What Ubuntu software is there to use a webcam as a recording camera (Like a Security System). It NEEDS to detect movement in the room, take pictures and/or record.


You could try using motion (V4L capture program supporting motion detection), a command line only utility.

To install this from the standard repository, execute:

sudo apt-get install motion

It's been pretty useful for me. Keep in mind motion will not record any audio.

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  • I gave the answer to lukasz but gave you a point because motion is console based and also very simple to use. It can be helpful for remote movement detection and things like that, hold the kids away from the PC at least. – Luis Alvarado Apr 5 '11 at 23:44
  • ffmpeg

for video only:

ffmpeg -f video4linux2 -s 320x240 -i /dev/video0 out.mpg

for audio and video:

ffmpeg -f oss -i /dev/dsp -f video4linux2 -s 320x240 -i /dev/video0 out.mpg

  • ZoneMinder surveillance system. Maybe the best and most complex open source tool

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  • +1 for the explanation of ffmpeg with video and video+sound. – Luis Alvarado Apr 5 '11 at 23:44
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    How is the provided solutions capture the motion detection, please explain, I tried it and it did not work in motion detection. – Ashish Sharma Aug 28 '13 at 18:22
  • +1 @AshishSharma how does this do motion detection at all! – Dheeraj Bhaskar Nov 27 '14 at 10:05

wxCam supports the movement detection.

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Try Cheese, the standard webcam app in Ubuntu.

Its installed by default, go to Applications > Sound & Video

It has recording capabilities (video and sound), and it take snapshots as pictures. But i guess it lacks motion sensor.

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guvcview is the best in the smooth video as if you are a recorder.

sudo apt-get install guvcview
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Take a look at Shinobi: The Open Source CCTV platform written in Node.JS (Camera Recorder - Security Surveillance Software). From its site:

  • Records IP Cameras and Local Cameras
  • Streams by WebSocket
  • Save to WebM and MP4: Other formats will be added after codec choices are less confusing.
  • API
    • Get videos
    • Get monitors
    • Change monitor modes : Disabled, Watch, Record
    • Embedding streams
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ffmpeg, Cheese, V4L are all great tools - simple to the max - and yet they lack motion detection capability.

If motion detection is a must you should really take a look at ZoneMinder (open source) and/or Xeoma (closed source but has a very simple free mode with motion detector and some notifications).

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