Building a Surveillance Server
Step 1: install ubuntu
I wanted to install a Linux solution for a security camera. This camera is really to try to capture birds that come to my deck. When I started this project I had an idea I would use Debian Linux. But after a several hours I found that the computer I am using as the server did not seem to agree with Debian. I then decided to try Ubuntu. This installation went smoothly, and even the USB wireless was recognized.
If the computer is going to work with the distribution the install always seems to go easy. I did mine from a DVD that I burned with the ISO.
Once the Linux is installed the programs needed to run the camera needed to be installed. This was more complicated for me. I found that no one really has and instructions that are written for the novice Linux user. Many of them had comments that made no sense. There would be a list of commands, then “configure normally” as the next step. My problem is I don’t know how to configure at all, let alone normally.
Step 2: install mysql
It took me a little time to get mysql installed. I did not find this guide till I was just about done. And the installation guides I did find for all of these put things a bit out-of-order. Now I did need to change the root password, this (link) was very useful to walk me through this.
Step 3: install apache2
I struggled getting my Apache to install correctly. Well I got it to install, but it would not start. It was a problem with the configuration files. I needed to link them to Zoneminder, but on top of that one was missing so I needed to install Apache again.
Step 4: install php
This was one of the most straight forward instructions.
Step 5: install phpmyadmin
I was so excited when I was able to pull this up correctly. It meant that I was so much closer to my goal. Now remember I installed things out-of-order. So by the time I did this install I was just about to get it all connected. I just needed to be able to see the ZM page and configure my camera.
Step 6: install zoneminder
I used the “easy way” and “from source” pages to do my install. When I went to the page that is created for ZM I was rewarded with it working. I also was able to do all of this from the laptop instead of in the cramped location I put the server.
The camera I am using is no longer being sold, or supported. AirLink 101 I have the utilities from the company on my Windows machine, so I am able to see the camera’s picture through a website, but because this is a product no longer being supported, the new applications for the other cameras from this company do not work. So I was unable to set up any type of system that would detect movement and either take stills, or video for a period of time after the motion is detected.
Using ZM I am able to actually configure the motion detection better, and it will take pictures when it detects the motion. I have it on the deck in a temporary position and other than the sun washing out the picture, it has worked well.