Linux Motion Detection

After a search of the web, I was unable to find any linux software which would could detect motion and save images when the changes occurred.  I did however find a couple of programs (Nemisis streamer and bttvgrab) which would capture the images, however you quickly fill up a hard disk if you capture continueosly and also you have to sift through a lot of images where nothing happens to find an event.   Fortunately I was able to make use of one of the tools in the netpbm toolkit to compare two successive images and only store the image if it had changed based on a defined threshold.   I have written a short script which combines the Nemises streamer and then Netpbm tool pnmpsnr to record motion.  The script is available from motiondetect

Note, I have had problems getting newer versions of the Nemesis streamer to work (including the one that ships with Redhat 7.1), so you might want to try the version I used source and compiled streamer binary for linux

If you need netpbm you can get it from the site below, however the version bundled with the later releases of linux such as Redhat 7.1 work fine.


I have subsequently discovered that there are a few other programs now available which may be better than this system. For a start you could check out the links in the Video Secutity section at
I Have also discovered that the streamer binary is now included in the v4ltools package that comes with many distributions

Also I have now used a modified version of the motiondetect script to access images from an AXIS 205 webcam.

Linux Training Presentation – help overcome the fear of the unknown

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