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Not worth the time or trouble.

hmjgriffon

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Until development picks up on this steaming pile of crap, I will be running blue iris. Since I was forced to actually pay for blue iris, I will probably never bother with zoneminder again. Yeah it's free, it's open source, so you technically can't complain about it, you can do what I did and go pay for something else but for anyone considering it, not worth the trouble. Whoever wrote this program did it a long time ago when cameras were crappy and everything was mjpeg and it hasn't really been updated since. The email support blows and for whatever reason it uses TONS of CPU, probably because it deals with everything as separate jpeg images. You can't run more than a few 3MP cameras on it unless you plan to have a monster thousands of dollars server. Come on zoneminder guys, get on the ball, you're making open source look bad.
 

river100

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Zoneminder

In response to the first post in this thread, I don't believe it deserves the "steaming pile of crap" comment.
Although it's not for everyone, I find it much easier to use than some of the others I've tried. And since I
spent a few years in the CCTV business I've seen a few. I've also tried other high end software and although many have
some very nice features, most put more of a load on the system than Zoneminder.

From my experience, Zoneminder works best run on server hardware as a "headless" server.
For example, I have 5 720P h264 cams running on a used Supermicro 1U half length server that cost me a total of
285.00 after the 2TB HD I added to it. The system load averages .65 out of a total of 8.0( 2- E5420 CPUs).
The highest it's been is 1.10. The cams are running at different FPS ranging from 10 to 25.
Most of the Zoneminder servers I've built report to an XYMON server and give me graphs of system performance, hard drives, ect.
I've also built 8 others for friends, only one decided to change over to windows software after his Zoneminder PC died 7 years
later. His reason was to be able to run another windows based software on same PC. After using Blue Iris for 6 months he
called me and asked me to switch him back to Zoneminder.
SO, not for everyone but quite a few people around the world LOVE it.
My 2 cents on software I've been using for over 8 years.

PS: Zoneminder was started some years ago, and has seen many updates since then. The original developer has agreed to let some VERY
talented programmers continue with the project. Most of which have been contributing to it for years.
 
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hmjgriffon

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In response to the first post in this thread, I don't believe it deserves the "steaming pile of crap" comment.
Although it's not for everyone, I find it much easier to use than some of the others I've tried. And since I
spent a few years in the CCTV business I've seen a few. I've also tried other high end software and although many have
some very nice features, most put more of a load on the system than Zoneminder.

From my experience, Zoneminder works best run on server hardware as a "headless" server.
For example, I have 5 720P h264 cams running on a used Supermicro 1U half length server that cost me a total of
285.00 after the 2TB HD I added to it. The system load averages .65 out of a total of 8.0( 2- E5420 CPUs).
The highest it's been is 1.10. The cams are running at different FPS ranging from 10 to 25.
Most of the Zoneminder servers I've built report to an XYMON server and give me graphs of system performance, hard drives, ect.
I've also built 8 others for friends, only one decided to change over to windows software after his Zoneminder PC died 7 years
later. His reason was to be able to run another windows based software on same PC. After using Blue Iris for 6 months he
called me and asked me to switch him back to Zoneminder.
SO, not for everyone but quite a few people around the world LOVE it.
My 2 cents on software I've been using for over 8 years.

PS: Zoneminder was started some years ago, and has seen many updates since then. The original developer has agreed to let some VERY
talented programmers continue with the project. Most of which have been contributing to it for years.

I would like to see prove of the awesome performance you claim to get with zoneminder, I have a VM of it right now running in ubuntu 12.04 server, and I am running the newest version of zoneminder, it just had an update the other day. It still uses a ton of CPU when using 3mp cameras at as low as 10fps, 20fps or more? Good luck with that. I'd love to see the results of 5 of those. I will say that it could be partly due to the fact that the only way I found to use the hikvision cams is with ffmpeg which uses more cpu than other methods, but yeah. Also, how did you handle something simple like sending alert emails? The built in email program doesn't work, and most people tell you to set up postfix, which I did. I am not a Linux master but I am by no means a n00b either. Also the development on zoneminder is slow as molassis, the official website hasn't been updated since at least 05/18/2013, and if you google zoneminder, you find very little and what you do find is way outdated. Does it work for some people? Sure, but then some people are perfectly happy running LXDE as their desktop, or command line only. Some people are perfectly happy running gentoo Linux and compiling every program they install.
 

sakodak

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Interesting, I googled "zoneminder pile of shit" and landed here -- I didn't expect someone to be talking about it right now.

I just spent half a day trying to work around the bugs in zoneminder on Fedora 20. It just plain does not work. Well, it doesn't work out of the box. I completely understand having to set up mysql/mariadb separately, that's normal. But everything else is pretty unforgivable for something available in a repo. While I'm sure I could hack my way through it and get it working, I really don't want to. The interface is horrible and obtuse. It's not designed to coexist with anything (comment out ScriptAlias in httpd.conf? Really? That's the official fix for bugs in your code?) I like how the wiki claims that it's developed on fedora, and one of the entries says you have to build ffmpeg from source. I'm really disappointed -- I wanted to prove to my wife that an open source solution running on our existing Linux server (media server, phone system, steam streaming box, minecraft server, etc) with cheap cameras from ali-express would blow the pants off of one of the many cheap stand-alone systems. Looks like I was wrong. :/
 

hmjgriffon

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Interesting, I googled "zoneminder pile of shit" and landed here -- I didn't expect someone to be talking about it right now.

I just spent half a day trying to work around the bugs in zoneminder on Fedora 20. It just plain does not work. Well, it doesn't work out of the box. I completely understand having to set up mysql/mariadb separately, that's normal. But everything else is pretty unforgivable for something available in a repo. While I'm sure I could hack my way through it and get it working, I really don't want to. The interface is horrible and obtuse. It's not designed to coexist with anything (comment out ScriptAlias in httpd.conf? Really? That's the official fix for bugs in your code?) I like how the wiki claims that it's developed on fedora, and one of the entries says you have to build ffmpeg from source. I'm really disappointed -- I wanted to prove to my wife that an open source solution running on our existing Linux server (media server, phone system, steam streaming box, minecraft server, etc) with cheap cameras from ali-express would blow the pants off of one of the many cheap stand-alone systems. Looks like I was wrong. :/
You can find a walkthrough to download a pre-made vm of it and update it to the newest version, that's what I ended up doing. But yeah, the amount of crap you have to do to get it running and hacks is pretty crappy. Not only that but you can tell it was made a long time ago and with mjpeg only cameras in mind. It stores EVERYTHING as individual jpeg files. It eats up tons of CPU and drive space, which is usually not the hallmark of Linux. What do you want though, it was made by one man who made it for himself after his shed got broken into.
 

river100

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I would like to see prove of the awesome performance you claim to get with zoneminder, I have a VM of it right now running in ubuntu 12.04 server, and I am running the newest version of zoneminder, it just had an update the other day. It still uses a ton of CPU when using 3mp cameras at as low as 10fps, 20fps or more? Good luck with that. I'd love to see the results of 5 of those. I will say that it could be partly due to the fact that the only way I found to use the hikvision cams is with ffmpeg which uses more cpu than other methods, but yeah. Also, how did you handle something simple like sending alert emails? The built in email program doesn't work, and most people tell you to set up postfix, which I did. I am not a Linux master but I am by no means a n00b either. Also the development on zoneminder is slow as molassis, the official website hasn't been updated since at least 05/18/2013, and if you google zoneminder, you find very little and what you do find is way outdated. Does it work for some people? Sure, but then some people are perfectly happy running LXDE as their desktop, or command line only. Some people are perfectly happy running gentoo Linux and compiling every program they install.

How would you have me do that ? As I mentioned it's not for everyone. I have spent a good amount of time building Zoneminder a couple of times. Once I get it the way I like it I make an image of it and save it, One image, originally built by a guy on forums, has been used for 4 different installs after I customized it to my preferences.
Since I've been using it and following the forum for years I've picked up on some of the "tricks" that have been talked about along the way.

Install it on one hard drive and use a separate HD for events. I use ReiserFS file system for events.
Remove ALL processes that are not needed, ( done if a server OS is used)

- Zoneminder, SSHD server, XYMON client, NTP and APCUPSD. I don't use email on them.
AND.. the one that usually bites new guys in the ass DON'T VIEW on LOCAL MACHINE !!
Install as a headless server, view and control from a remote PC. My installs have 3 wires, power, network, and usb to UPS.

Firefox will kill the server if used on the local ZM box. It's well known.

I have an XYMON server that my zoneminder installs report to. With this you can see what effects your changes make to system load. I made 2 changes recently on one install and the load shot up drastically shows on a graph.


An install at a local gas / deli. Running ZM 1.25 using ffmpeg on all 7 cams.
They are 1.3MP Dahua bullets. It's open from 4am to 10pm. NOTE that none are running at full 1.3MP (960X1280) for this cam.
ALL cams are MODETECT with multiple zones

Ubuntu 11.10 64bit desktop with H264 support, striped and boots to command prompt.

The hardware is:
supermicro 1155 MOBO
E1230 V2 CPU < does very well with ESXi too
16GB RAM < really didn't need that much 8GB would have been good
4 Xs 3TB WD black mdadm software RAID-10 for event storage


XYMON reports this as of today for an 8 day "trends" view
CPU LOAD 0.9 (current) 2.5(max) 0.3(min) 1.0(avg)

CAMS
IP = FPS RES

200=10 720
201=10 D1
202=10 D1
203=25 720
204=25 720
205=15 720
206=10 D1

TOTAL incomming network traffic is 26Mbps from cams

The above machine has some overkill. CPU is coasting, there is way too much memory.
I built it this way in case he wanted to try higher MP on the cams. It wasn't cheap, about 1800.00 if I remember. An old supermicro socket 771 dual CPU with 8GB ram would do this for 300.00 (minus the 4 Xs 3TB Hds).

My problem with Zoneminder is not LOAD. It's storage and storage management. I have no clue what 3MP cams would do with this setup, send me one and I'll let you know.
 
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river100

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One other thing, if.. you're using IP cams. Use a GOOD NIC. Intel hardware NICs are the way to go.
Some MOBO use Intel, if not put one in.
 

river100

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"It stores EVERYTHING as individual jpeg files." << this comes REAL handy when used in a business. You can export the High Def Jpeg for LEO.
 

hmjgriffon

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How would you have me do that ? As I mentioned it's not for everyone. I have spent a good amount of time building Zoneminder a couple of times. Once I get it the way I like it I make an image of it and save it, One image, originally built by a guy on forums, has been used for 4 different installs after I customized it to my preferences.
Since I've been using it and following the forum for years I've picked up on some of the "tricks" that have been talked about along the way.

Install it on one hard drive and use a separate HD for events. I use ReiserFS file system for events.
Remove ALL processes that are not needed, ( done if a server OS is used)

- Zoneminder, SSHD server, XYMON client, NTP and APCUPSD. I don't use email on them.
AND.. the one that usually bites new guys in the ass DON'T VIEW on LOCAL MACHINE !!
Install as a headless server, view and control from a remote PC. My installs have 3 wires, power, network, and usb to UPS.

Firefox will kill the server if used on the local ZM box. It's well known.

I have an XYMON server that my zoneminder installs report to. With this you can see what effects your changes make to system load. I made 2 changes recently on one install and the load shot up drastically shows on a graph.


An install at a local gas / deli. Running ZM 1.25 using ffmpeg on all 7 cams.
They are 1.3MP Dahua bullets. It's open from 4am to 10pm. NOTE that none are running at full 1.3MP (960X1280) for this cam.
ALL cams are MODETECT with multiple zones

Ubuntu 11.10 64bit desktop with H264 support, striped and boots to command prompt.

The hardware is:
supermicro 1155 MOBO
E1230 V2 CPU < does very well with ESXi too
16GB RAM < really didn't need that much 8GB would have been good
4 Xs 3TB WD black mdadm software RAID-10 for event storage


XYMON reports this as of today for an 8 day "trends" view
CPU LOAD 0.9 (current) 2.5(max) 0.3(min) 1.0(avg)

CAMS
IP = FPS RES

200=10 720
201=10 D1
202=10 D1
203=25 720
204=25 720
205=15 720
206=10 D1

TOTAL incomming network traffic is 26Mbps from cams

The above machine has some overkill. CPU is coasting, there is way too much memory.
I built it this way in case he wanted to try higher MP on the cams. It wasn't cheap, about 1800.00 if I remember. An old supermicro socket 771 dual CPU with 8GB ram would do this for 300.00 (minus the 4 Xs 3TB Hds).

My problem with Zoneminder is not LOAD. It's storage and storage management. I have no clue what 3MP cams would do with this setup, send me one and I'll let you know.

I ran it on ubuntu server so it was headless, if I SSH in with putty, and run htop, as soon as I open the web interface, from another computer, the CPU skyrockets. Now this was zoneminder in a VM and connecting to it from the windows host, so maybe that causes issues but I don't see how, it's a VM. I did not know about those other tricks you mentioned but I think the fact that you have to do all of that is kind of funny and sad. Storage for 3mp cameras would probably be insane since zoneminder stores everything as separate high quality jpeg files. Trying to remember if I had any other weird issues but once I found Blue Iris, I kinda stopped messing with zoneminder. I do keep the VM of it so I can check for updates now and then and test it when there are so I can see if it's gotten any better. Believe me, I fought with it for about 2 weeks trying to make it work because I am cheap and pirating blue iris seemed to be impossible. Can't beat the nice android app integration either.
 

river100

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Yes I know all about cheap. And that's one reason I like zm because it does run on Linux.
After playing with it yourself you can see how far I'll go to be cheap.

I can't see paying for Windows and all the problems that come with it.
I did try a zm vm. On my quad core laptop running Windows 8.1.

I only ran it for a few minutes and never noticed the load.
 

hmjgriffon

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Yes I know all about cheap. And that's one reason I like zm because it does run on Linux.
After playing with it yourself you can see how far I'll go to be cheap.

I can't see paying for Windows and all the problems that come with it.
I did try a zm vm. On my quad core laptop running Windows 8.1.

I only ran it for a few minutes and never noticed the load.
Interesting, I don't know of these problems you speak of, I never have not one problem with windows, Linux on the other hand....lol.
 

mefla

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Two things:
1) Yes, Yes, YES to running the ZoneMinder (ZM) Virtual Machine (VM) on a VM server and the console on a separate PC. No need to peg your ZM VM (har har) every time you look at those high quality JPEGS. It's a lot of data, no doubt.
2) ZM is set by default to capture as much as possible at best quality possible. You got to dial things back a little to drop the load.

I started out with ZM on a VM. Yes, it is some work. Easier on CentOS than Ubuntu at the time, but you GOTTA choose a server install for ZoneMinder to run on:choose desktop and you are asking to do far more work than needed...

This "ZM sucks" talk is getting us nowhere. ZM is a great, free product, but it is a toolkit for the l33t, not a Windows app.

That said, I have a to-to item to try Blue Iris, and I do NOT plan to pirate it....how stupid is that?!?!
 

mrvelous01

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Hello. I'm testing Zoneminder (Ubuntu pre-packaged VMware OVF file) vs. BlueIris on Win7. Both are installed as VM's on an HP Proliant DL380 G5 with 2 dual core Xeon X5355 2.6GHz CPU's and 32GB of Ram with VMware ESXi 5.1 . I'm reasonably sure I won't run out of memory or processing power but I do have (5) cameras: (2) Panasonic BB-HCM381A PTZ cameras and (3) new Foscam FI9831P wifi cams. I'm having trouble with BI hanging up, crashing, and losing camera signals after a few hours (granted version 4 got 3 or 4 patches in a week!), but I can't even get ZM to recognize my cameras. I am reasonably good at tinkering with either OS but what's throwing me a curve is the options for the ZM camera definitions. I don't get all the options. What is the difference between using the "ffmpeg" vs "remote" vs "rtp/unicast"? I'm sure someday I'll be a wiz at setting up cameras in software like this, but for now I'm a noob. Any help with ZM config would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.

p.s. storage space is not an issue as I have a Synology NAS drive and also room on a 2nd datastore. I'm more interested in high quality video, motion detection/alerting, and audio detection/alerting.
 

fenderman

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Hello. I'm testing Zoneminder (Ubuntu pre-packaged VMware OVF file) vs. BlueIris on Win7. Both are installed as VM's on an HP Proliant DL380 G5 with 2 dual core Xeon X5355 2.6GHz CPU's and 32GB of Ram with VMware ESXi 5.1 . I'm reasonably sure I won't run out of memory or processing power but I do have (5) cameras: (2) Panasonic BB-HCM381A PTZ cameras and (3) new Foscam FI9831P wifi cams. I'm having trouble with BI hanging up, crashing, and losing camera signals after a few hours (granted version 4 got 3 or 4 patches in a week!), but I can't even get ZM to recognize my cameras. I am reasonably good at tinkering with either OS but what's throwing me a curve is the options for the ZM camera definitions. I don't get all the options. What is the difference between using the "ffmpeg" vs "remote" vs "rtp/unicast"? I'm sure someday I'll be a wiz at setting up cameras in software like this, but for now I'm a noob. Any help with ZM config would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.
Dont waste your time with zoneminder...almost every crash issue with blue iris is related to 64 bit...use the 32 bit version (you are not even remotely close to maxing out the memory limit without your cams)...
 

mrvelous01

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O.k. I just figured that since I was, theoretically, a "unix guy" I could conquer anything. Hmmm, could be wrong there ... I'll put my efforts into BI 32 bit. Thanks.
 

river100

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O.k. I just figured that since I was, theoretically, a "unix guy" I could conquer anything. Hmmm, could be wrong there ... I'll put my efforts into BI 32 bit. Thanks.
look at the zoneminder wiki to set up the ip cameras. It has instructions for most of the common cameras.
ffmpeg will take just about any modern
Rtsp H264 cam.
 
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