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After moving to a new city and finding out a little less than a decade ago the neighborhood my lady and I moved to was wrought with drugs, prostitution and theft I let the paranoia set in despite the fact we have had no problems and the neighbors have been exceptionally nice.

No matter, I'm an engineer, I solve problems - right?

So with a spare hour I set off to build a solution to help ease my paranoia of the house getting broken into while we are gone.

This is the result of a super simple webcam recording security solution for Linux based operating systems.

Things you will need.



  1. A webcam

  2. Linux OS (I used xubuntu 14.04)

  3. streamer software

  4. Dropbox



After gathering the materials first thing you will need is to install streamer, the software we will be manipulating to record our surroundings.

sudo apt-get install streamer

After that create a DropBox account if you do not already have one and install it on your system. The default install directory is set to your home directory.

You can simply install the deb or follow the command line guide here for installation.
Dropbox install for linux

I chose to do this step because I figured if someone was in your house they will probably take the computer that is performing the recording and if you store them locally the effort is meaningless.

Once you have everything installed create a new directory under ~/Dropbox or the path where you installed. I named mine "security" this will sync up to your dropbox for review anywhere.

Lastly the brains of the operation, a super tiny, simple "script" that does the work. Copy the code and save as a shell script, I named mine "monitor.sh"



#!/bin/bash

#change to your dropbox directory you created to store pics
cd ~/Dropbox/security;

#continuous loop 1 million is just arbitrarily big
for i in {1..1000000}
do  
    #streamer software takes pics and stores chronologically
	streamer -c /dev/video0 -o "$i".jpeg
	#this just waits 20 seconds before running again
	#3 pics per minute, can change to however long you want  
	sleep 20
done


There you have it. Now you just call the script and it will run.

./monitor.sh

Now anything that shows up in that directory will be synced to your drop box, and while you may still get robbed, at least you have something to show police and hopefully some form of justice.




Thoughts for improvement.


  • Get off of Dropbox - upload to a remote server instead

  • Set this up on multiple raspberry PI's with wifi to monitor outside entry points

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