Video Surveillance

Dennis leverages ClearOS to provide a complete video surveillance solution using ZoneMinder sofware.

This provides the following feature sets:

  • Motion Detection
  • Recording
  • Remote Control of PTZ cameras via a Web Interface
  • Alarms and Alerts
  • And more...


The advantages over a traditional DVR based solution are numerous including:

  • Standardized interface using ZoneMinder web interface and/or ZM4MS Windows Application
  • Internet enabled via Web with password and/or VPN protection
  • With RAID 1 disks there is protection against disk crash which standard DVRs do not offer
  • Leverage existing Linux server hardware using ClearOS or another distribution
  • Lower cost, no need for DVR unit, ZoneMinder is open source the only hardware cost apart from cameras and cabling is a suitable video capture card to install in the server.
  • Enhanced stability and lower cost over a Windows based solution, as it is server based there is no need to have a monitor on the server, hence desktop PC's either locally or remotely can display and monitor cameras.


It is recommended that a capture card is used that provides a separate chipset per channel, cheaper cards that have one chip controlling multiple channels tend to degrade in FPS when extra cameras are added. It is important that the capture card chosen has known Linux support or Linux drivers available. An example of the appearance of a suitable card is:


This is an 8 channel card, however 4 or 16 channel cards are available. Note that there is a separate controller chip per channel, which is ideal. It is also possible to have more than one card in the server provided there are enough PCI slots.

Zoneminder can interoperate with existing DVR solutions using H.264 (i.e. MPEG4) to supplement and provide a more convenient front end for remote or local access, in such a case a video capture card is not required for the server.

For PTZ cameras a RS424 to serial or USB converter is used to connect the control line to the server for remote control of camera movement and zoom.

If using Zoneminder exclusively with IP based cameras there is also no need to install a video capture card in the server nor any adaptor for PTZ support as all video and commands go over the LAN or wireless to and from the server.