Today I wanted to go over installing and configuring MotionEyeOS using a PC with Linux Mint, an SD card, and a Raspberry Pi. You will also need a camera to use for motion detection, a display of some kind for the Raspberry Pi, an ethernet cable connected to your router, a way to read the SD card on your PC, and a power adapter for the Raspberry Pi (obviously). Let’s begin.
Step 1: Image The SD Card
We’re going to be using Linux Mint’s built in imaging software to image the SD card.
First, head over to the Releases page for MotionEyeOS and download the image. Make sure you download the right one. I am using a Raspberry Pi 4 so the corresponding file for me is called “motioneyeos-raspberrypi4-20190911.img.xz” where “20190911” is the version number. Once you download this plug in your SD card.
As you can see I’m using a usb adapter for my SD card but you can use whatever card reader you wish. After this double-click on the downloaded file and an imaging screen comes up.
Choose your SD Card in the destination drop-down box then click “Start Restoring”.
It will then ask “Are you sure you want to write the disk image to the device?” Click “Restore”. Imaging should only take a few moments, after which you will see the following.
Now, we’re ready to put the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and boot it up.
Step 2: Configure MotionEyeOS
All we have to do now is set up the Raspberry Pi camera and operating system. I used a standard Raspberry Pi camera for this because my usb camera from Logitech didn’t work.
(Note: If you’re usb camera simply skip ahead to the part where you insert the SD card. This part also assumes that you’ve set up a display for the Raspberry Pi.)
Before you boot the device insert the camera into the camera port as shown.
Gently latch onto the sides, then pull up and back just a little being careful not to force it. It’s going to need just enough room to fit the camera ribbon into it. Once you have the ribbon in place seat the latch back down in its original position.
Once the camera is securely in place insert the SD card into the SD card slot and plug in an ethernet cable also connected to your router (Note: on Rasberry Pi versions without an ethernet connector you’ll need to connect to a wireless network with the instructions outlined here). Now, plug in the Raspberry Pi’s power adapter. Whatever screen you’re using for your Raspberry Pi will come up with an IP address that you can use to put into the URL bar in your web browser. Going there brings up a screen with a login. The initial login is “admin” with nothing in the password field.
After logging in with this password the next step is to change the admin’s password, give a non-admin password, add a camera, and add to the wireless network. First click on the Settings button on the top left.
Now go to “General Settings” and change the passwords and time zone.
Next, go to the “Network” settings and add the Raspberry Pi to the wireless network.
Finally, the last step before we reboot the device is to add a camera. To the right there is a section to click on called “You have not configured any camera yet. Click here to add one…”. Click on that.
My camera is the one called “mmal service 16.1”. You may have a different option depending on the camera you purchased. Click “OK”.
You should see a camera feed come through now. In the “Settings” menu go ahead and click “Apply” at the very top.
It will prompt you to reboot your machine which you should go ahead and do. It should now be able to access the wireless and you can now log into your camera from home. I’m still working on getting this thing a static IP address. For some reason it doesn’t seem to be taking it with the wireless. Also, I still need to put a fan on this Raspberry pi, put a case around it, and stick it somewhere inconspicuous in my apartment.
A slight disclaimer here: always be careful when operating electronics. From my understanding the Raspberry Pi is supposed to be safe to handle though I’m not an expert on that. Always treat electronic parts with the same respect you treat anything else you own and don’t want to replace. I’m still learning this device myself, and I expect I’ll be making many more things in the future.