DIY CCTV – Raspberry Pi IP Cameras and NVR

motionEye

I have an old CCTV DVR with two older analog cameras attached. It was all top of the line security gear 10 years ago when I was active in the field, and it has not aged well. The DVR has a very old and obviously no longer maintained android app, and the desktop software is just the same. I am not even sure if the company still sells standard DVRs anymore. The image quality on the cameras is horrible, somewhere around 480. To top it off my once prized analog security camera died while I was writing this.

Everything is IP and all the recorders are now NVRs these days. I was looking at possible new solutions to upgrading and there are some decent options out there. Theres the Blink XT2 and Arlo Pro cameras, they seem to be the most popular. There are also the super cheap (but indoor only at this time) Wyze cameras. They all have pretty decent apps but they all rely on cloud storage or record to local SD cards. If you want IP cameras without the cloud you are looking at going through a security professional or something you can get from Costco, Home Depot or Amazon etc. Now I can’t afford a new IP camera package at the moment but they seem nice, but with no local storage I decided to see if I could roll my own NVR and IP camera.

Before you go any further you should read this blog article, it has a ton of info on the options you have available to you. He goes in depth about the options, I am going to give you my experience with them, what I ended up sticking with and how I got it setup. I recommend trying out all the options if you are so inclined, it took me about a day or two to bounce between them all and settle on one. I have been writing this article for two weeks now.

I have a home server running on an old slim desktop computer (that someone dumped off on my curb one day). I am running Ubuntu Server 18.04 headless. I have a few programs and services running on it as well as a few terabytes of media that I cannot risk losing. Even losing the OS would be a pain in the ass as my Plex server would have to re-crawl the folders. That takes a long while, an event I would like to avoid if at all possible. So I am always hesitant on installing and trying new things that look like they need a lot of tweaking and trial & error. Enter the Raspberry Pi. This little SBC makes testing things perfect for me (I have still yet to dive into Docker and VMs). If it proves not too problematic then I can toss it on ye ole server.

I started writing this over a weekend, I thought I could turn my experience into a quick write up and oh man did this thing grow. I just want to state up front that I was kinda sideswiped during my process of doing this as a motionEyeOS prerelease came out and the official github has updated a few things which also match what I wrote here now (like they now cover the install on Buster which they did not before). So you may find some redundancies between our pages. Go figure.

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Plex with Zentyal

Visit http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2208386

sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Then add “deb http://www.plexapp.com/repo lucid main” to the file.
Edit for saucy

Ta-da!

for further integration install a torrent client, such as transmission, and download your files straight from the server on to the server. Configure Plex to auto update every so often and bam! If you don’t already know Plex also has apps for Android, iPhone, Kindle and Roku. The DLNA portions works well with Smart TVs and Playstations as well. Happy streaming.

Zentyal 3.4/Ubuntu 13.10 Installation Problems

After trying to do a fresh install of Zentyal 3.4 a few times unsuccessfully I just gave up. I tried multiple discs and USB flash drives to no avail. Come to find out recently thats a bug in the Ubuntu 13.10 installer. It disables some motherboards USB ports during installation. Right after language selection the system appears to hang. The keyboard stops functioning, caps lock nor num lock respond.

There is a work around! If you can, use a PS/2 keyboard and problem solved. If you can’t some people mention unplugging and moving the keyboard to a different USB port works for them. There are also reports of using a USB switch to bypass this issue.

During all of my searches I found this page to be of the most help:
http://askubuntu.com/questions/377728/usb-keyboard-stops-working-on-installation-at-language-selection

Hopefully this saves you some time.