MS Windows/Virtual Appliance

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Limitations for deploying on MS Windows

Altough Zoneminder´s interface is based on PHP and the system database uses MySQL, (both of which that may easily be deployed under Windows nowadays), the system core components are coded in Perl, guided towards a Linux-like traditional structure;

The new virtualization softwares available, on the other hand, may ecourage experiences of deploying the ZoneMinder system into a virtualized space under Windows;

Using ZM with IP cameras

It is possible to get ZM running into a virtualized space hosted on Windows, and then configure the system to use IP cameras;

One possible scenario is to use the ZM virtual appliance; details may be found under the vmware.com website, specifically at http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/86653;

Using ZM with capture devices (not accomplished so far)

Sharing the capture device among the host and the guest system would be the first challenge to face; One solution that shows up for that case would be the use of PCI PASS-TROUGH methods;

PCI pass-trough is a recent implementation for some virtualization softwares that promises to share the capture device resources, or even assign it´s resources exclusively to the guest system; unfortunately, accomplishing that may not be an easy task; you may find below some web links that may introduce those subjects, but it would be worthy to rethink on how useful or how stable a Windows implementation would get in the end;

A Much better, simpler, safer and more reliable solution would be to forget the Windows implementation entirely and to use the available live cd ZoneMinder Distributions; they´re actively updated, and you may even experiment a full working ZoneMinder system without even changing a single bit of your hard-disk;

To get the ZoneMinder Live Cds, roll down the ZoneMinder downloads page; Please also get to check the announcements as newer implementations seem to appear first there and only afterwards on the downloads page;

Pros and cons on the Windows Implementation

Pros

  • The interested audience could benefit from having the ZoneMinder Server running simultaneously with their Windows operating system;
  • Eventually, dual boot implementations are used to have ZoneMinder in one partition (or entire disk) and Windows on another, so it is not possible to run both at the same time in those cases, having a single pc;

Cons

  • Stability and safety: Windows safety implementations are known to be harder to maintain (arguable, tough);
  • Permormance: sharing your operational system with another virtualized systems, besides it´s implementation efforts, will result in degraded overall performance; Using a dedicated surveillance system is far better and safer;
  • Getting support, mainly free support, under a virtualized implementation of ZoneMinder, under Windows, is a challenge itself; maybe you will find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation on which you´ll be on your own;

External references