Ubuntu Upstart

Well I posted yesterday about handing over the control of my webcams script and the Zoneminder viewer xlib_shm to a daemon manager, as it seemed the right way to go and I noticed earlier tonight that my 2nd machine has again crashed out on the xlib_shm.
First I did a search for the daemontools to get an idea of what it’s like, but alot of the postings were older. So then decided to do an ‘alternatives’ search which brought up a few results, only one of which mentioned upstart in ubuntu, hey presto! I’ve heard upstart before but never looked at it (at least I thought).
Did a bit of looking around and yep I remember reading that Ubuntu is moving away from the init.d scripts a while ago just never put it together with the word upstart.
Basically there’s new files in /etc/init/ which is what upstart looks at and their the configs for each service that’s starting on the machine. Funnily enough I remembered then where why I’d done some searching previously on /etc/init/ and it was for gdm.conf because the gdm kept launching even though I’d removed it with the update-rc.d -f gdm remove. I was trying to kill it off because it was grabbing the screen before xlib_shm could.
Anyway that’s a bit of a side track. Looking at some of the configs there and the FAQ it looks quiet powerful and will do exactly what I need.

I was going to jump straight in and make a new config for the webcams stuff, but then noticed you can have a service start on another, well that should be good I only want webcams starting if zoneminder is running so let’s check that config, oh no there isn’t one yet. After 2 mins of searching for a config some clever person has already made I’m going to call it a night and have a proper look tomorrow. but it got me thinking of moving more over to Upstart like my asterisk stuff that will also need and depend on dahdi.
You can also depend on having a filesystem and networking. I can see the filesystem being used for the zoneminder config and both being used for the webcams config. So I’m really looking forward to getting into this a bit too. There’s only a handful of occasions when asterisk has shutdown so not a huge problem, but when it has I did once get left with no phone line for 3 days cause I didn’t know it wasn’t running (obviously enjoying the peace and quiet too much). To solve this I have Nagios monitoring now and using event handlers to restart via the init.d script but handing over to Upstart really does seem the way forward. I’d still keep Nagios monitoring to ensure it’s running I can’t live without my nagios watching over everything.

Home Temperature Sensors

Not going to go into the technical stuff on this post, far too tired. but wanted to try posting up an image to see if I had to host elsewhere or if it just goes, and thought this would be a good try.

A few years back I decided I wanted to put some temperature sensors in the house as we just never seem to be able to get all the rooms at a decent temp at the same time. You can be boiling hot in the one and freezing in another. Not much has changed with that respect but I do have more of an idea of what’s going on day by day and longer term. It’s really quite interesting. As I posted yesterday about the Raspberry PI board, one of my many wishes was to somehow get an interface to take over control of the central heating. It should be pretty straight forward, the biggest downside I don’t want to be screamed at having no heating if the computer freezes so need to build in over-rides.
Anyways, that’s the grand plan but below is a simple image I knocked together a few years back that uses php to colour in each of the rooms and write the current temp

From inside my network you can click on each of the rooms to get some stats. and the little blue dot is the set point I’d programmed up for when I do sort out the controller.

Due to my bad coding at the time (first real time I’ve done php from scratch not just had to change someone elses code) and the fact that I keep everything (database is now at 860k entries) the detail page is quite slow to load. I should really rewrite it to store upto date stats elsewhere and then hourly just update that table with the totals. I may get around to it.
I did used to use MRTG to also connect into the database and pull the stats to have some nice graphs. This worked really well until I changed alot of my network kit that MRTG was polling, and I shut it down to give it a full clean up.

Anyway to get all this stuff going I use the OneWire Temp sensor DS18S20 I think it has a + on some of the chips I use but not all. I bought them online from a website with sheep in the title something like sheepwalk sheepcottage, can’t remember I’ll dig that out when I’m going through it a bit more. They were decent prices then maybe not now. but I received them very quick and they were helpful.

A thing to note that I’ll go into when I put the scripts up but this will prompt me, I do get alot of nulls coming back in the results. I know this is due to my mainly star configuration of the sensors and the fact that I dont provide power to the chips (bad idea when running a few). I did it because I was being lazy and using the 2 spare cables I had in the wire going to each of the alarm sensors for each room. It made sense at the time and it actually works really well as I didn’t have to run new cables and the temp sensor is hidden by the alarm sensor itself. Being close to the top of the ceiling I did expect it to skew the temp results (heat rises) but it actually seems to be pretty close when I compared them to an independent weather station sensor I used to see.

Oh and the green outside the house in the pic is also programmed to be changed. it’s green showing sensor fault (there isn’t one) I always planned to stick a sensor outside front and back and take an average reading for the colour. just havn’t got around to running a cable outside for that bit. So many things to do so much left unfinished 🙂

Zoneminder Webcams 2.0 Part 2

I said I’d put up the script I’m using so here it is. Couple of notes first.
I know PHP isn’t particularly the best language to use for scripts, but I’ve been using it for work within a website and since my head was already in PHP mode it seemed easier to just keep going and get the idea down and running than be typing stuff wrong all the time and have to keep correcting it to get each bit working.
I call this script to start running as zoneminder loads from the init.d/zoneminder file, exactly the same way I started the last one. Something I did hit though is if PHP tries to output and there’s no console it crashes out. So the diagnostic setting should be off if it’s live and only used if your running it from command line for testing. For some reason running it from command line with & to background it starts it off but on trying to continue in the terminal it stops the process. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for this like it’s passing the input into the php script which isn’t to output and falls over, but I don’t need to run it from command line unless testing so this bit doesn’t bother me.

New folder, /var/cache/zoneminder/webcams, /var/cache/zoneminder/webcams/originals, /var/cache/zoneminder/webcams/resized
This also requires the ‘convert’ command (same as the previous but I forgot to note that). if you try to run convert under unbuntu it’ll tell you what to do to install it if you dont have it.

edit a new file ~/webcams2.php and paste the following:-

$DIAG = 2;
$LOGPATH = "/tmp/webcams.log";
$host = "";
$user = "root";
$pass = "";
$db   = "zm";

$directory = "/var/cache/zoneminder/webcams/";
$dblastid = "0";
$mainpull = "0";
$nextrotate = "10";
$nextpull = "60";
$autoadjustrefresh = FALSE;

$ms = mysql_pconnect($host, $user, $pass);
if ( !$ms )
        { echo ""; }

//connection complete.

chdir ( $directory );

if ($DIAG > 0) { $LogFile = fopen($LOGPATH, 'a') or die("can't open file"); };
if ($DIAG > 0) { fwrite($LogFile, "Starting Logfile at : " . time(). " ...n"); };

function RefreshAllImages() {
 global $directory, $dblastid, $nextpull,$DIAG,$LogFile;
 $q = "SELECT * from WebCams where Enabled='1'";
 $r = mysql_query($q);

 if (!$r) { echo ("Problemsr"); } else {
  for ($rows = 0; $rows < mysql_num_rows($r); $rows++) {
    $filenamepath = $directory . "originals/" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor') . mysql_result($r,$rows,'ID') . ".jpg";
    $filename = str_replace($directory."originals/","",$filenamepath);
    $filetime = filemtime($filenamepath);
    if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Pulling File : " . $filenamepath . "n"); };
// old command    $cmd = "wget -q -t 2 -T 5 "" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'URL') . "" -O "" . $filenamepath . """;
    $cmd = "curl -q -m 10 -R --retry 1 -s -f --url "" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'URL') . "" -o "" . $filenamepath . """;
    if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Using Command : " . $cmd . "n"); };
    clearstatcache(TRUE, $filenamepath);
    if ( (filesize($filenamepath)!="0") && ($filetime != filemtime($filenamepath)) ) {
      if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Converting File : " . filectime($filenamepath) . $filenamepath . "n"); };
      $cmd = "convert " . $filenamepath . " -resize 640x480! -pointsize 20 -fill yellow -draw 'text 10, 20 "" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'Name') . ""' " . $directory . "resized/" . $filename;
      touch ( $directory . "resized/" . $filename, filemtime($filenamepath) );
 $dblastid = mysql_result($r,$rows-1,'ID');
if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Finished Pulling All Files!n"); };
$nextpull = (time() + 60);

function RefreshImages() {
 global $directory, $dblastid, $nextpull, $autoadjustrefresh, $DIAG, $LogFile;

 if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Refreshing Images...n"); };

 $q = "SELECT * from WebCams where Enabled='1'";
 $r = mysql_query($q);
 for ($rows = 0; $rows < mysql_num_rows($r); $rows++) {
  $start = mysql_result($r,$rows,'Start');
  $stop = mysql_result($r,$rows,'Stop');
  if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Start : $start. Stop : $stop. Time : " . date("H:i:s") . ".n"); };
  if ( ( ($start < $stop) && ($start < date("H:i:s")) && ($stop > date("H:i:s")) ) || ( ($start > $stop) && ( (($start < date("H:i:s")) && ($stop < date("H:i:s"))) || (($start > date("H:i:s")) && ($stop > date("H:i:s"))) ) ) ) {
   if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "In timeframe running checks...n"); };
   $row_filename = mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor').mysql_result($r,$rows,'ID').".jpg";
   $row_id = mysql_result($r,$rows,'ID');
   $row_refresh = time() - mysql_result($r,$rows,'Refresh');
   $filenamepath = $directory."originals/".$row_filename;
   $filectime = filectime($filenamepath);
   $filemtime = filemtime($filenamepath);
   if ( (($filemtime > time() - 3600) && ($filectime < $row_refresh)) || (!file_exists($filenamepath)) ) {
     if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Pulling New File : " . filectime($filenamepath) . $filenamepath . "n"); };
// old command     $cmd = "wget -q -t 2 -T 5 "" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'URL') . "" -O "" . $filenamepath . """;
     $cmd = "curl -q -m 10 -R --retry 1 -s -f --url "" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'URL') . "" -o "" . $filenamepath . """;
     if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Using Command : " . $cmd . "n"); };
     clearstatcache(TRUE, $filenamepath);
     if (( filemtime($filenamepath) > $filemtime ) && (filesize($filenamepath)!="0") ) {
       if ( $autoadjustrefresh == TRUE ) {
         if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Adjusting refresh time.n Calculating difference...n"); };
         $timedifference = filemtime($filenamepath) - $filemtime;
         if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Difference : " . $timedifference . "n"); };
         if ( ($timedifference > (mysql_result($r,$rows,'Refresh')+30) || $timedifference < (mysql_result($r,$rows,'Refresh')-30)) && ($timedifference < 900)) {
           if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Updating Database Refresh timer.n"); };
           $q2="UPDATE WebCams set Refresh='" . ($timedifference) . "' WHERE ID='$row_id'";
           $r2 = mysql_query($q2);
       if ($DIAG >= 2) { fwrite($LogFile, "Attempting resize : " . filemtime($filenamepath) . $filenamepath . "n"); };
       $cmd = "convert $filenamepath -resize 640x480! -pointsize 20 -fill yellow -draw 'text 10, 20 "" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'Name') . ""' " . $directory . "resized/" . $row_filename;
       touch ( $directory . "resized/" . $row_filename, filemtime($filenamepath) );
     } else {
       if ($DIAG >= 2){ fwrite($LogFile, "$row_filename Not Newer : " . filemtime($filenamepath) . " <= " . $filemtime . " Ignoringn"); };
$nextpull = (time() + 60);

function RotateImages() {
 global $directory, $nextrotate,$DIAG,$LogFile;
 $newimageset = FALSE;
 $imagefound = FALSE;


 $q = "SELECT distinct(Monitor) from WebCams";
 $r = mysql_query($q);

 for ($rows = 0; $rows < mysql_num_rows($r); $rows++) {
   if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Rotating Monitor " . mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor') . "n"); };
   if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Checking for New Files ...n"); };
   $newimageset = FALSE;
   $imagefound = FALSE;
   if (mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor') != 'C'){
     foreach (glob($directory."resized/".mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor')."*.jpg") as $filenamepath) {
       if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "  " . $filenamepath ); };
       if (filectime($filenamepath) > (time()-15) ) {
         if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "n New file Found linking ... n"); };
         exec( "ln -sf " . $filenamepath . " " . $directory . "rotate" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor') . ".jpg" );
         $newimageset = TRUE;

   if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Finished lookin for newer files.n"); };

   if ( $newimageset == FALSE) {
     $rotatefile = $directory."rotate".mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor').".jpg";
     if (file_exists($rotatefile) ) {
       if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "nLooking for Link File : $rotatefile ...n"); };
       $currentfile = readlink($rotatefile);
       if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Current : " . $currentfile . "n"); };
       foreach (glob($directory."resized/".mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor')."*.jpg") as $filenamepath) {
         if ( $filenamepath == $currentfile ) {
           if($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Found Correct entry.n"); };
           $imagefound = TRUE;
         } elseif (($imagefound) && (!$newimageset)) {
           if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Checking next Image...n"); };
           if (filectime($filenamepath) > (time() - 1800) ) {
             if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Next Suitable Image " . $filenamepath . " Linking...n"); };
             exec( "ln -sf " . $filenamepath . " " . $directory . "rotate" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor') . ".jpg" );
             $newimageset = TRUE;

   if ($newimageset == FALSE) {
     if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Image still not set, Falling back to load first suitablen"); };
     foreach (glob($directory."resized/".mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor')."*.jpg") as $filenamepath) {
       if ($DIAG >= 1){ fwrite($LogFile, "Checking File " . $filenamepath . "n"); };
       if (filectime($filenamepath) > (time() - 1800) && ($newimageset == FALSE) ) {
         exec( "ln -sf " . $filenamepath . " " . $directory . "rotate" . mysql_result($r,$rows,'Monitor') . ".jpg" );
         $newimageset = TRUE;
$nextrotate = (time() + 10);

$pulled = 0;
for (;;) {
 if (time() > $nextpull) {
  if ($pulled == 0 or $pulled == 60) {
   $pulled = 1;
  } else {
 if (time() > $nextrotate) {

Save the file then chmod +x ~/webcams2.php

You will likely need to change the database connection info, it’s not a good idea to connect to the database as root and I’ve removed my password.
An option I would leave off at the moment is ‘autoadjustrefresh’ This is meant to compare the times on the files it pulls and calculate the difference since the last pull.
The theory behind this is as follows:
Database is set to pull a new image every 300 seconds (5 mins). but the webcam itself is only updated every 15 mins. Now obviously you can sit and work this out yourself by just watching, but the files I’ve been pulling are generally modified timestamped with the servers time, so I can use this to calc the difference when a new image is obtained. Unfortunately this seems to go wrong and has made some of my feed not update for 30 min intervals even though I know the feed is refreshed every second and I’ve told it to pull every 120 secs. 
I figured it was adding a few seconds here and there for delays but it’s not that.
Another issue is on the rotating side it’s supposed to look if there’s a new image just come in (in the last 40 secs) if so display this as a priority. This theory again is sound, until I realised yesterday that some of the servers clocks are out by minutes, this means when I say the last 40 secs the file is already way beyond that so it doesn’t get shown as a priority. I have a fixed in mind for this though, which revolves around using the resized files creation time as a check as I only resize if a new image was pulled anyway.
Well that’s the script, to pickup the image in zoneminder same as the previous script I just have a new camera looking at a file /var/cache/zoneminder/webcams/rotateA.jpg which is set at 1fps (doesn’t need to be fastas it’s pretty static)
I much prefer this script over the last as it reads from the database and puts the camera name on the image, which is great for some of the motorway cams that give you no indication where they are.
it also means adding a new entry is straight forward and get’s picked up quickly.
It still needs some work so I’ll post changes up as and when. If anyone is reading and has suggestions drop me a comment.
I’ve been considering getting stuff like this to be run by a daemon manager that will restart it if it fails etc. may do that at some point, but for now starting it with zoneminder works for me. On the 2nd box I put it on I’m still running into some issues where xlib_shm is crashing, and I haven’t built any checks for that into this, that’s one reason I’m considering a daemon manager as xlib_shm and the webcams2.php script shouldn’t need to speak or check each other it was just a dirty way of keeping it running. Think about what maybe happening as I’m typing though, that server only outputs stuff from the webcams feed and I noticed with the previous script if the image was 0 bytes it obvious can’t convert. giving a dud image to zoneminder is probably enough for it to restart that monitor and as it’s the only one xlib_shm would probably fall over as it can’t read the memory zoneminder is using. kinda makes sense as my display occasionally come up blank or part converted image if it’s in the middle of running, but as I have live monitors zoneminder wouldn’t stop the lot. Will have to look into that a bit more, but handing to a proper daemon manager should be the way to go anyway it can handle crashes then.
Note: I need to do better formatting for code etc.

Blog update.

ok, just run through enabling comments on most of my posts. Wondered why I’d never seen the option when posting I must have turned it off globally a good while back. Unfortunately when enabling it there’s no quick way I could see to turn it on then for each post so had to edit, set option and save. Just hope it hasn’t screwed with the dates on the posts now.

Apparently I’ve also turned on adsense for this blog, I didn’t really want it linked to this I wanted it link to another site. but if I get it on here first I can checkout how it works and hopefully move it over later even if it means cancelling and re-registering my email address to the other site. I did read something on it about no multiple accounts per site. hoping it still works the other way.

Zomeminder Webcams 2.0

Ok, following on from my post yesterday here’s the database table part of my new scripts.


I place this under the zoneminder database itself, that way it’s all kept together.
A sample entry would be:-

INSERT INTO `WebCams` (`ID`, `Name`, `URL`, `Start`, `Stop`, `Refresh`, `Monitor`, `Enabled`) VALUES (1, 'Aberystwyth Pier', 'http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/english/visiting/aber_webcam/img/994.jpg', '00:00:00', '23:59:59', 900, 'A', 1);

Pretty straight forward descriptions for Name, URL, Start & Stop. One thing to note is I made the script to interpret the start and stop so you can start at 10pm and finish at 2am and it will happily work (took a bit for my head to get around it though).
The Refresh column is how often it should grab a new image. I slowed the script down to run a refresh every 60 secs for a few reasons, first not to query the database constantly and 2nd as a safeguard that I can’t hammer any webcams trying to pull too often.
The Monitor I use as A,B,C this will be assigned to the name of what’s downloaded and to the rotate file that you reference in Zoneminder.
Enabled is either 0-No or 1-Yes.

That’s pretty much it. Next bit I’ll post up the actual script.

Blog stats

Just checked my blog stats, I’m amazed people are actually reading stuff I’ve posted. Can’t remember if I’ve allowed feedback and questions, so will check the posts tomorrow as I’d love to know what people think and if I’ve missed anything or can help anyone out.
One thing I have to remember to post about tomorrow is my problems with viewing zoneminder cameras remotely via the web browser.
So thanks to anyone who actually reads anything I’ve done.

Raspberry PI

Not sure if anyone reads these at all, but thought I’d make a comment as I go.
I’m waiting on news from Raspberry PI to know when they’re being launched. At first they’re going to have a run of just 1000 units, I have a load of ideas I’d like to try and do on it from some home automation, security system, all the way to maybe getting zoneminder running on it with a webcam.
It looks a fantastic little board and I think the idea of putting them into schools and letting kids play, program and create it a great one. I wish they’d done that kind of thing when I was in school. I wanted to do the computer control part of CDT but the teacher wouldn’t run it, or even let me do it as an extra after school in my own time.

Still I’ve done little bits and pieces as I go, but I’m really looking forward to the Raspberry PI coming out and getting to just play and experiment again. After looking on the forums yesterday I doubt very much that I’d be in with a chance of getting one of the 1st 1k, and it’s looking like a good couple of runs of 1k each are going to shift like hot cakes, but I’ll be looking out hoping the site doesn’t crash as soon as I know they’re out.

Zoneminder rotating Webcam images.

Note: I’ve made an entire new system running from a database that can accommodate multiple rotating outputs, because I liked seeing the webcams so much on my tv along with my own cctv. I leave this here as an idea script. btw, there was an update for 3 monitors based on the below that used this very script, but I’m going to jump straight to the database one as it’s much better.

I had the idea to include some public webcams onto my zoneminder monitor, I’m already running xlib_shm so was considering find a way within that code to pickup some jpegs and display them in one area. However this seemed overly complicated, it seemed a much simpler idea to create a new monitor in zoneminder that picks up from a local file and just add that monitor onto the xlib_shm line in the xinitrc file so it displays on bootup.

So the steps.
1) create a new directory /var/cache/zoneminder/webcams
2) create a text doc to hold the url’s /var/cache/zoneminder/webcams/urls.txt for example “http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/english/visiting/aber_webcam/img/994.jpg” without “
3) create a text doc ~/webcams.sh with the following :
echo Directory : $DIR
echo Pull Interval : $PULLINTERVAL
echo Rotate Interval : $ROTATEINTERVAL
cd $DIR
for i in `cat $DIR/urls.txt`
   wget -q $i -O $FILENO.jpg
convert $CURRENTIMAGE.jpg -resize 640x480! rotate.jpg
if [ "$CURRENTIMAGE" -eq "$FILENO" ]; then
PGREPXLIB=`pgrep xlib_shm`
 if [ -z $PGREPXLIB ]; then
   startx &
while true; do
DATE=`date +%s`
   if [ "$DATE" -gt "$NEXTPULL" ]; then
   if [ "$DATE" -gt "$NEXTROTATE" ]; then
   if [ "$DATE" -gt "$NEXTXLIBCHECK" ]; then
sleep 2
4) chmod +x ~/webcams.sh
5) Now add a new monitor to Zoneminder pulling from a local file /var/cache/zoneminder/webcams/rotate.jpg with dimensions 640×480.
6) After testing that this script runs while I’m connected via putty, I add the following to /etc/init.d/zoneminder under the startx & ‘/root/webcams.sh &’. That way when the computer starts up and everything is displayed the webcams script is also started and away it rotates.
7) Add the following to /etc/init.d/zoneminder under the stop section where I added kill -9 xlib_shm ‘killall -9 webcams.sh’. Now the script is stopped if zoneminder is stopped.
One thing to note is that restarting zoneminder via the interface is not the same as running /etc/init.d/zoneminder restart. So the script and does not get reset when restarting via the interface.

Zoneminder XLIB_SHM

Ok it’s been a good while since my last post, and it’s not that I haven’t been doing anything, just not writing about it. Which just creates problems when I need to remember how what I did and how.

I needed something to get my monitors back on my similar to my windows setup. That used to rotate around the cameras and would bring to the front specific cameras when motion was detected.

After a bit of searching I found xlib_shm http://www.zoneminder.com/wiki/index.php/Xlib_shm
Although it says it only works with 1.22.3, I’m currently running 1.24.2 on Ubuntu 11.04.

So after installing it and trying to run via the command line “./xlib_shm -m 11 -m 12 -m 3 -m 13 -m 14 -c 2 -k 0x7a6d0000” it complained about not being able to open the display. of course I’m running it from a terminal on the server itself, but gdm is already lauched and I’d alt+ctrl+f1’d out of it. So I stopped gdm with “/etc/init.d/gdm stop” and tried again, hey presto it runs.

So now how do I get this to run on boot?

One option is to have gdm auto login and then auto run xlib_shm. I had a few problems with this approach, First the login counter, it takes a few seconds to auto login and kick in xlib_shm and it’s just a bit untidy. Second xlib_shm launches in a window doesn’t look very pretty and I’d prefer full screen. Third was the mouse pointer happily sat smack in the middle of the screen, not a huge problem for a 4 split, but single screen or 9 and it’s in the way of the main detail on the picture.

So kill that idea, I want it straight in no hassle as quick as it can. So the best thing I could come up with was stop gdm launching and make a new script to startup xlib_shm. unfortunately this approach seemed to hit it’s own problems. killing gdm wasn’t as easy as it should have been because of changes in the way it’s now started in Ubuntu 11.04, and adding xlib_shm into the init.d was proving unreliable sometimes it beat gdm and grabbed the screen othertimes it didn’t.

So I had to find another way, and my answer was to try and figure out how X was started.

I ended up editing ‘/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc’
commenting out the ‘/etc/X11/Xsession’ line and adding ‘exec /usr/sbin/xlib_shm -m 11 -m 12 -m 3 -m 13 -m 14 -m 15 -m 18 -m 19 -m 20 -c 3 -k 0x7a6d0000’ to the bottom.
now starting X with “startx” fires up xlib_shm full screen with a 9 split.
Problem hit though with the screen turning itself off.
Found out that setting a couple of dpms options then starting x would solve this so added the following into the xinitrc file after the exec line

xset s off &
xset -dpms &

Now to get this starting with the boot. Solution edit the ‘/etc/init.d/zoneminder’
Within the start section add ‘startx &’ and in the stop section add ‘killall -9 xlib_shm’.
Now on each reboot X starts up with xlib_shm and the screen doesn’t shutoff at all.

I’ve no doubt theres bits in here that I’ve missed, I got this all running months ago. When I did the same similar on a 2nd system, it was pretty straight forward and similar but I did hit another issue.
For some reason xlib_shm would occasionally crash out and return to the command prompt. However between this change and installing that I’d setup scripts to pull a few webcams and display them on a zoneminder monitor rotating the image. As that script fires a rotate every 10 seconds, my answer to the crashing was to add a check into this script to see if xlib_shm was running and if not to startx &.

So that’s the brief outline of me getting xlib_shm to work with Zoneminder 1.24.2 on Ubuntu 11.04.

One thing to note, restarting zoneminder via the interface is not the same as running /etc/init.d/zoneminder restart. Because of this via the interface does not restart xlib_shm. This causes problem (mainly when I was testing) because the zoneminder feeds would shutdown and xlib_shm would then crash. I got used to only restarting via the commendline, but the script mentioned above would counter this problem should xlib_shm crash now.

ZoneMinder Browser Streaming

Got Zoneminder installed and running again. alot of fine tuning to be done, but so far so good.
Here’s the current setup:-
Ubuntu 11.04
Anykeeper 2016 Card
Zoneminder 1.24.2
6 Cameras connected
only 1 of the anykeeper cards in atm.

The anykeeper card isn’t exactly stable, 2 of the images are light flickering not a clue why they’ve been stable with this card before under windows and another card so guessing it’s down to the mix of card and config. I can live with it though as it doesn’t setoff the motion you can just see it pulsing when on live view.

Think I’ll be ordering another card though that is known to work with zoneminder, having something nice and stable would be nice.

One thing that has been bugging me though is the streaming options. When using Chrome I’ve had to manually select Yes on the Can_Stream to kick in the live view as the auto just sits there.
However I found this http://www.zoneminder.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15429
Incase it gets removed I’ll copy the instruction below

In file include/functions.php, change the following which is at around line 823 (May vary from installation to installation): 

    elseif (ereg( ‘Opera ([0-9].[0-9]{1,2})’,$_SERVER[‘HTTP_USER_AGENT’],$logVersion))


    elseif (ereg( ‘Opera/([0-9].[0-9]{1,2})’,$_SERVER[‘HTTP_USER_AGENT’],$logVersion))

In around line 876 (May vary from installation to installation), change:

function canStreamNative()
   return( ZM_CAN_STREAM == “yes” || ( ZM_CAN_STREAM == “auto” && (isNetscape() || isKonqueror()) ) );


function canStreamNative()
   return( ZM_CAN_STREAM == “yes” || ( ZM_CAN_STREAM == “auto” && (isNetscape() || isKonqueror() || isOpera() || isSafari()) ) );

In around line 840 (May vary from installation to installation), find this:

function isNetscape()
    getBrowser( $browser, $version );

    return( $browser == “mozilla” );

Add this below it or above it:

function isOpera() {
    getBrowser( $browser, $version );
    return( $browser == “opera” );
function isSafari() {
    getBrowser( $browser, $version );
    return( $browser == “safari” );

 Next I have to get the PTZ up and running. Will post up my solution to that one as so far I’ve had no joy.