Motion - User Feedback

User Feedback

You want to give feedback about Motion? This is the place. If you have support questions then please use the SupportRequests page to ask your support question or ask in the Motion Mailing List

Feedback given irrelevant places are moved here.

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Average rating: 8.5 Number of votes: 53

Ubuntu 10.04

This application is nothing short of amazing. It is a hobbyist programmer's dream! I am running multiple computers with cheap USB webcams linked together via ethernet to accomplish all kinds of neat things. This application was designed with easy extensibility in mind and makes it simple to call external scripts on just about any imaginable event. Kudos to the developer(s).

Excellent! Amazing! Incredible!

-- MichaelBroxson - 06 Jan 2012

Ubuntu 9.04

First I had palette problems to make it work. I solved with sudo LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ motion -n. After, I can't stop all those generating jpgs. ps -ef | grep motion shows me the parent process in last place. I could not see what was seeing the cam in live. I change the name of the jpg to one fixed name. Now I'm using Proccessing to see that image. My objective is use a webcam in my robotic arm.

Good work guys !!

-- AngelEspeso - 09 Sep 2009

Why all this is so noisy ? Why motion so complicated documentation ? Why project are made for the programmer to show his skills and aim and users forgotten ? Why this kind of man pages full of descriptions of features that at the end you even forgot why you read it ? Are you crazy all ?

-- TWikiGuest - 08 Oct 2004

Motion is a complicated program with many features. It is made to be a program that can run as a daemon in the background of a machine that maybe also acts as a router or web server. More "user friendly" programs have GUIs that takes all the CPU power and RAM.

The documentation here has taken years to write and is being developed all the time. We all have one thing in common. We do it for fun. We do it for nothing. We give it to you for free. You pay nothing. Are we all crazy? yes

-- KennethLavrsen - 09 Oct 2004

Hi there. I love Motion. It is actually something I've been looking for (but o n the wrong platform!). I operate a personal web server from home (which I recently port over form Windows to Linux).. and Motion is great :).

Your mj-grab program helped a lot too and I've taken the liberty to port it over to PHP.. should be helpful for those who don't want to run mj-grab as a cgi process.

Code moved to

Motion is great. I used Motion in version 2.6 to set up a simple surveillance box. But still a question: I want to run six cameras (with two impact vcb cards). This should work with round robin if i understood correctly. But how fast should my box be to capture mpeg video from an average of 3 cameras continously (in about 600x500 resolution)? Any idea from your experience?

-- ThorstenKutska - 08 Nov 2004

Just wanted to let people know I've just finished writing a very simple perl script which interfaces with sound-recorder. Basically you put it in both the execute section and the onffmpegclose section of the conf file and it'll record audio to match the video file, assuming you've got a mic hooked up somewhere. It's got one or two bugs currently, but I'll be working on those.

Catch me on my email if anyone is interested.

-- TerryRiggins - 30 Jan 2005

Great product (3.1.17) on Fedora Core 2. Have problems with 3.1.19 on Mandrake 10.1 where I get following error message when trying to run motion: [root@localhost motion]# motion motion: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/ undefined symbol: vfd MyPHPadmin and gnomemeeting with Toucam work OK. Can someone help?

-- TWikiGuest - 09 Mar 2005

  • As already mentioned several time above please raise a Support Requests. This topic is for feedback that does not fit anywhere else, rants, roses etc -- KennethLavrsen - 10 Mar 2005

Awesome software. I have run Motion on Mandrake 10.1 and Fedora Core 3. I bought a cheap $20 (4) BNC port capture card on eBay, and a couple of security cameras, and Motion round robins through them and does a heck of a job. A mess of scripts on the server allow me to archive all the motion-detected images for several weeks, and then rsync them to my webserver as well. I currently have two more cameras, but would like to get at least two more. I love being at work and being able to check on things at my house - motion made this all possible, and for free - check comperable software products, motion is a deal.

I currently have Motion running on an old Pentium 200 MMX - a junk computer that had been sitting in a storage shed for 3 years. When I upgrade to more cameras, I will upgrade the box to something more modern, but for now it handles 2 cameras pretty good, but system load is always fairly high, as I would expect.

Also, Keneth and others, thanks for the great documentation. Thanks to it, I feel I know my motion.conf files inside and out. Often times good documentation is the missing element in many open source projects, but with Motion everything is right there, just take the time to read it. You will soon begin to love how it is infinately configurable.

Thank you, Scott. Good to hear that at least someone is using the round-robin feature. We don't have much feedback on it usually. -- JoergWeber - 28 Apr 2005

-- ScottFuhrman - 28 Apr 2005

Very good, but i'd like some output about the moving object, like position and size so that a warning can be sent: "human detected" but that's the size, position is for something else....

Have not looked into all the features but i am in love with the program. Tanks to you surveliance is cheap, i will not switch to any other software.

A great feature would be image-recognition so that cats, dogs and bushes can be ruled out as danger, most people don't crawl on their knees so something simple as recognizing legs,arm... stuff, would be achiveable, maybe even faces...

-- FarbrorFrunck - 27 May 2005

This is good stuff. I've now managed to set up a survalance of my friends shop running 4 cams (soon 6). I've createda nifty little PHP app. which makes a nice overview - where can I post it ?

-- MortenHansen - 04 Jul 2005

RelatedProjects is the place for this and your project is very welcome. -- KennethLavrsen - 04 Jul 2005

The application is excellent, as long as you know about linux, creating web based user interfaces (done mine in java) and all this kind of stuff. I like everything coming without overhelming coloured user interfaces where it takes hours to find out that just the feature you need is not available. This program is just the undiluted core of what is needed to set up an efficient and affordable surveillance. - allthough I need to say that configuring that thingy is a really twiddly.

-- AxelAmthor - 22 Oct 2005

You make very important work! Thank you.

-- RomanFedorov - 13 Dec 2005

I've used motion for 6 months, and am happy with it, but I just tried to upgrade from v3.1.18 to 3.2.4 only to find that all the command line options I use routinely have been removed. Why? It completely goes against the grain of good software to remove usable features.

-- TWikiGuest - 02 Jan 2006

The old command line interface only supported a fraction of the features Motion has, and you could only use the command line options for one camera. In my view a useless and incomplete feature for practical use. So instead we replaced the old command line set with a new simpler that added obvious command line options like specifying the config file location and enterning debug/setup mode. We also removed the xml-rpc interface because it was geeky and not user friendly. Instead you now have the http control interface where you can control everything while Motion is running and using wget or lwp-request you can control Motion from the command line even from a remote machine and with cron jobs. And all this with many cameras. If you only used command line options you would not be using 10% of what Motion has to offer. Give it a chance. We are at 3.2.6 now as I write this and it is still being actively developed. -- KennethLavrsen - 28 Mar 2006

Great program, works 24/7 without any problems and lots of cameras. I found that setting a framerate for each camera greatly reduced CPU usage and after that it's been amazing! Would be nice to have access to the changelog here on the wiki somehow, even a link to the CVS on SF would work so I could check to see what's been added lately.

-- TWikiGuest - 03 Apr 2006

For changelogs see MotionSubversion. is kept up to date when we check in on SVN. -- KennethLavrsen - 23 May 2006

I have been using Motion now for a couple of years. I installed it on a faster computer last weekend on FC5. The only issue I had was getting ffmpeg to compile. I used the link on the Motion web site to download ffmpeg.

I realised this weekend how big a difference it makes to have a fast CPU and plenty of memory on a Moton system.

I use the Hauppage WinTV Express cards which cost about £30 in PC World here the GB. They work very well now with Motion and these days are auto detected by Linux.

-- MikeMullins - 30 May 2006

16 Sept 2007: Motion featured on Puppy Linux Distribution's Community Wiki "Latest News" page at:

re: Motion Puppy Linux Wiki page:

All the talk is about Puppy in Motion! smile

William McEwan (puppy linux forum member mcewanw)

-- McEwanW - 16 Sep 2007

I am using Motion on Grafpup (derivative of Puppy Linux with proper username support) and have been since April 2007.

It all works well. See MotionPerformanceNonPCPlatforms

-- SimonW - 18 Sep 2007

after working out a few bugs on my end, it seems to be doing rather well! a little choppy at points(still have to tweak the setting, it looks like my wife's grandma was riding on the hood of the car when it pulled in...hehe...) but thats fixable. i am very happy with the code! excellent job folks!(10 of 10)

-- MasaM - 09 Oct 2007

I just captured a prowler using Motion and some custom HTML/Java and PHP, It turned out that the guy was an old man with alzheimers and was lost, At least thats what the police said but in the images captured he had a beer in his hand and was poking through my stuff.

Jim Anthony

-- JimAnthony - 02 Nov 2007

This software is AWESOME! I am so glad I found it. Since I switched to linux a few months ago I have been astounded by the quality of open source software. Motion is to be counted among the best OSS out there. I have been testing it with my cheap off brand webcam. Even with such a poor quality webcam I am amazed at what motion can do. If I ever have to setup a security camera, I will be using motion. Keep up the excellent work. You ROCK!

-- PurpleMutant - 11 Sep 2008

Just what I was looking for, and very intuitive (for me, anyway) to use. Nice!!!

-- JoshHamilton - 14 May 2009

-- AngelEspeso - 09 Sep 2009

This is an excellent application, which is easy to configure and to control. I have 2 nest boxes fitted with cctv cameras which are switched via a k8055 to a USB capture module. Video is captured by Motion, which also displays live video via a web browser. The browser display also shows box temperature and a count based upon the number of visits (my software uses the k8055 to count pulses from an IR led/photo-transisitor detector, and sends data such as temperature and counts to Motion). I'm running motion on a headless Compaq D510 with Lubuntu 10.10.

-- SteveDee - 21 Feb 2011

I've been a software engineer for twenty years (over ten with Linux) so I practically look forward to doing some hacking to get something to work. What a disappointment this product was! All I had to do was set the config file to point to my new Logitech webcam device, start motion and I was instantly seeing my living room in my browser. That's it. Fortunately it has a tremendous number of parameters and features to play with.

I'm using it to augment my burglar alarm (three break-ins in seven years!). It was easy and fun to adjust motion to ignore my cat. Now motion sends me a text message when it sees something larger than my cat moving in my living room. I can quickly see what's going on with my cell phone.

-- ScottLarson - 26 Jun 2012

Motion is an excellent program, it seems to work perfectly (once properly configured). I am very impressed with the gmotionlive program! My Firefox browser would crash when there was a lot disk activity ... gmotionlive uses less resorces and gives excellent results. I do have one small suggestion regarding the documentation. I think there should be explained examples of the parameters in the motion.conf file.

-- WilliamNulf - 24 Feb 2013

Please add the password protection to the stream also!

-- EvrenYurtesen - 18 Aug 2013

Wanted to share what I did to compile MOTION on Debian Jessie (beta 2). I did this since I have some rstp netcams I could not get working, and wanted to see if working from source code would help. The short story -- it worked!

Installed Jessie beta 2 DVD iso, specified a network mirror and let it install defaults along with any default updates. From there, I apt-get installed the following packages:

gcc, yasm, libjpeg9, libjpeg9-dev, make, x264, libvpx1, pkg-config, subversion, zlib1g, and zlib1g-dev.

Downloaded. compiled, and installed FFmpeg 2.2.11 "Muybridge" (this compile took ~15 minutes on a moderate cpu and mechanical disk). Default installation was in /usr/local (which was perfect).

Newer versions of ffmpeg did not work well with MOTION (I worked myself backward through versions and was successful with 2.2.11)

Grabbed latest svn (svn co, configured and compiled).

The syntax for the netcam_url that worked for me was


I used the above to access an ELP-IP1881 and an outdoor bullet IP webcam.

I'm not sure if all the above packages are necessary, but it worked for me and if you need MOTION to access rtsp stream from an network IP webcam, I hope it'll work for you too.

P.S. I was getting "Invalid netcam_url (rtsp://". I knew the URL worked because I could use it in VLC, but MOTION was not having any of it until I compiled form scratch.

-- RinTim - 23 Dec 2014

I just verified that the precompiled version of motion installed with apt-get on debian jessie (beta 2 x64 intel architecture) does not support rtsp streams (errors with netcam_start: Invalid netcam_url (rtsp://...). I think it's the same codebase (Version 3.2.12+git20140228), but when pulled from svn (trunkREV561) and manually compiled rtstp streams work like a charm.

I hope this helps others like me who want to use motion with their ip netcams but were frustrated by errors thrown by the precompiled release in debian. Once you have the correct ffmpeg version, it's not too hard to compile yourself.

-- RinTim - 23 Dec 2014

I was interested in how hard it would be to get motion running in redhat. To test I make a fresh installation of CentOS 7.0 x64 (using software development, infrastructure server, no desktop). Used yum install of the following packages: nasm, zlib, zlib-devel

Downloaded source code, compiled, and installed jpeg-9a Added /usr/local/lib to LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Downloaded source code, compiled, and installed ffmpeg-2.2.11

Grabbed motion from subversion (svn co .). Compiled, and installed.

Result supported rtsp streams. I did note that if I compiled and installed things out of order I got the old invalid netcam argument. However, when the libraries are built in order and are available, motion works with everything (even rtsp streams).

-- RinTim - 24 Dec 2014

Just want to say how much I love this program. I use it with a raspberry camera to watch my bird feeder and get the most amazing photos. Thank you!

-- VisitorWiki42 - 16 Jun 2015

Topic revision: r81 - 16 Jun 2015, VisitorWiki42
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