Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to setup Ubuntu to capture motion in my studio and e-mail pictures of anyone who enters it. MS Windows has plenty of software to do this, but now that I switched 100% to Ubuntu, I need a software to accomplish this. Ideas?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can use Zoneminder.

ZoneMinder is intended for use in single or multi-camera video security applications, including commercial or home CCTV, theft prevention and child or family member or home monitoring and other care scenarios.1

The three main reasons for surveillance are security, safety and nosiness. Whether you need a visual check on a sleeping baby, or a video of a stranger putting your cat in a wheelie bin, Zoneminder fits the bill. Zoneminder is a sophisticated camera manager, including support for multiple image sources, motion detection, email alerts, and X10 automation. It supports most V4L (Video for Linux) devices, and can control network IP cameras. The web interface makes it ideal for use on our headless server.2 Read On

To install Zoneminder, just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command below.

sudo apt-get install zoneminder


1Source:Ubuntu Apps Directory


share|improve this answer
@Pomario If this answered your question, you may mark this answer as accepted. – Mitch Sep 14 '12 at 18:02
Zoneminder is overly complicated. – empedokles Aug 23 '14 at 10:29
@empedokles I think that its a matter of opinion. My business partner uses it as his main program for his customers, and no one has complained yet. – Mitch Aug 23 '14 at 10:58
iSpy (only windows) or Xemoa are definitely much easier to install and use. I don't consider Zoneminder professional grade software nor does anyone on cctvforums I know of. Xemoa will come closer, but it costs money from what I know for continuous use. It's a pity that there is no good cctv-software on linux. – empedokles Aug 23 '14 at 16:21

You can try motion to to do what you want. It is a command line tool that runs in the background once setup.

See and for setup guides.

The basic steps are:

  • Install motion: sudo apt-get install motion


  • Configure motion: sudo gedit /etc/motion/motion.conf
  • Start motion: sudo motion

Hope this helps

share|improve this answer

I am UBUNTU user as well and I'm using Xeoma software for my CCTV system. (It is available over the Ubuntu Software-Center.)

share|improve this answer
Welcome to Ask Ubuntu. Could you provide some links to the software along with some of its features and screenshots? That would vastly improve this answer. – Aditya Nov 24 '13 at 13:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.