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?


3 Answers 3


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


  • Zoneminder is overly complicated.
    – empedokles
    Aug 23, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 at 16:21
  • ZoneMinder is actually not good enough for modern use. Try Shinobi shinobi.video/features#learn
    – moeiscool
    Jul 30, 2017 at 15:39

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

See http://www.unixmen.com/how-to-turn-your-webcam-into-a-motion-detecting-security-spy-camera-in-linux/ and http://www.chriswpage.com/2009/05/setup-an-advanced-webcam-security-system-with-ubuntu-8-04-and-motion/ 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


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

  • 1
    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, 2013 at 13:01
  • ShinobiCCTV : shinobi.video/features#learn
    – moeiscool
    Jul 30, 2017 at 15:40

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