Linux at Home - CCTV

Linux at Home: DIY security solutions for the home

Last Updated on September 6, 2020

In this series, we look at a range of home activities where Linux can make the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged. The change of lifestyle enforced by Covid-19 is an opportunity to expand our horizons, and spend more time on activities we have neglected in the past.

Police have said crime has fallen by 28% since the UK was locked down to battle the coronavirus with a a 37% drop in burglary. People are now encouraged to return to their workplace if it’s impossible for them to work from home. In light of this, the fall in burglary is unlikely to be maintained. So what can we do?

A Linux-based surveillance system can dramatically increase the security of your property and keep your family protected. The surveillance can be set up at various blind spots around your home that you can’t see from your windows so that if you hear an unusual noise or would like some extra peace of mind, you can check the perimeter of your property without having to leave your home. Home surveillance is not just a preventative system, it can also help bring criminals to justice.

Here’s our recommended open source solutions to create your own Linux-based surveillance system.



ZoneMinder is an all-in-one Linux security camera solution. This application is designed around a series of independent components that only function when necessary limiting any wasted resource and maximizing the efficiency of your machine.

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.

It gets my strongest recommendation for a CCTV solution.

Read more about ZoneMinder


Click for full size image

Motion is a highly configurable 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.

Motion works with network cameras, Pi cameras, V4L2 webcams, video capture cards, and movie files.

We particularly like its customizable masks for privacy.

Read more about Motion
Click for full size image is a bleeding edge video surveillance solution, which works with any camera and on every Linux based machine.

You can deploy a fully configured video surveillance system within a few minutes on the environment you prefer: Raspberry Pi, Docker, Kubernetes cluster.

It’s recommended you use a single camera, but it’s possible to connect multiple cameras. embraces the concept of isolation. Every camera should have its own isolated environment, so a processing unit (server, Raspberry Pi, Docker container, etc) per camera.

Read more about

All articles in this series:

Linux at Home
AstronomyExplore the universe from your garden
Brew BeerWeave malt and hops and yeast together in unique combinations
Circuit DesignLearn to design electronic circuits
CollaboratingEdit documents collaboratively in real-time
CookingHome cooking is an activity that’s great for individuals and families
Creative WritingPen a classic novel or screenplay
Cross-stitchingA form of sewing and a popular form of counted-thread embroidery
Digital ArtPaint and draw directly onto a computer
Digital Music ProductionDigital Audio Workstations
DOOM GamingTake a break and play classic DOOM
EmbroideryCraft of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle
ExercisingKeeping fit can be a challenge with lockdown
GardeningPlan your perfect garden with these great tools
GenealogyResearch your family tree
Home SecurityCCTV solutions to protect your home
Musical InstrumentLearn to play an instrument
RSIReduce and prevent repetitive strain injury
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2 years ago

nobody can get zoneminder to work that I know, motion is useless for ip cameras, kerebos failed to work

Nigel Davies
Nigel Davies
2 years ago
Reply to  alexander

All of the people I know have Zoneminder running without any issues. Maybe the people you know are just clueless?

2 years ago

not interested in LEARNING Zonemaster…. just want a clear set of instructions so as to get it running… haven’t found any such help but rather half baked answers… i’ll figure something out eventually but internet help on many such things more destructive than useful….. i’ve rejected Zonemaster as halfassed

Gravity Falls
Gravity Falls
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy

Excuse me if I don’t take your comment with any gravitas.

The software is called Zoneminder not Zonemaster. if you can’t even get the name of the software correct, it suggests that you may have issues with reading. And installing Zoneminder does require a modicum of reading. Don’t worry if this sounds patronising, it’s meant to be!

2 years ago
Reply to  Gravity Falls

A bit prickly!