Motion – webcam software

Motion is a V4L capture program supporting motion detection. Set it up to monitor security cameras, watch birds, check in on your pet, create time-lapse videos and more.

In other words, this software monitors the video signal from one or more cameras and is able to detect if a significant part of the picture has changed.

Motion is a command line based tool. It has no graphical user interface. Everything is setup either via the command line or via configuration files.

Features include:

  • Use with the following devices:
    • V4l2 Webcams;
    • Video capture cards;
    • Network cameras via HTTP, RTSP and RTMP;
    • Static files via a v4l2 loopback device;
    • PI cameras.
  • Output from motion:
    • JPEG files;
    • PPM format files;
    • MPEG video sequences.
  • Access the webcam output from motion via a browser.
  • Taking snapshots of movement.
  • Watch multiple video devices at the same time.
  • Watch multiple inputs on one capture card at the same time.
  • Live streaming webcam (using multipart/x-mixed-replace).
  • Real time creation of mpeg movies using libraries from ffmpeg.
  • Take automated snapshots on regular intervals.
  • Take automated snapshots at irregular intervals using cron.
  • Executing external program when detecting movement.
  • Execute external program at the beginning of an event of several motion detections.
  • Execute external program at the end of an event of several motion detections.
  • Execute external program when a picture is saved.
  • Execute external program when a movie mpeg is created (opened).
  • Execute external program when a movie mpeg ends (closed).
  • Motion tracking.
  • Feed events to an MySQL or PostgreSQL database.
  • Feed video back to a video4linux loopback for real time viewing.
  • Web interface using Motion Related Projects such as motion.cgi, Kenneths Webcam Package, Kevins Webpage, X-Motion, and many more.
  • Has its own minimalistic web server.
  • User configurable and user defined on screen display.
  • Control via simple web interface.
  • Automatic noise and threshold control.
  • Ability to control the pan/tilt of a Logitech Sphere (or Orbit) camera.
  • Highly configurable display of text on images.
  • High configurable definition of path and file names of the stored images and films.

Support: Documentation, Mailing List, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Mr-Dave (previously Kenneth Lavrsen) and many contributors
License: GNU GPL v2 or later

Motion is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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