analog and IP cameras, motion detection, and motion sensors. I use the Windows version where I work, but they have a Linux version of the client and server software. The software allows you to connect one IP device for free and you have to pay to license each IP device beyond that. I think you have to contact them to get a demo login to download software from the site though. http://www.exacq.com/ [exacq.com]

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