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Usage Information

Motion is a program that monitors the video signal from one or more cameras and is able to detect if a significant part of the picture has changed; in other words, it can detect motion. Motion is the perfect tool for keeping an eye on your property, keeping only those images that are interesting.

LinuxMCE has a wrapper that connects to Motion, called "Motion Wrapper". This wrapper is added as a "device" on the "Interfaces" page. You must have this interface installed before setting up cameras.

The program is written in C for the Linux operating system. Motion is a command line based tool whose output can be jpeg or ppm files, or mpeg video sequences.

For detailed info see the Motion website.


  • Takes snapshots of movement
  • Watches multiple video devices at the same time
  • Watches multiple inputs on one capture card at the same time
  • Live streaming webcam (using multipart/x-mixed-replace)
  • Real time creation of mpeg movies using libraries from ffmpeg
  • Take automated snapshots on regular intervals
  • Take automated snapshots at irregular intervals using cron
  • Execute external commands when detecting movement (and e.g. send SMS or email)
  • Motion tracking (camera follow motion - special hardware required)
  • Feed events to a MySQL or PostgreSQL database.
  • Feed video back to a video4linux loopback for real time viewing
  • Lots of user contributed related projects with web interfaces etc.
  • User configurable and user defined on screen display.
  • Controlled via the browser (older versions used xml-rpc)
  • Automatic noise and threshold control
  • Motion is a daemon with low CPU consumption and a small memory footprint.

Changing the Motion Wrapper settings

  • My surveillance camera already has automatic light leveling and I don't need the Motion module to do it for me, so I set auto-brightness off.
  • I wanted my camera to detect movement when just two frames showed a difference, so I set minimum_motion_frames to 2.
  • also need to set snapshot_interval to 2 (snapshot_interval 2)

Interesting related projects

Since there will probably be some discussion about the future of video surveillance under LinuxMCE, I'll enumerate here few interesting projects, which I hope will one day be incorporated into LinuxMCE.