Encouraged by the maker culture effect, and my participation in the Amsterdam Smart Citizens project, I decided to make use of my Raspberry Pi 2 creating a video surveillance camera using the motionEye OS.

This is actually my second exercise with the Raspberry Pi, in the first tested Kodi, a free and open-source media player software application.

I will explain here what it takes to get the surveillance camera up and running in one hour. It is pretty simple and the web is full of information about how to set it up, however if you want to go further you can always dig into the code and start contributing straight away :)

The ingredients

We will need the following hardware:

  • A Raspberry Pi with an SD Card.
  • A webcam. I used the camera module NoIR for the Raspberry Pi, that come with a 5 Megapixels resolution, enough for my experiment, but you can use any other webcam depending on your requirements.
  • Ethernet cable unless you have already got the wifi module for your raspberry.

And of course what is hardware without software, we will need the following:

  • SD Formatter software. I used SD Card.
  • A disk image writer software. If you are a windows user you can use Win32 Disk Imager.
  • And the motion Eye OS Software to install in your Raspberry Pi.

The recipe

Follow the recipe steps in order and you should not run into any issue, you can leave the touch of the chef for the EyeOs motion configuration part :)

  • First of all I plugged my camera module to my raspberry PI. It is pretty simple, you can see how to do it here.
  • Format the SD card with the software mentioned above.
  • Download the Motion Eye OS image to your computer. Make sure you download the right one for your hardware, they support different devices so please pay attention when downloading it.
  • Uncompress you MotionEyeOs zip file.
  • Write the .img file into your SD Card using the disk image software mentioned above.
  • Plug the ethernet cable to your Raspberry Pi.
  • Insert the card into your Raspberry Pi and connect the power supplier. It is a good idea to use connect it to an screen to see the boot up messages of the system, and see the IP address assigned to it. I plugged it directly to my TV using the HDMI cable.
  • Once the system has been loaded you will see the IP address of your device in the screen, if you have decided not to use a screen you should be able to find the raspberry Pi in your network.
  • Type the IP in your browser, in my case and voilá!!, you should be prompted with a nice interface like this.
  • Type the admin as user and admin as password and you should start to see your camera.
  • Login and press in the left upper corner button to see the settings. In the general settings button enable the advance settings and restart. That will give you a wider range of options to configure your camera. You can see a full video on how to configure it here.

Eye motion OS configuration

Among the features I liked the most is the possibility of being notified when the camera detects movement. You must configure your email account and you will get an email every time there is somebody passing in front of you camera, the number of pictures attached to your email can be configured.

The quality of the image can be configured as well as the frame rating for video streaming.


It is been fun and pretty easy to install and configure the camera, one always get that feeling of achievement when he gets something done by himself however I have to admit that in this case it was a team effort as I involved my girlfriend, and from what I have heard from her, she had a good time.

It is a good exercise for team building, in my case with my girlfriend but I could imagine myself doing this as a part of a family project with my niece or my future kids :) in order to kill two birds with one stone, I would satisfy that geeky feeling of trying something new and get it up and running and would have spent some time with the family doing something cool.

My current setup is not the most professional one, so I am planning to either buy this nice case I found online or 3d print one of the designs I found at thingiverse.

The web is full of information and I am already looking forward to creating a new project, I am thinking of something related to domotic and home automation, but I have not made my mind yet :)

Anyway I encourage you to check out sites like thingiverse. or instructables which are my source of inspiration.

Check out the following video of this amazing maker. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Don't forget to be happy and enjoy the life!!