Free (Open Source) Webcam Programs
Edited by Earl
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The software mentioned on this page meets these specifications:
Program is free
... No monetary cost and no proprietary code.
Runs on a free
as in open source. Some people refer to these free operating
systems as "Linux" but there is more to it than that.
Microsoft programs are not required to run the programs on
this page. We have
another post specifically
running on a Windows box.
Detection triggers video recording.
This feature is good for security applications.
When a person walks in front of the camera, they trigger the motion
detector, automatically starting the video recorder.
message to a cell phone when motion is detected.
to a web server by FTP.
This feature allows remote monitoring. It also
as a backup. Without this option, if a burglar breaks into your house
and steals the computer that you recorded your video to, you'll lose
the video with the computer. However, if you back up your video to a
remote location, you can download it from another location, even if
your surveillance computer is gone.
Before we get the software working, we need a webcam, camera, or
webcams work with Linux (or free operating systems)?
operating systems have native USB support for webcams with drivers
If you are running a relatively recent version of the Linux
kernel, then you might be able to get your webcam running with no
worries about the drivers. That's how it worked for me...
just plug and play.
I used a Logitech C910 webcam, which worked well with Debian (an
To see a list of supported Linux UVC webcams that work with
no need to install
Programs are sorted from favorite to least favorite.
I downloaded this program packaged with a Live CD by Apex.
This Live CD allowed me to get ZoneMinder running on a
computer that has Windows XP installed. I put the CD into the
notebook and booted it up with the Live CD. When I was done
I took the Live CD out of the drive, and the notebook went back to
running Windows XP. Good stuff.
Torrent download: linuxtracker.org
Interesting videos about installing ZoneMinder on Linux Mint:Youtube
- Tons of features. Contains more options to
personalize your surveillance system than all of the programs that cost me money.
- ZoneMinder uses shared memory, which limits the video
The resolution and frames per second are less than
webcam could be capable of showing. For example, I used a
Logitech HD C910 webcam, capable of high definition, but the maximum
resolution I could see was 640x480 at around 5 FPS. This video
shows how to change the memory settings to improve the performance.
I have not yet attempted this fix.