Welcome to ZoneMinder, the new all-in-one Linux GPL'd security camera solution. A few months back my garage was burgled and all my wine and power tools were nicked! I realised shortly after that if I'd just had a camera overlooking the door then at least I'd have know exactly when and who did the dirty deed. And so ZoneMinder was born. It's still a baby but hopefully it can grow up to be something that can be genuinely useful and maybe one day either prevent similar incidents or perhaps bring some perpetrators to justice.
ZoneMinder is designed around a series of independent components that only function when necessary limiting any wasted resource and maximising the efficiency of your machine. A fairly ancient Pentium II PC should be able to track one camera per device at up to 25 frames per second with this dropping by half approximately for each additional camera on the same device, additional cameras on other devices do not interact so can maintain this frame rate. Even monitoring several cameras still will not overload the CPU as frame processing is designed to synchronise with capture and not stall it.
As well as being fast ZoneMinder is designed to be friendly and even more than that, actually useful. As well as the fast video interface core it also comes with a user friendly and comprehensive PHP based web interface allowing you to control and monitor your cameras from home or even at work or on the road. It supports variable web capabilities based on available bandwidth. The web interface also allows you to view events that your cameras have captured and archive them or review them time and again, or delete the ones you no longer wish to keep. The web pages directly interact with the core daemons ensuring full co-operation at all times. ZoneMinder can even be installed as a system service ensuring it is right there if your computer has to reboot for any reason.
The core of ZoneMinder is the capture and analysis of images and there is a highly configurable set of parameters that allow you to ensure that you can eliminate false positives whilst ensuring that anything you don't want to miss will be captured and saved. ZoneMinder allows you to define a set of 'zones' for each camera of varying sensitivity and functionality. This allows you to eliminate regions that you don't wish to track or define areas that will alarm if various thresholds are exceeded in conjunction with other zones.
ZoneMinder is fresh off the keyboard and so comes with no warranty whatsoever, please try it, send your feedback and if you get anything useful out of it please let me know.
ZoneMinder needs a couple of things to work.
Firstly, it uses MySQL so you'll need that. In order to compile you need to make sure you have a development installation and not just a runtime, this is because it needs to use the MySQL header files.
Next it does things with JPEGs so you'll need at least libjpeg.a which I think come as standard nowadays with most distributions. It also uses the netpbm utilities in a very limited way to generate thumbnails under certain circumstances though this can be modified.
ZoneMinder can generate MPEG videos if necessary, for this you'll need the Berkeley MPEG encoder, if you don't have it don't worry the options will be hidden and you'll not miss much really. The web interface uses PHP and so you need that in your apache or other web server as well. There are also various perl modules that you may need that vary depending on which options you choose on installation.
Finally, there is quite a bit of image streaming in the package so if you don't have Netscape or other browser that supports image streaming natively I recommend you get the excellent Cambozola java applet from which will let you view the image stream in Internet Explorer and others. Otherwise you're limited to just refreshing still images.
Hardware-wise, ZoneMinder has been used with BTTV cards and USB cameras with the V4L interface. I don't have a lot of cameras myself so I've not had change to test it much. There will soon be a list of devices that are definitely known to work on the web site. Please let me know if your camera works or not. You do need to have Video 4 Linux installed. I've not got many machines so I've only really used it on RedHat, which does have everything there by default I think. SlackWare does need a bit more tinkering than other distributions; there will be document on the web site describing what users have had to do to get it working with very soon, though I can email additional information if requested. Please give me feedback on other distributions.
The first thing you need to do is run the included configure script to define some initial configuration, just type
./configure --with-mysql=<your MySQL root> --with-webdir=<your web directory> --with-cgidir=<your cgi directory>
where --with-mysql identifies where you have installed MySQL (usually /usr), --with-webdir is the directory to which you want to install the PHP files, and --with-cgidir is the directory to which you want to install CGI files. These directories could be /var/www/html/zm and /var/www/cgi-bin for example. There are also two further arguments you can add if your web user and group are not both 'apache'. These are --with-webuser and --with-webgroup. Type
That's the build configuration sorted out. The next thing you have to do is do a little more runtime specific configuration. ZoneMinder config is scattered around various files in the distribution so to make things easier for you there is a ZoneMinder configuration utility included. Type
to get it started. It is an interactive utility and will prompt you by asking you various questions. For most questions typing '?' will give you additional help if you need it. Once you've answered all the questions it will write out a configuration file called 'zmconfig.txt' and then process various files to substitute the information in them. If you run it again it will remember your answers from before by reading 'zmconfig.txt' before it starts. You can also edit this file directly to change values. If you do you can run zmconfig.pl in non-interactive mode by typing
perl ./zmconfig.pl -noi
which will just read your file and do the substations with no questions asked. Also if you are upgrading from version 0.9.7 (or later) you can copy your old zmconfig*.txt files into the current build directory before you run zmconfig.pl and it will use your preferences as a basis for generating the new ones.
Among the first questions zmconfig.pl asks you are to do with the database and the next thing you should do is create it and the associated database users. You may notice that there are two sets of users and passwords. This is because the streaming server and utility binaries require only read access to the database so you may wish to create both a full access user and a limited access user. You can of course set both to the full access user. The included schema (zmschema.sql) can be used to actually create the tables required. The database is usually called just 'zm'.
If you are upgrading from a previous version you can use zmalter-x.y.z.sql to upgrade your database and make the necessary changes where x.y.z identifies the version of ZoneMinder you had installed previously. So if you are going from version 0.9.7 to version 0.9.11 you would run the scripts for all intervening versions to get to the current one. For a new installation the simplest way to create your database and users is as follows,
mysql mysql < zmschema.sql
grant select,insert,update,delete on <your database name>.* to '<your first
username>' identified by '<your first password>';
grant select on <your database name>.* to '<your second username>' identified by
'<your second password>'
You may need to supply a username and password to the mysql commands in the first place to give yourself sufficient privileges to perform the required commands.
Then just type 'make' and off you go.
Once the build has completed you should have several shiny new binaries. I will now briefly describe what each of them does.
zmc - This is the ZoneMinder Capture daemon. This binary's job is to sit on a video device and such frames off it as fast as possible, this should run at more or less constant speed.
zma - This is the ZoneMinder Analysis daemon. This is the component that goes through the captured frames and checks them for alarming events. It generally keeps up with the zmc but if very busy may skip some frames to prevent it falling behind.
zmf - This is the ZoneMinder Frame daemon. This is an optional daemon that can run in concert with the Analysis daemon and whose function it is to actually write captured frames to disk. This frees up the analysis to do more analysis (!) and so keep up with the capture daemon better. If it isn’t running or dies then the Analysis daemon just writes them itself.
zms - This is the ZoneMinder Streaming server. The web interface connects with this to get real-time or historical streamed images.
zmu - This is the ZoneMinder Utility. It's basically a handy command line interface to several useful functions. Not really meant to be used by anyone except the web page (there's only limited 'help' in it so far) but can be if necessary, especially for debugging video problems.
zmfix - This is a small binary that exists only to ensure that the video device files can be read by the main capture daemons. It is often the case that these device files are set to be accessible by root only on boot. This binary runs setuid and ensures that they have appropriate permissions. This is not a daemon and runs only on system start and then exits.
As well as this there are the web PHP files in the web directory and some perl scripts in the scripts directory, only one of which may actually be used in a minimal installation. These scripts all have some configuration at the top of the files which should be viewed and amended if necessary and are as follows.
zmpkg.pl - This is the ZoneMinder Package Control script. This is used by the web interface and service scripts to control the execution of the system as a whole.
zmdc.pl - This is the ZoneMinder Daemon Control script. This is used by the web interface and the zmpkg.pl script to control and maintain the execution of the capture and analysis daemons amongst others. You should not need to run this script yourself.
zmfilter.pl - This script controsl the execution of saved filters and will be started and stopped by the web interface based on whether there are filters that have been defined to be autonomous. This script is also responsible for the automatic uploading of events to a 3rd party server.
zmaudit.pl - This script is used to check the consistency of the event file system and database. It can delete orphaned events, i.e. ones that appear in one location and not the other as well as checking that all the various event related tables are in line. It can be run interactively or in batch mode either from the command line or a cron job or similar. In the zmconfig.pl there is an option to specify fast event deletes where the web interface only deletes the event entry from the database itself. If this is set then it is this script that tidies up the rest.
zmx10.pl - This is an option script that can be used to initiate and monitor X10 Home Automation style events and interface with an alarm system either by the generation of X10 signals on ZoneMinder events or by initiating ZoneMinder monitoring and capture on receipt of X10 signals from elsewhere, for instance the triggering of an X10 PIR.
zmwatch.pl - This is a simple script purely designed to keep an eye on the capture daemons and restart them if they lockup. It has been known for sync problems in the video drivers to cause this so this script makes sure that nothing important gets missed.
zm - This is the (optional) ZoneMinder init script, see below for details.
Finally, check zm_config.php in the web directory and amend any configuration necessary in there. Most will have already been done by the configuration utilities.
At this stage typing 'make install' will install everything to the desired locations, you may to su to root first though. The installation routine will copy the binaries and scripts to your chosen install location, usually /usr/local/bin and then move zms to your cgi-bin area. It will then copy the web files to your chosen directory and ensure they have the right permissions. Finally it tries to link zm.php to index.php but will not overwrite an existing file if it exists.
The 'zm' script does not get installed automatically as it is not necessary for the operation of the ZoneMinder setup per se. However if you want to ensure that the ZoneMinder daemons are started on reboot etc copy it to your init.d directory, usually something like /etc/rc.d/init.d and then add it by doing
/sbin/chkconfig --add zm
or similar command. ZoneMinder will then start up when your machine reboots and can be controlled (by the root user) by doing 'service zm start' or 'service zm stop' etc.
Now start your web browser and point it at your zm.php and off you go.
To start with you should see the ZoneMinder Console window, this will resize itself to avoid being too intrusive on your desktop. Along the top there are several informational entries like the time of the last update and the current server load. There will also be a ‘start’ or ‘stop’ link depending on the current state. Below that are various other links including a set allowing you to configure your bandwidth. This enables you to optimise your settings depending on where you are, the actual values relating to this are defined at the op of the zm_config.php file. If you are using a browser on the same machine or network then choose high, over a cable or DSL link maybe choose medium and over a dialup choose low. You can experiment to see which is best. This setting is retained on a per machine basis with a persistent cookie. Also on this line is a ‘Report Bug’ email link which you can use to easily report any problems (or successes!) and a couple of other links to the left which will be covered below.
To use ZoneMinder properly you need to define at least one Monitor. Essentially a monitor is associated with a camera and will continually check it for motion detection and such like. So, next click 'Add New Monitor' to bring up the dialog. You will see a bunch of things you have to fill in.
To help you get started on the video configuration the best thing is to us a tool like 'xawtv' to get a picture you're happy with, and to check your camera works and then run 'zmu -d <device_no> -q -v' to get a dump of the settings. You can then enter these values into the video related options of the monitor configuration panel. Note that 'device_no' here is a number corresponding to the digit at the end of your device file, so /dev/video0 has a 'device_no' of 0 etc. If 'zmu' gives you an error related to permissions run 'zmfix -a' to make sure you can access all the video devices.
The options explained in a little more detail are as follows,
Name - First choose a name for it, anything you like.
Function - This essentially defines what the monitor is doing. This can be 'None' meaning the monitor is currently disabled, 'Passive' meaning you can watch the streams coming from the camera but no alarms or events will be generated, or 'Active' meaning all the images will be analysed as well as the stream being available to watch. If you have specified X10 support then X10 is also available as an option which means that the monitor is generally passive but may go active on receipt of X10 commands. Generally you'll want 'Active' but for now leave this at 'None'.
Source Type – This determines whether the camera is a local one attached to a physical video or USB port on your machine or a remote network camera or similar. Choosing one or the other affects which set of three options are show next.
Device Number/Channel – For a local camera enter the device number that your camera is attached to. If it is /dev/video0 enter '0' etc. Some video devices, e.g. BTTV cards support multiple cameras so in the Channel box choose the appropriate channel, or leave it at zero if you're using a USB camera or one without channels.
Device Format – For a local camera enter the video format of the video stream. This is defined in various system files (e.g. /usr/include/linux/videodev.h) but the two most common are 0 for PAL and 1 for NTSC.
Remote Host/Port/Path – For remote cameras use these fields to enter the full URL of the camera. Basically if your camera is at then these fields will be camserver.home.net, 8192 and /cameras/camera1.jopg respectively. Leave the port at 80 if there is no special port required. If you require authentication to access your camera then add this onto the host name in the form <user>:<pass>@<hostname>.com.
Orientation – If your camera is mounted upside down or at right angles you can use this field to specify a rotation that it applied to the image as it is captured. This incurs an additional processing overhead so if possible it is better to mount your camera the right way round if you can. If not set the orientation here. If you choose one of the rotation options remember to reverse the height and width fields so that they apply, e.g. if your camera captures at 352x288 and you choose ‘Rotate Right’ here then set the height to be 352 and width to be 288.
Capture Width/Height - The dimensions of the video stream your camera will supply. If your camera supports several just enter the one you'll want to use for this application, you can always change it later. However I would recommend starting with no larger than 352x288 and then perhaps increasing and seeing how performance is affected. This size should be adequate in most cases.
Capture Palette - Finally for the video part of the configuration enter the colour depth. ZoneMinder supports a handful of the most common palettes, so choose one here. If in doubt try grey scale first, and then 24 bit colour. If neither of these work very well then YUV420P probably will.
Timestamp Label Format - This relates to the timestamp that is applied to each frame. It is a sprintf style string. It is actually passed through sprintf and then through print to add the monitor name so a format of '%%s - %y/%m/%d %H:%M:%S' would be recommended though you can modify it if necessary. If you don’t want a timestamp or have a camera that puts one on itself then leave this field blank.
Timestamp Label X/Y - The X and Y values determine where to put the timestamp a value of 0 for the X value will put it on the left side of the image and a Y value of 0 will place it at the top of the image. A Y value of the height you supplied earlier minus 8 will place it on the bottom of the image.
Image Buffer Size - This option determines how many frames are held in the ring buffer at any one time. The ring buffer is the storage space where the last ‘n’ images are kept, ready to be resurrected on an alarm or just kept waiting to be analysed. It can be any value you like with a couple of provisos, (see next options). However it is stored in shared memory and making it too large especially for large images with a high colour depth can use a lot of memory. A value of no more than 100 is usually ok.
Warm-up Frames - This specifies how many frames the analysis daemon should process but not examine when it starts. This allows it to generate an accurate reference image from a series of images before looking too carefully for any changes. I use a value of 25 here, too high and it will take a long time to start, too low and you will get false alarms when the analysis daemon starts up.
Pre/Post Event Image Buffer - These options determine how many frames from before and after an event should be preserved with it. This allows you to view what happened immediately prior and subsequent to the event. A value of 10 for both of these will get you started but if you get a lot of short events and would prefer them to run together to form fewer longer ones then increase the Post Event buffer size. Both of these values added together should not exceed the ring buffer size.
Maximum FPS – On some occasions you may have one or more cameras capable of high capture rates but find that you generally do not require this performance at all times and would prefer to lighten the load on your server. This option permits you to limit the maximum capture rate to a specified value. This may allow you to have more cameras supported on your system by reducing the CPU load or to allocate video bandwidth unevenly between cameras sharing the same video device. This value is only a rough guide and the lower the value you set the less close the actual FPS may approach it especially on shared devices where it is difficult to synchronise two different capture rates precisely. There is a global option in zmconfig.pl that allows you to turn this limiting off in the event of an alarm.
FPS Report Interval - How often the current performance in terms of Frames Per Second is output to the system log. Not used in any functional way so set it to maybe 1000 for now. If you watch /var/log/messages (normally) you will see this value being emitted at the frequency you specify both for video capture and processing.
Reference Image Blend %ge - Each analysed image in ZoneMinder is a composite of previous images and is formed by applying the current image as a certain percentage of the previous reference image. Thus, if we entered the recommended value of 10 here, each images part in the reference image will diminish by a factor of 0.9 each time round. So a typical reference image will be 10% the previous image, 9% the one before that and then 8.1%, 7.2%, 6.5% and so on of the rest of the way. An image will effectively vanish around 25 images later than when it was added. This blend value is what is specified here and if higher will make slower progressing events less detectable as the reference image would change more quickly. Similarly events will be deemed to be over much sooner as the reference image adapts to the new images more quickly. In signal processing terms the higher this value the steeper the event attack and decay of the signal. It depends on your particular requirements what the appropriate value would be for you but start with 10 here and adjust it later if necessary.
X10 Activation String - This option is only available if you have specified X10 support in the configuration. If you have then this contents of this field determine when a monitor starts and stops being Active if its function is set to X10. Basically what this means is that a monitor with a Function of X10 normally acts as it is Passive, i.e. you can watch the video stream but no analysis is done. On receipt of the appropriate X10 signal however it effectively changes to Active mode and starts to analyse images until an X10 signal changes it back to Passive again. The format of this string is as follows,
n : If you simply enter a number then the monitor will be activated when an X10 ON signal for that unit code is detected and will be deactivated when an OFF signal is detected.
!n : This inverts the previous mode, e.g. !5 means that the monitor is activated when an OFF signal for unit code 5 is detected and deactivated by an ON.
n+ : Entering a unit code followed by + means that the monitor is activated on receipt of a ON signal for that unit code but will ignore the OFF signal and as such will not be deactivated by this instruction. If you prepend a '!' as per the previous definition it similarly inverts the mode, i.e. the ON signal deactivates the monitor.
n+<seconds> : As per the previous mode except that the monitor will deactivate itself after the given number of seconds.
n- : Entering a unit code followed by - means that the monitor is deactivated on receipt of a OFF signal for that unit code but will ignore the ON signal and as such will not be activated by this instruction. If you prepend a '!' as per the previous definition it similarly inverts the mode, i.e. the OFF signal activates the monitor.
n+<seconds> : As per the previous mode except that the monitor will activate itself after the given number of seconds.
You can also combine several of these expressions to by separating them with a comma to create multiple circumstances of activation. However for now leave this blank.
X10 Input Alarm String - This has the same format as the previous field but instead of activating the monitor with will cause a forced alarm to be generated and an event recorded if the monitor is Active. The same definition as above apply except that for activated read alarmed and for deactivated read unalarmed(!). Again leave this blank for now.
X10 Output Alarm String - This X10 string also has the same format as the two above options. However it works in a slightly different way. Instead of ZoneMinder reacting to X10 events this option controls how ZoneMinder emits X10 signals when the current monitor goes into or comes out of the alarm state. Thus just entering a number will cause the ON signal for that unit code to be sent when going into alarm state and the OFF signal when coming out of alarm state. Similarly 7+30 will send the unit code 7 ON signal when going into alarm state and the OFF signal 30 seconds later regardless of state. The combination of the X10 instruction allows ZoneMinder to react intelligently to, and also assume control of, other devices when necessary. However the indiscriminate use of the Input Alarm and Output Alarm signals can cause some horrendous race conditions such as a light going on in response to an alarm which then causes an alarm itself and so on. Thus some circumspection is required here. Leave this blank for now anyway.
Finally, click 'Save' to add your monitor.
On the main console listing you will now see your monitor and some of its vital statistics. Each column is also a link and you get to other functions of ZoneMinder by choosing the appropriate one. Describing them left to right, they are as follows.
The first column is the Id, clicking on this gives you the opportunity to edit any of the settings you have just defined your monitor to have.
The next column is the Name column, clicking on this will give you the watch window where you can view a live feed from your camera. This is described more fully below.
Following that are the Function and Source columns, which may be represented in various colours. Initially both will be showing red. This means that that monitor is not configured for any function and as a consequence has no zmc (capture) daemon running on it. If it were orange it would mean that a zmc daemon was running but no zma (analysis) daemon and green means both are running. In our case it is red because we defined the Monitor to have a Function of None so no daemons are required. To get the daemons up and running you can either click on the source listed in the Source column and edit the monitor properties or click on the Function listed and change it to ‘Passive’ or 'Active', which will ensure that one or more appropriate daemons are started automatically.
Having a device status of red or orange does not necessarily constitute an error if you have deliberately disabled a monitor or have just put it into Passive mode.
If you have several cameras (and thus monitors) on a device the device status colour reflects all of them for the capture daemon. So if just one monitor is active then the daemon is active for both even if all the other monitors are switched off.
Once you have changed the function of your monitor, the main console window will be updated to reflect this change. If your device status does not go green then check your system and web server logs to see if it's something obvious.
You can now add further monitors if you have cameras set up to support them. Once you have one or more monitors you may notice the '<n> Monitors' title becomes a link which allows you to cycle through a shot from each of your monitors (unless they are switched off) and get a streamed or still image from each in turn. There may also be a link titled ‘Montage’ which allows you view all your enabled cameras simultaneously. Be aware however that this can consume large amounts of bandwidth and CPU so should not be used continuously unless you have resource to burn.
The next important thing to do with a new monitor is set up Zones for it to use. By default you'll already have one created for you when you created your monitor but you might want to modify it or add others. Click on the Zones column for your monitor and you should see a small popup window appear which contains an image from your camera overlain with a stippled pattern representing your zone. In the default case this will cover the whole image and will be red. Beneath that will be a table containing a listing of your zones. Clicking on either the relevant bit of the image or on the Id or Name in the table will bring up another window where you can edit the particulars for your Zones. As you can see there are quite a few, so now is a good time to go through them. The options are as follows.
Name – This is just a label to identify the zone by. You can change this to be more representative if you like, though it isn't used much except for logging and debugging.
Type - This is one of the more important concepts in ZoneMinder and there are five to choose from.
Active : This is the zone type you'll use most often, and which will be set for your default zone. This means that this zone will trigger an alarm on any events that occur within it that meet the selection criteria.
Inclusive : This zone type can be used for any zones that you want to trigger an alarm only if at least one other Active zone has already triggered one. This might be for example to cover an area of the image like a plant or tree which moves a lot and which would trigger lots of alarms. Perhaps this is behind an area you'd like to monitor though, in this case you'd create an active zone covering the non-moving parts and an inclusive zone covering the tree perhaps with less sensitive detection settings also. If something triggered an alarm in the Active zone and also in the Inclusive zone they would both be registered and the resulting alarm would be that much bigger than if you had blanked it out altogether.
Exclusive : The next zone Type is Exclusive. This means that alarms will only be triggered in this zone if no alarms have already been triggered in Active zones. This is the most specialised of the zone types and you may never use it but in its place it is very useful. For instance in the camera covering my garden I keep watch for a hedgehog that visits most nights and scoffs the food out of my cats bowls. By creating a sensitive Exclusive zone in that area I can ensure that a hedgehog alarm will only trigger if there is activity in that small area. If something much bigger occurs, like someone walking by it will trigger a regular alarm and not one from the Exclusive zone. Thus I can ensure I get alarms for big events and also special small events but not the noise in between.
Preclusive : This zone type is relatively recent. It is called a Preclusive zone because if it is triggered it actually precludes an alarm being generated for that image frame. So motion or other changes that occur in a Preclusive zone will have the effect of ensuring that no alarm occurs at all. The application for this zone type is primarily as a shortcut for detecting general large-scale lighting or other changes. Generally this may be achieved by limiting the maximum number of alarm pixels or other measure in an Active zone. However in some cases that zone may cover an area where the area of variable illumination occurs in different places as the sun and/or shadows move and it thus may be difficult to come up with general values. Additionally, if the sun comes out rapidly then although the initial change may be ignored in this way as the reference image catches up an alarm may ultimately be triggered as the image becomes less different. Using one or more Preclusive zones offers a different approach. Preclusive zones are designed to be fairly small, even just a few pixels across, with quite low alarm thresholds. They should be situated in areas of the image that are less likely to have motion occur such as high on a wall or in a corner. Should a general illumination change occur they would be triggered at least as early as any Active zones and prevent any other zones from generating an alarm. Obviously careful placement is required to ensure that they do not cancel any genuine alarms or that they are not so close together that any motion just hops from one Preclusive zone to another. As always, the best way is to experiment a little and see what works for you.
Inactive : This final zone type is the opposite of Active. In this zone type no alarms will ever be reported. You can create an Inactive zone to cover any areas in which nothing notable will ever happen or where you get constant false alarms that don't relate to what you are trying to monitor. An Inactive zone can overlay other zone types and will be processed first.
I mentioned above that Inactive zones may be overlaid on other zones to blank out areas however as a general principle you should try and make zones abut each other as much as possible and not overlap. This helps avoid repeated duplicate processing of the same area. For instance an Inclusive zone overlaying an Active zone when all other settings are the same will always trigger when the Active zone does which somewhat defeats the object of the exercise. One exception to this is Preclusive zones. These may be situated within Active areas are they are processed first and if small may actually save processing time by preventing full analysis of the image.
Units - This setting which details whether certain of the following settings are in Pixels or Percent of the frame. In general pixels is more precise whereas percentages are easier to use to start with. If you change this setting all appropriate values below are redisplayed in the correct context. A good tip would be to initially enter the settings in Percent and then change to Pixels and refine any gaps. Repeated flipping between the settings will cause rounding errors, as ZoneMinder in general is not at home to Mr Floating Point for reasons of performance.
Min/Maximum X/Y - Following the units the next four settings define the bounds of the Zone in the monitor frame and are self-explanatory with the exception of the fact that the minima are at the top left of the frame and the maxima are at the bottom right rather than in a Cartesian style.
Alarm Colour - The option after that allows you to specify what colour you'd like any alarms this zone generates to be highlighted on images, pick anything you like that will show up against your normal image background. This option is irrelevant for Preclusive and Inactive zones and will be disabled For Inactive zones all subsequent options are likewise disabled.
Alarm Threshold - This represents the difference in value between a pixel and its predecessor in the reference image. For greyscale images this is simple but for colour images the colours are averaged first, originally this used an RMS (root mean squared) algorithm but calculating square roots mugs performance and does not seem to improve detection. Using an average does means that subtle colour changes without any brightness change may go undetected but this is not the normal circumstance. There is also the option to use a more sophisticated integer algorithm to calculate a Y (or brightness) value from the colours themselves.
Min/Maximum Alarmed Area - The following two settings define the minimum and maximum number of pixels that exceed this threshold that would cause an alarm. If the units are Percent this (and following options) refers to the percentage of the frame and not the zone, this is so these values can be related between zones. The minimum value must be matched or exceeded for an alarm to be generated whereas the maximum must not be exceeded or the alarm will be cancelled. This is to allow for sudden changes such as lights coming on etc, which you may wish to disregard. In general a value of zero for any of these settings causes that value to be ignored, so you can safely set a maximum to zero and it will not be used. The use of just a number of pixels is however a very brute force method of detection as many small events dispersed widely are not distinguished from a compact one.
Filter Width/Height – To improve detection of valid event ZoneMinder applies several other functions to the data to improve its ability to distinguish interesting signals from uninteresting noise. The first of these is a filter that removes any pixels that do not participate in a contiguous block of pixels above a certain size. These options are always pixels and should be fairly small, and an odd number. Application of this filter removes any tiny or discontinuous pixels that don't form part of a discrete block.
Min/Maximum Filtered Area – These are two additional bounds that specify the limits of pixels that would cause an alarm after this filtering process. As the filtering process can only remove alarmed pixels it makes no sense for the Minimum and Maximum Filtered Area to be larger than the equivalent Alarmed Area and in general they should be smaller or the same.
Min/Maximum Blob Area - The next step in the analysis phase is the collation of any remaining alarmed areas into contiguous blobs. This process parses the image and forms any pixels that adjoin other alarmed pixels into one or more larger blobs. These blobs may be any shape and can be as large as the zone itself or as small as the filtered size. The Minimum and Maximum Blob Size settings allow you to define limits within which an alarm will be generated. Of these only the Minimum is likely to be very useful.
Min/Maximum Blobs - Finally the Minimum and Maximum Blobs settings specify the limits of the actual number of blobs detected. If an image change satisfies all these requirements it becomes an alarm event.
As this point you should have one or more Monitors running with one or more Zones each. Returning to the main Console window you will see your monitors listed once more. The columns not explored so far are the Monitor name, and various event totals for certain periods of time. Clicking on any of the event totals will bring up a variation on the same window but click on the Monitor name for now. On doing so up will pop another window which should be scaled to contain a heading, an image from your monitor, a status and a list of events if any have been generated. Depending on whether you are able to view a streamed image or not the image frame will either be this stream or a series of stills. You have the option to change from one to the other (if available) at the centre of the top heading.
The image should be self-explanatory but if it looks like garbage it is possible that the video configuration is wrong so look in your system error log and check for or report anything unusual. The centre of the window will have a tiny frame that just contains a status; this will be 'Idle', 'Alarm' or 'Alert' depending on the function of the Monitor and what's going on in the field of view. Idle means nothing is happening, Alarm means there is an alarm in progress and Alert means that an alarm has happened and the monitor is cooling down, if another alarm is generated in this time it will just become part of the same event. These indicators are colour coded in green, red and amber.
By default if you have minimised this window or opened other windows in front it will pop up to the front if it goes to Alarm state. This behaviour can be turned off in configuration if required. You can also specify a sound file in the configuration, which will be played when an alarm occurs to alert you to the fact if you are not in front of your computer. This should be a short sound of only a couple of seconds ideally. Note that as the status is refreshed every few seconds it is possible for this not to alert you to every event that takes place, so you shouldn't rely on it for this purpose if you expect very brief events. Alternatively you can decrease the refresh interval for this window in the configuration though having too frequently refreshing may impact on performance.
Below the status is a list of recent events that have occurred, by default this is a listing of just the last 10 but clicking on 'All' will give you a full list and 'Archive' will take you to the event archive for this monitor, more on this later. Clicking on any of the column headings will sort the events appropriately.
From here you can also delete events if you wish. The events themselves are listed with the event id, and event name (which you can change), the time that the event occurred, the length of the event including any preamble and postamble frames, the number of frames comprising the event with the number that actually contain an alarm in brackets and finally a score. This column lists the average score per alarm frame as well as the maximum score that any alarm frame had.
The score is an arbitrary value that essentially represents the percentage of pixels in the zone that are in blobs divided by the square root of the number of blobs and then divided by the size of the zone. This gives a nominal maximum of 100 for a zone and the totals for each zone are added together, Active zones scores are added unchanged, Inclusive zones are halved first and Exclusive zones are doubled. In reality values are likely to be much less than 100 but it does give a simple indication of how major the event was.
The other columns on the main console window contain various event totals for your monitor over the last hour, day, week and month as well as a grand total and a total for events that you may have archived for safekeeping. Clicking on one of these totals or on the 'All' or 'Archive' links from the monitor window described above will present you with a new display. This is the full event window and contains a list of events selected according to a filter which will also pop up in its own window. Thus if you clicked on a 'day' total the filter will indicate that this is the period for which events are being filtered. The event listing window contains a similar listing to the recent events in the monitor window. The primary differences are that the frames and alarm frames and the score and maximum score are now broken out into their own columns, all of which can be sorted by clicking on the heading. Also this window will not refresh automatically, rather only on request. Other than that, you can choose to view events here or delete them as before.
The other window that appeared is a filter window. You can use this window to create your own filters or to modify existing ones. You can even save your favourite filters to re-use at a future date. Filtering itself is fairly simple; you first choose how many expressions you'd like your filter to contain. Changing this value will cause the window to redraw with a corresponding row for each expression. You then select what you want to filter on and how the expressions relate by choosing whether they are 'and' or 'or' relationships. For filters comprised of many expressions you will also get the option to bracket parts of the filter to ensure you can express it as desired.
There are several different elements to an event that you can filter on, some of which require further explanation. These are as follows, 'Date/Time' which must evaluate to a date and a time together, 'Date' and 'Time' which are variants which may only contain the relevant subsets of this, 'Weekday' which as expected is a day of the week. All of the preceding elements take a very flexible free format of dates and time based on the PHP strtotime function (http://www.zend.com/manual/function.strtotime.php). This allows values such as 'last Wednesday' etc to be entered. I recommend acquainting yourself with this function to see what the allowed formats are.
The other elements you can filter on are all fairly self explanatory except perhaps for 'Archived' which you can use to include or exclude Archived events. In general you'll probably do most filtering on un-archived events. Once your filter is specified, clicking 'submit' will filter the events according to your specification. If you have created a filter you want to keep, you can name it and save it by clicking 'Save'.
If you do this then the subsequent dialog will also allow you specify whether you want this filter automatically applied in order to delete events or upload events via ftp to another server and mail notifications of events to one or more email accounts. In most cases you can specify your preferences for upload formats and email content during configuration time (make sure you type '?' to get help on options). Emails and messages (essentially small emails intended for mobile phones or pagers) have a variety of tokens that can be substituted for various details of the event that caused them. This includes links to the event view or the filter as well as the option of attaching images or videos to the email itself. See the included templates zmconfig_eml.txt and zmconfig_msg.txt for a fuller explanation of the availability and meaning of these tokens.
Filtering is a powerful mechanism you can use to eliminate events that fit a certain pattern however in many cases modifying the zone settings will better address this. Where it really comes into its own is generally in applying time filters, so for instance events that happen during weekdays or at certain times of the day are highlighted, uploaded or deleted.
From the monitor or filtered events listing you can now click on an event to view it in more detail. If you have streaming capability you will see a series of images that make up the event. You will also see a link to allow you to view the still images themselves. If you don't have streaming then you will be taken directly to this page. The images themselves are thumbnail size and depending on the configuration and bandwidth you have chosen will either be the full images scaled in your browser of actual scaled images. If it is the latter, if you have low bandwidth for example, it may take a few seconds to generate the images. If thumbnail images are required to be generated, they will be kept and not re-generated in future. Once the images appear you can mouse over them to get the image sequence number and the image score.
You will notice for the first time that alarm images now contain an overlay outlining the blobs that represent the alarmed area. This outline is in the colour defined for that zone and lets you see what it was that caused the alarm. Clicking on one of the thumbnails will take you to a full size window where you can see the image in all its detail and scroll through the various images that make up the event. If you have the ZM_RECORD_EVENT_STATS option on, you will be able to click the 'Stats' link here and get some analysis of the cause of the event. Should you determine that you don't wish to keep the event, clicking on Delete will erase it from the database and file system. Returning to the event window, other options here are renaming the event to something more meaningful, refreshing the window to replay the event stream, deleting the event, switching between streamed and still versions of the event (if supported) and generating an MPEG video of the event (if supported).
These last two options require further explanation. Archiving an event means that it is kept to one side and not displayed in the normal event listings unless you specifically ask to view the archived events. This is useful for keeping events that you think may be important or just wish to protect. Once an event is archived it can be deleted or unarchived but you cannot accidentally delete it when viewing normal unarchived events.
The final option of generating an MPEG video is still somewhat experimental and it's usefulness may vary. It can use either the Berkeley MPEG encoder or the faster and new ffmpeg encoder. Either of these will generate a short video, which will be downloaded to your browsing machine to view. Due to the relatively slow frame rate that ZoneMinder will capture at and the high minimum frame rate that the Berkeley encoder uses videos created by this method will be very quick. However when using the ffmpeg encoder, ZoneMinder will attempt to match the duration of the video with the duration of the event. This has the useful effect of making the video watchable and not too quick while having the unfortunate side effect of increasing file size and generation time. Ffmpeg in particular has a particularly rich set of options and you can specify during configuration which additional options you may wish to include to suit your preferences.
Building an MPEG video, especially for a large event, can take some time and should not be undertaken lightly as the effect on your host box of many CPU intensive encoders will not be good. However once a video has been created for an event it will be kept so subsequent viewing will not incur the generation overhead. I will be the first to admit that this area of the package is not particularly well implemented and needs work, and probably a better encoder. Videos can also be included in notification emails however care should be taken when using this option as for many frequent events the penalty in CPU and disk space can quickly mount up.
That pretty much is it for the tour. You should experiment with the various setting to get the results you think are right for your. Naturally letting thousands of events build up is not good for the database or your file system so you should endeavour to either prevent spurious events from being generated in the first place or ensure that you housekeep them strictly.
Have fun, please report any bugs or features you'd like to see and hopefully ZoneMinder can be your camera monitoring friend!
Philip Coombes (email@example.com) - April 2003
Life eh? Nothing ever works first time does it? In case you are having problems here are some things to try. If these don't work then feel free to get in touch and I'll see if I can suggest something else. The best places to look for errors are in your system error log (probably /var/log/messages on RedHat) and your web server log (/var/log/httpd/error_log). There should be something in one of those that gives you some kind of tip off.
Some things to check.
o Device configuration. If you can't get your cameras to work in ZoneMinder, firstly make sure that you have the correct settings. Use xawtv or something like that to check for settings that work and then run zmu -d <device_no> -q -v to get the settings. If you can't get them to work with that then the likelihood is they won't work with ZoneMinder. Also check the system logs (usually /var/log/messages) for any video configuration errors. If you get some and you're sure they're not a problem then switch off ZM_STRICT_VIDEO_CONFIG in zmconfig.pl and recompile and reinstall.
o Start simple. Begin with a single monitor and single zone. You can run the zmc capture daemon from the command line as 'zmc --device 0' (or whatever your video device is). If it returns immediately there's a problem so check the logs, if it stays up then your video configuration is probably ok. To get more information out of it use debug as specified below. Also check that the shared memory segment has been created by doing 'ipcs -m'. Finally, beware of doing tests as root and then trying to run as another user as some files may not be accessible. If you're checking things as root make sure that you clean up afterwards!
o Web server. Ensure that your web server can serve PHP files. It's also possible that your php.ini file may have some settings which break ZoneMinder, I'm not a PHP guru but setting safe mode may prevent your PHP files from running certain programs. You may have to set configuration to allow this. Also since the daemons are started by your web server, if it dies or is shut down then the daemons may disappear. In this version the daemons are run under the control of a script which should trap expected signals but it is possible this doesn't cover all circumstances.
o One of the more common errors you can see in the log files is of the form 'Can't shmget: Invalid argument'. Generally speaking this is caused by an attempt to allocate an amount of shared memory greater than your system can handle. The size it requests is base on the following formula, ring buffer size x image width x image height x 3 (for 24 bits images) + a bit of overhead. So if for instance you were using 24bit 640x480 then this would come to about 92Mb if you are using the default buffer size of 100. If this is too large then you can either reduce the image or buffer sizes or increase the maximum amount of shared memory available. If you are using RedHat then you can get details on how to change these settings at http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/database/RHDB-2.1-Manual/admin_user/kernel-resources.html
o You should be able to use a similar process with other distributions to modify the shared memory pool without kernel recompilations though in some cases this may be necessary. Note, this error also sometime occurs if you have an old shared memory segment lying around from a previous run that is too small. Use the ipcs and ipcrm commands to check and remove it if necessary.
o Use debug. ZoneMinder has various debug in it that by default will go into your system log (via syslog). These will be of the form of
"Sep 14 14:50:11 localhost zma-0: INF [Front: 221000 - Processing at 4.26 fps ]"
where the zma-0 part identifies the daemon and the device it is running on. Entries with INF in are informational and not an error, if you see ERR then it is one, though not all are fatal. You can prevent this information from being emitted by setting the DLVL_zmc environment variable to -1 or less once things are working. If you want to run any of the daemons from the command line to test, setting DBG_PRINT to 1 will output the debug on the console. You can also use the USR1 and USR2 signals to increase or decrease the amount of debug being emitted.
o Paths. I admit it, the various paths in ZoneMinder are a bit of a nightmare. Make sure that they are all correct and that permissions are such that the various parts of ZoneMinder can actually run.
o Missing perl modules. There are various perl modules used by the various scripts. If you get errors about missing ones, the easiest way to install them is to type the following (you will probably need to be root),
perl -MCPAN -eshell
this will then (eventually, after some configuration if it’s your first time) present you with a prompt. From there you can type install module, e.g. Archive::Zip and the rest should be more or less automatic as it will chase any dependencies for you. There may be some initial configuration questions it might ask you on startup if you've never run it before and to speed things up I would not install a new Bundle at this point (it can end up building you a whole new perl if you’re not careful) if it asks you but everything else should be quite straightforward.
o Unsupported palettes. ZoneMinder currently is designed to use the simple palettes of greyscale and 24 bit as well as now the YUV420P palette. This should cover most cameras but it's possible that there are ones out there that might want to use more esoteric formats that ZoneMinder doesn’t support. This will often show up as the capture daemon being unable to set picture attributes. If this occurs try using different palettes starting with greyscale and if you can't get anything to work let me know and I'll try and add it.
o USB bus problems. If you have multiple USB cameras on one bus then it can appear as if ZoneMinder is causing your cameras to fail. This is because the bandwidth available to cameras is limited by the fairly low USB speed. In order to use more than one USB camera with ZoneMinder (or any application) you will need to inform the driver that there are other cameras requiring bandwidth. This is usually done with a simple module option. Examples are usb_alt=<n> for the OV511 driver and cams=<n> for CPIA etc. Check your driver documentation for more details. Be aware however that sharing cameras in this way on one bus will also limit the capture rate due to the reduced bandwidth.
o Incorrect libjpeg.a detection. It seems to be the case that in some cases the library file libjpeg.a is reported as missing even when apparently present. This appears to actually be down to the g++ compiler not being installed on the host system. Since ZoneMinder contains both C++ and C files you need to be able to compile both of these file types and so usually need to ensure you have gcc and g++ installed (though they are often the same binary).
o Httpd and zms memory leaks. It has been reported by some users with RedHat 9 that the zms process fails to terminate correctly when the controlled window is killed and also that it, and it’s associated httpd process, continue to grow in memory size until they kill the system. This appears to be a bug in either the compiler or apache on RH9. On other systems it may appear that zms is leaking and growing. However what grows is the total and shared memory size while the non-shared memory size stays constant. It's a little odd but I think what it happening is that as zms picks images out of the shared memory ring buffer to display, as each slot is read the size of that bit of memory is added to the shared memory total for the process. As streamed images are not read consecutively it's a semi-random process so initially most of the buffer slots are new and the shared memory size grows then as time goes on the remaining unaccessed slots reduce until once all have been read the shared memory use caps out at the same size as the actual segment. This is what I would have expected it to be in the first place, but it seems to do it incrementally. Then once this total is hit it grows no further. As it's shared memory anyway and already in use this apparent leak is not consuming any more memory than when it started.
o Cambozola. There appears to be an issue with recent versions of Cambozola that causes image corruption in the stream. If you are getting this then I suggest you stick with version 0.22 which is available from the Downloads section of www.zoneminder.com.
Also, if you are using IE under Windows and get lots of annoying clicks when various windows refresh then you'll need to edit your registry and remove the value for HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\Explorer\Navigating\.current or download the registry script to do it for you from http://www.zoneminder.com/downloads/noIEClick.reg
Mostly bug-fixes with a couple of minor features.
o Double first images. Fixed a problem where the first image of an event was being recorded twice. I don’t think this was at the cost of any of the other images but one copy was an extra.
o Made zmdc connect more intelligent. On the suggestion of a couple of people I have made the zmdc.pl server spawning and waiting a bit more intelligent. Rather than waiting a fixed (short) amount of time, it now polls every second for a while, stopping if the connection is made. Thanks to Todd McAnally for the initial suggestion.
o Added image view to events lists. Again a partial implementation of a suggested feature. If you click on the score column you will now get a snapshot of the event frame with the highest score. This is to enable you to quickly see what the event was about without having to watch the stream or view all the static images.
o Make delta times variable precision. A couple of problems had been reported where long events got negative durations. This was due to an overflow in a time difference routine. This had been operating on fixed precision allowing high precision for short deltas. This routine has been changed to allow variable precision and events will now have to be several days long to wrap in this way.
o Fixed round detection problem. Although the existence or otherwise of the ‘round’ function is correctly detected, the appropriate header file with the results of this test was not included which was not helpful. This has been corrected.
o Fixed monitor rename bug. Renaming a monitor did not correctly modify the events directory to reflect this. This has now been fixed.
o OPT_MPEG bug. A bug was reported (by Fernando Diaz) where the results of the ZM_OPT_MPEG configuration variable was not correctly imported into the scripts. This now happens as intended.
o Fixed zmvideo.pl event length bug. The zmvideo.pl script which is used to generate video MPEG files tries to calculate the correct frame rate based on the length of the event and the number of frames it contains. Previously it did not take account of the pre and post event frames and so passed a much shorter value to the mpeg encoder than it should. This will only have affected short events encoded with ffmpeg but will have resulted in much faster frame rates than necessary. This has now been corrected to take the whole event length into account.
o Fixed remote camera memory leak. A memory leak was reported when capturing with remote cameras, this is now fixed.
o Orientation. Added option to rotate or invert captured images for cameras mounted at unusual angles.
o Fixed filter bug. A bug in the zmfilter.pl script was detected and reported by Ernst Lehmann. This bug basically meant that events were not checked as often as they should have been and many may have been left out for filters that had no time component. The script has now been updated to reflect Ernst’s suggested changes.
o Stylesheet change. Previously the stylesheet didn’t really work very well on Mozilla, Netscape and browsers other than IE. This turned out to be because I was using HTML style comments in there instead of C style ones. This has now been corrected so you should see the correct styles.
o Zmconfig.pl ReadKey. Thanks to a ridiculously sensible suggestion from Carlton Thomas this module has been removed from zmconfig.pl. Originally Term::ReadKey was in there for funky single character unbuffered input but that has long since disappeared so just regular perl input methods are used now. This removes one of the most irritating features about ZoneMinder installs.
o Delete monitor confirm. Due to some unfortunate accidents by users, attempts to delete monitors will now require confirmation.
o Detect linmysqlclient.a. Added better detection script into ‘configure’ top spot when libmysqlclient.a is missing.
Various new features and fixes.
o Added stats view – If you have the RECORD_EVENT_STATS directive set and are viewing a still image from an event you can now view the statistics recorded for that frame. This tells you why that frame triggered or participated in an alarm. This can be useful in tuning the various motion detection parameters and seeing why events occurred.
o Tabulated events – The main events view is now tabulated to look a bit nicer.
o New video palette support – As well as the existing greyscale and 24 bit RGB palettes, you can now choose YUV420P and RGB565. Rewrote the palette/colours area a bit to enable support for other palettes in the future if requested. Bear in mind though that YUV palettes are converted into RGB internally so if you have the choice RGB24 may be faster as it's the 'native' format used within.
o Added preclusive zones – Added a new zone type, the preclusive zone. For full details see the relevant section above but in brief this is a zone type that if alarmed will actually prevent an alarm. This completes the pantheon of zone types I think.
o Allow image and mpegs to be attached to emails – Added new tokens (%EI1%, %EIM% and %EV%) to the filter emails. This allows the first alarm image, most highly scored alarm image and an alarm MPEG to be attached to alarm notification emails. Use %EV% especially with care!
o Fixed possible motion detection bug – I found a few double declared local variables left over from the rewrite. This may have affected the motion detection algorithm. Fixed now anyway.
o Modified scoring – Alarm scoring has been modified to give more granularity for smaller events. This will have the effect of raising the scores for small events while large ones will still be about the same.
o Fixed /cgi-bin path problem – Previously you could specify the real path to you cgi-bin directory if you have one but not the web path. You can now do both.
o Improved video handling in browser – The MPEG/video area of the web GUI had been a bit neglected and looked somewhat ugly. This has now been improved to a degree and looks a bit nicer.
o Added ffmpeg support – Historically ZoneMinder has only supported the Berkeley mpeg encoder which was slow and rather limited. ZoneMinder now supports the ffmpeg encoder as well which is much much faster and makes generation of MPEG videos at realistic frame rates more of a reality. As ffmpeg has so many options and everyone will probably want a different emphasis you can now also specify additional ffmpeg options via zmconfig.pl.
o Colourise greyscale image files – In past versions, captured greyscale images were stored as JPEG files with a corresponding greyscale colourspace. This saved a small amount of space but meant that mpeg_encode had to do a conversion to encode them, and ffmpeg just fell in a heap. Now you can optionally opt to have greyscale images saved as full 24 bit colourspace images (they still look the same) at the price of a small penalty in CPU and disk but allowing you to easily and quickly create MPEG files. This option is one by default but can be switched off if you do not require any MPEG encoding.
o Fast RGB diffs – Previously ZoneMinder used quite a loose method for calculating the differences between two colour images. This was basically averaging the differences between each of the RGB components to get an overall difference. This is still the default but by setting ZM_FAST_RGB_DIFFS to 'no' you can now make it calculate the Y (or brightness value) of the pixels and use the difference between those instead. This will be more accurate and responsive to changes but is may be slower especially on old machines. There is a slight double whammy here if you have a YUV palette for capture and set this option off as the image will be converted to RGB and then partially converted back to get the Y value. This is currently very inefficient and needs to be optimised.
o Fixed STRICT_VIDEO_CONFIG – Previously this actually behaved the opposite of what it was supposed to, ie. if you wanted it strict it wasn't and vice versa. Thanks to Dan Merillat for pointing this one out.
o Web colour change – I thought the old red, green and amber text colours were just a bit too gaudy so I've toned them down a bit. Hope you like them!
Many bug-fixes and major feature enhancements.
o Configure ‘round’ bug - Fixed a problem with the configure script that didn't detect if the 'round' function was already declared before try to do it itself.
o Low event id bug - Fixed bug where events with an id of < 1000 were being cleaned up by zmaudit.pl by mistake.
o Source file restructuring - The source files have been broken up and renamed extensively to support the first stage of the code being straightened out. Likewise the class structure has been rationalised somewhat. The php file names have also changed in some cases so it might be best to delete all your php and css files from the zone minder install directory first as the old ones won't be overwritten and will be left behind.
o Streamed cycle view - The monitor cycle view (the one where each monitor is displayed sequentially) now supports streams as well as stills.
o New ‘montage’ view - Added a montage view showing all your cameras simultaneously either streaming or stills. The width of this window (in terms of number of monitors) is a configuration option.
o Network camera support - A major change in this version is support for remote or network cameras. This is currently implemented as series of http grabs of stills rather than being able to break up motion jpeg streams. However frame rates of from 2-10 should be achievable depending on your network proximity to the cameras.
o Option BGR->RGB swap - Added the option to switch on or off the inversion of RGB to BGR for local cameras. It is on by default to maintain compatibility with previous releases.
o zmu suspend alarm option - Added new -n option to zmu to effectively suspend alarm detection for a monitor. This is intended for short term use and to support PTZ cameras where alarm detection is desired to be suspended while the camera changes orientation or zoom level.
o FPS limiting - Added a new option to monitors to add a maximum capture rate. This allows you to limit the amount of hits a network camera gets or to reduce the system load with many cameras. It also works with multi-port cards and limiting the capture rate on one camera allows the spare FPS to be allocated to other devices. For instance with two cameras and no throttle, I get about 4FPS each. Throttling one to 2FPS allows the other to operate at 6FPS so you can allocate your capture resources accordingly. This limiting can be disabled while alarms are occurring as a global option in zmconfig.pl.
o Alarm reference update - Added option to not blend alarmed images into the reference image. See the help in zmconfig.pl for caveats.
o Disappearing monitors - Fixed the disappearing monitor problem in the console view where monitors with no events were randomly not being shown.
o Clean and tidy - Cleaned up a load of compiler warnings and miscellanea to ensure a cleaner happier build.
o Streamed image headers - Made all headers in streamed images have full CRLF termination which will hopefully now prevent the problems with broken streams that had existed mostly with Mozilla (and hopefully won't break anything else).
o Expire streams - Added expiry headers to streamed images so they will always display fully.
o Event navigation - Added next, prev, delete & next, delete & prev navigation to events to allow you to quickly review events in sequence as had been requested by a number of people.
o USR blocking – The debug USR signals were not being blocked properly leading to nasty effects in zmc mostly.
o zmfilter execution – Previously zmfilter execution was not synchronised with the monitor state or the analysis daemon leading to it sometimes being run unnecessarily. From now on the zmfilter process will only run when a monitor is active and so actually potentially generating alarms.
o zmdc short statuses – Removed the logging of the short status values that zmdc.pl returns to it’s clients which had been clogging up the log file.
o Bugs and pieces - Fixed various bug(ettes) that I came across that that I don't think had been reported or noticed so I don’t think we need to talk about them here do we.
Mainly bug-fixes and minor feature enhancements.
o Added zmu -q/--query option - There is now a new query option for zmu. When combined with -d it gives the config of the device and when used with -m it dumps the current settings for the monitor and zones. Mostly useful for bug reporting. The previous version of zmu used with just -d gave this information for a video device by default. This now requires the -q option also to bring into line with it's -m equivalent.
o Added creation of events directory - Previously the 'events' directory was not created on install, this has been fixed.
o Can now retag PHP files if necessary - Version 0.9.8 was the first version to use short_open_tags in the PHP files. This caused grief to some people so this script will put them back to the long verion.
o Frame and event lengths fractional - A new field has been added to the Frames table. This is 'Delta' and is a fractional number of seconds relative to the event start time. This is intended to support the real-time playback of events rather than just 'as fast as possible' or with a configured delay as at present. The event length is now also fractional.
o Corrected extraneous Width to be Height - The last version of zmu included a Width comment which should have been height.
o Changed colour depth to bits - Having colour depths expressed in bytes has caused no end of problems. This is now changed to be bits and can be changed via a dropdown to limit what can be entered. Don't forget to run the zmalter script to update your DB.
o Renamed terminate to zm_terminate - The use of 'terminate' in zmc.cpp caused a conflict on some systems so renamed it to something more specific.
o Zone deletion problem - A problem was found such that when deleting zones the appropriate daemons were not being asked to restart daemons correctly.
o Console changes - The current version number is now displayed in the console. A refresh button has also been added along with a minor reorg.
o Added delete button enable to checkAll - Using the 'Check All' button in the main monitor window previously did not enable the delete button. This is now fixed.
o Reload on click - In previous versions the console window would reload if a monitor window for example was clicked. Thsi was removed in the last version which meant that sometimes the console never go refreshed as it's timing loop was broken. This functionality has now been reinstated.
Several new features and bug-fixes
o Upgrade note - If you have installed 0.9.7 and wish to save your configuration then copy your existing zmconfig.txt file over to your 0.9.8 directory and before running zmconfig.pl.
o Added multiple options to zmu - You can now give multiple options to zmu and get all the responses at once. However this is currently in a deterministic order and not related to the order you give them.
o Added -v/--verbose option to zmu - Zmu has been made more human friendly though it still remains primarily for daemon use. Giving the -v or --verbose option prints out a bit more as a response to each command.
o Add -d/--device to zmu - This option is designed to allow you to get your video device working with another application such as xawtv and then use zmu -d to print out the settings it’s using
o (especially with the -v option). These options can then be used as a starting point for your ZoneMinder configuration.
o Added FPS in status field - The status field in the web monitor views now contains an FPS setting as well as the status.
o Zmconfig changes - zmconfig handles missing options better and rewrites config file even in non-interactive mode.
o Fixed config problems in zmcfg.h - Some config was not being set up correctly in zmcfg.h.
o Zmwatch now works on image delay and not fps - Previously the zmwatch daemon detected capture daemon failure by trying to use the FPS setting. This was imprecise and prone to false readings. It now uses the time delay since the last captured image.
o Added zmpkg.pl and zm scripts - There are now two new scripts. zmpkg.pl is in charge of starting and stopping ZoneMinder as a whole package and zm is designed to be (optionally) installed into your init.d directory to use ZoneMinder as a service.
o Fixed bug in Scan mode - The monitor cycle or scan mode had stopped working properly due to images not being generated. This is now fixed.
o Revamped the console window slightly - The console window has now been reformatted slightly to give more and better information including server load.
o Added email and messaging to filters - Filters now allow you to send emails or messages (basically just short emails intended for mobile devices) on alarms. The format and possible content for these emails is in zmconfig_eml.txt and zmconfig_msg.txt.
o Made zmdc more aggresive in killing old processes - The zmdc.pl daeamon will now kill any ZoneMinder processes it finds on startup or shutdown to prevent orphans from being left around.
o Configuration changes - Previously there were a lot of files generated by configure. Now only zmconfig.pl is generated this way and all the other configuration files are created by zmconfig.pl (from .z files) to centralise configuration more.
o Fixed cambolzola opt bug - There was a bug in the Cambozola options, I can't remember what it was but it's fixed!
o Retaint arguments in zmdc.pl - In some installations zmdc was complaining about tainted arguments from the socket. These are now detainted prior to sending and after receiving.
o Forced alarms - You can now force alarms when looking at the monitor window should anything catch your attention. You have to remember to switch them off as well though.
o Looser video configuration - Some video configuration errors can now be ignored via the STRICT_VIDEO_CONFIG option.
o Monitor window refresh on alarm - When the monitor window is active and an alarm has occurred the most recent alarms list is immediately refreshed to show it.
Yes, a big jump in release number but a lot of changes too. Now somewhat more mature, not really an alpha any more, and a lot of bugs fixed too.
o Added zmconfig.pl script to help with configuration.
o Revamped to work better with configure scripts
o Monitors now have more configuration options, including some that were statically defined before such as location and format of the image timestamps.
o Removed Alarms table from schema as not required, never was actually...
o Added a number of new scripts, see the scripts directory
o Added Fast delete to PHP files. This allows the web interface to only delete the event entries themselves for speed and then have the zmaudit script periodically tidy up the rest.
o Added event filter to enable bulk viewing, upload or deletion of events according to various attributes. Filter can be saved and edited.
o Added last event id to shared memory for auto-filtering etc.
o Changed zmu -i option to write to monitor named image file.
o Made shared memory management somewhat more sensible.
o Now stores DB times as localtime rather than UTC avoiding daylight saving related bugs.
o Fixed bug with inactive zones and added more debug.
o Changed main functions to return int.
o Added help and usage to zmu.
o Fixed browser acceptance problem, more easily defaults to HTML.
o Split out the PHP files into a bunch with specific functions rather than one monolithic one.
o Fixed NetPBM paths and changed _SERVER to HTTP_SERVER_VARS.
o Added HUP signal on zone deletion.
o Added NETPBM_DIR and conditional netpbm stuff.
o Removed hard coded window sizes, all popup window dimensions can be specified in zmconfig.php
o Changed form methods to 'get' from 'post' to avoid resubmit warnings all the time.
o Added conditional sound to alarm on web interface.
o Fixed syntax error when adding default monitor.
o Some of the web views have changed slightly to accommodate the separate events view.
o And much much more, probably...
Initial release, therefore nothing new.
Seeing as ZoneMinder is so young and has kind of evolved rather than being planned there are a bunch of improvements and enhancements still to do, here is just a sample.
o Perhaps split out devices - I think devices should probably be a separate table and class from monitors. Not critical but would represent a better model.
o Comments - Needs many more, but that's just me I'm hopeless at commenting things out. I'll get round to it soon though honest! You're lucky to even get this document.
o Optimised zones - The zones could do with being sorted out a bit to optimise the processing of overlapping ones, at the moment you can waste resource unless your zones are kept very tidy.
o Create zones using server side image maps - This would make it easier to precisely define and see where your zone is going to go. Not critical but handy but a bugger to do.
o Zone Definitions - Allow zones to be defined according to a colour coded bitmap or as polygons. Currently all zones are rectangular this would add a bit of flexibility. Would need a bit of a rewrite though. This will incur a slight penalty on startup and a very slight one on processing for all reasonably shaped zones.
o Security - I think I need to give the php file a bit of a good going over as I'm sure it's not done in the most secure way regarding passing things onto command line, exposing file paths and other stuff. I'm a bit of a PHP novice, as I'm sure you can tell so might need help here. I should have done it in perl!
o Mouseover help - A bit more help popping up when you mouseover things would be handy. A bit more help full stop actually.
o WAP interface - A bit of a crusade of mine I'm afraid. I'd like to put a WML interface on to allow you to view event listing and perhaps the most significant image from each event on your phone. Also simple management. From version 0.9.7 there is a very basic crude initial version that probably won't work with your phone but its there as a testbed.
o Automatic device configuration - Video 4 Linux supports various device queries, it should be possible to get most of the device capability information from the device itself. The zmu utility does this now but it's not yet integrated into the web pages.
o Extend the API. Well ok it's not really got an API yet but the image data is held in shared memory in a very simple format. In theory you could use the capture daemon to gab the images and other things could read them from memory or the analysis daemon could read images from elsewhere. Either way this should be done through an API, and would need a library I think. Also the zmu utility could probably do a whole lot more to enable other things to manage when the daemons become active etc.
o Access control should probably be built in rather than relying on .htaccess etc. This is a frequently requested feature (FRF) and must be done soon.
o Create .rpm packages (as there can be several dependencies) and maybe other types of packages also, e.g. for Debian distributions.
o Allow ZoneMinder to 'train' itself by allowing the user to select events that are considered important and to discard those that should be ignored. ZoneMinder will interpolate, add a bit of magic, and recommend settings that will support this selection automatically thereafter. The hooks for this are already in to some extent.
o Add quotes to all PHP array references. I should have done it in the first place but I'm a perl person really and it kind of bugs me that you have to.
o Add sound support to allow a captured audio channel to be associated with a video device.
o I'm not sure if this is a bug or by design but the timestamp is added to the image by the capture daemon. I _think_ this isn't necessary as it may contribute to alarms, plus the time is associated with the image anyway. So I think this should be moved to the analysis daemon.
o I suspect there may be a bug in zmaudit.pl if your monitor names have spaces in them. I've not been able to reproduce it but to be on the safe side don't put spaces in your Monitor names.
o When opening a link to an event etc from a notification email the window that is opened is just a regular browser window and not in the context of a proper ZoneMinder web interface. Thus it comes up too big usually (not a major issue) and also things like 'Delete' don't work as it wants to do things to its parent (which is more of a major issue).
o The .sock files used by the *nix sockets I suspect may have the odd permission issue now and again. I think everything recovers from it but it needs checking out.
Probably bucket loads more, just fire them at me.
o Yes, those are tabs in the indents; I like tabs so don't go changing them to spaces or else. Also yes I also like my opening braces on their own line most of the time, what's the point of brackets that don't line up?
Everything else that isn't definitely broken is probably deliberate, or was once anyway.
ZoneMinder is released under the GPL, see below.
ZoneMinder README, $Date: 2003/06/08 21:20:20 $, $Revision: 1.2 $
Copyright (C) 2003 Philip Coombes
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.