Build a Raspberry Pi Security Camera Network

In this project, I am going to make a Raspberry Pi security camera simply using the standard Pi camera such as the one I used in the time-lapse tutorial.

Raspberry Pi Security Camera

This project is a cost-effective way of getting a security camera up and running that you can view over the network and also have it, so it is motion activated.

Remember the Raspberry Pi isn’t a powerhouse, so performance will degrade if you try to do too much by adding too many high definition cameras.

With that said, it’s still an excellent way of building your own affordable camera network. So let’s get to it.


You will need the following equipment to complete this Raspberry Pi security camera project.



If you want to see how to set up the Raspberry Pi security camera visually, then check out the video I have prepared below.

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Installing the Raspberry Pi Camera

Firstly before we do anything, we need to have a Raspberry Pi camera. In this tutorial, I use the regular IR camera, and it works fine however if it gets dark it can’t see at all. (Which is probably not much good for a security camera). You can find the regular camera here or the non-IR camera here.

If you’re after for more information check out my Raspberry Pi camera guide for everything you need to know.

Secondly, we will need to install the camera (If you haven’t got one you can get one here), to do this go to the ribbon slot (the one directly behind the Ethernet port) using two fingers gently pull up on both sides of the connector.

Clips & Ribbon Cabble

Now the connector is open insert the ribbon cable with the metal leads facing away from the Ethernet port. Make sure it is nicely lined up and then gently press back down on the connector. The cable should now be locked in place, and we can now move onto the software.

On a side note, if you want to install this into a more secure enclosure, there is some great equipment you can buy or even design to do this. To keep this tutorial pretty basic I am not going to go into a heavily customized camera enclosure.

Installing MotionEye OS

I settled on using MotionEye OS as it seems to be an all in one solution for what I require and it also didn’t involve as much fiddling around to get it to work.

Download & Format the SD Card

1. Download the MotionEye OS SD Card Image from the MotionEye OS GitHub repository.

2. You will need a formatting tool. Visit the SD Association’s website and download SD Formatter for either Windows or Mac.

3. Follow the instructions to install the formatting software.

4. Insert your SD card into the computer or laptop’s SD card reader and check the drive letter allocated to it, e.g. G:/

5. In SD Formatter, select the drive letter for your SD card (eg. G:/) and format

Install the MotionEye OS Image onto the SD Card

1. Download the Win32DiskImager.

2. Now unzip the MotionEye OS img file so you can install it onto the Pi safely.

3. Select the MotionEye OS img file and the drive letter your SD card is assigned (Eg. G:/)

4. Confirm you have the correct details and click on Write.

5. Once done you can safely remove your SD card from the computer.

win32diskimager MotionEyeOS

Booting & Setting up MotionEye OS

Now we’re ready for boot up, so insert the SD Card, an Ethernet cord, and the power cord.

We will need to communicate to the Pi over the network rather than directly as I have done in most of the previous tutorials.

So now go ahead and boot the Pi up and then we can move onto getting it set up correctly.

Setting up the Raspberry Pi Security Camera

Once the Pi has booted you will need to do the following:
1. First, we will need the IP or hostname, so we’re able to connect to the Pi.

  • If you’re using Windows, then simply go to network on the right-hand side in the File Explorer.
  • You should see a computer names something like MP-E28D9CE5
  • Go to your browser and add this to your browser bar e.g. http://MP-E28D9CE5
  • You should now have the MotionEye OS interface up.

2. Alternatively, you can find out the IP of the Pi by going to your router.

Since all routers are different, I will not go into how to do this. Please refer to your manufacturer’s manual.

3. To log in as the admin go to the key symbol in the upper-left corner.

The username is admin and the password is blank (Don’t enter any password), this can be changed later.

4. You can access all the setting for the camera stream here. If you’re interested in altering these settings, keep reading as I explain them as much as possible below.

Now we should have a working security hub that we can configure!

Require the security camera to be wireless? No problem! Require to alert you with an email? No problem! Read more to find out what the settings do in MotionEye OS.

How to set up Multiple Network Raspberry Pi Security Cameras

If you want to run more than one Pi cameras, it is pretty easy to set this up, so you have all the streams under in one window.

You can even add a stream that has been set up using the Raspberry Pi Webcam server tutorial.

1. First, click on the three lines with dots on them in the upper left-hand corner.

2. Now up in the upper-left hand corner and click on the drop-down box and select add camera.

3. In here you have four settings to set up.

  • Device: This allows you to select where the camera is located(network/local) and type. (Eg. MotionEye, MJPEG camera)
  • URL: This is the URL to the other network camera. Eg. http://othercamera:8080
  • Username: This is the username of the camera device. (If no username/password is required, then leave the fields blank)
  • Password: This is the password for the username chosen above.
  • Camera: Select the camera you wish to add.

In the example below camera1 (Pi Camera) and camera2 (USB WebCam) are connected to the Pi running MotionEye OS. While camera3 is coming from a different Pi that was set up using the webcam server tutorial.

This method is a great way to set up a strong Raspberry Pi security camera network.

Raspberry Pi Multiple Cameras

Connecting to the surveillance outside your network

Now that you have your Raspberry Pi security cameras setup it might be worth considering allowing access to the central Pi so you can monitor your cameras elsewhere.

To do this just head over to my guide on how to setup port forwarding and also how to setup dynamic DNS, you can find the guide at Raspberry Pi Dynamic DNS & Port Forwarding.

A few important bits of information you will need for the setting up the port forwarding.

  • The IP of your Raspberry Pi for example mine is
  • Internal port is 80.

Ensure you also have set up passwords on both the admin and the surveillance user to help avoid unwanted visitors.

Once set up, you should now be able to connect using your external IP address such as XX.XXX.XXX.XXX:80 (80 should be changed to something else, I would recommend changing it to avoid easy access for unwanted visitors)

Configuring the Settings in MotionEye OS

Raspberry Pi MotionEyeOS Interface

General Settings

In here you can set the administrator username and password. This account will have access to all the settings you see at the moment.

Surveillance username and password can also be set in here this can be used to just to access the camera interface.

To view all the settings available to set turn the show advanced settings to on.

Wireless Network

Turn this on if you plan on connecting to the network via a wireless dongle. There are two things you will need to fill in here.

  • Network Name: Enter the network name/SSID you wish to connect to in here.
  • Network Key: Enter the network password/network key in here for the network you’re connecting to.

Once done you should be able to disconnect the Ethernet cord and remain connected to the network.

Video Device

Under this menu, you’re able to set certain settings regarding the Raspberry Pi camera device.

  • Camera Name: Set this to whatever you would like the camera to be named. For example, the name kitchen would work well for a camera in a kitchen.
  • Camera Device: You’re unable to edit this one, but this is the device name of the camera.
  • Light Switch Detection: Enable this if you want sudden changes such as a light being switched on not to be treated as a motion. (This will help prevent false positives)
  • Automatic Brightness: This will enable automatic software brightness, this means the camera software will make adjustments for the brightness. You don’t need to activate this if your camera already handles this. In here you change the brightness, contrast, and saturation of the video of the camera.
  • Video Resolution: Here you can set the video resolution of the camera. The higher the resolution, the more room it will take up and the more bandwidth it will need to use to stream the footage. I set mine to 1280×800, and that seems to work perfectly fine.
  • Video Rotation: You can rotate your video from the Raspberry Pi security if you’re finding that it is looking the wrong way.
  • Frame Rate: This sets the number of frames that will be sent be every second. The higher this is, the smoother the video, but again this will increase the storage used and bandwidth.

File Storage

Under this menu, you can specify where you would like the files stored for the Raspberry Pi security camera.

This location can be a custom path on the Pi, the predetermined path or the network path.

Text Overlay

In here you can set the text overlay on the output of the camera.

By default, the left text reads the camera name and the right read the time stamp (Today’s date and current time).

Video Streaming

This menu you’re able to set the video streaming options, this is the video you see in the browser.

  • Streaming Frame Rate: This is the same as mentioned above under video device.
  • Streaming Quality: You can reduce the video streaming quality. This setting is good to reduce if you need to access the camera on a low bandwidth device often.
  • Streaming Image Resizing: Enable this if you want MotionEye OS to resize the images before being sent to a browser. (Not recommended on a Pi)
  • Streaming Port: This is the port that the device will listen to for connections looking to view the stream. Eg. http://motionpie:8081
  • Motion Optimization: This will reduce the frame rate whenever no motion is detected. This setting will save you bandwidth.

You can also see three URLs that can be used to access different footage.

These URLs are very important if you have multiple cameras per Pi as each camera will have a unique port that you listen to the stream.

Still Images

Here you can set the Raspberry Pi security camera to take still images whenever motion is triggered, during specific intervals or all the time.

Motion Detection

In here you can activate the Raspberry Pi security camera motion detection that is included in the software.

You can make adjustments to the settings here so that you can get better motion detection.

Motion Movies

In here you can set the Pi to record movies whenever motion is detected.

Motion Notifications

You’re able to set up email notifications, webhook notifications or even run a command whenever motion is detected.

This option will allow you to be notified whenever activity is detected on the cameras, perfect if they are monitoring areas with low traffic.

Working Schedule

Here you can set the days, and the hours of operation you would like the system to be monitoring (If you leave this off then it is 24/7).

This option is perfect if you only need it running during specific hours.


The Raspberry Pi security camera system is a great way to have multiple cameras hooked up both locally and over a network.

All the extra setting MotionEye OS provides allows you to have a strong functioning security hub for your home, office or wherever you’re setting this up.

I hope this tutorial has helped you in creating a fantastic Raspberry Pi security camera network.

If you have had any problems, provide feedback or have a great setup you would like to share then feel free to drop a comment below.

If you’re after more great Raspberry Pi projects, then be sure to check out many other great tutorials.


  1. Avatar for Job
    Job on

    Great work sir. I am a student and I want to work it with servo.
    Will the servo as a pancontroller work having motionPie OS? Please notice me. Thaanks.

  2. Avatar for john
    john on

    Is it possible to have the filesystem read/write? I cannot change the files needed to get the proper timezone/times.

  3. Avatar for Ionut
    Ionut on

    Works perfectly on rPi1. Good job! 🙂

  4. Avatar for jagath
    jagath on

    IS 8GB memory card
    enough for this project?

    1. Avatar for Ionut
      Ionut on

      More than enough. Soft image has <100Mb. 8Gb translates in 8000Mb.

  5. Avatar for Josh
    Josh on

    Has anyone had success getting sound to stream along with the video using an ALSA supported USB mic?

  6. Avatar for Fredo
    Fredo on

    Hi, I never heard of this rasberry pi before, but i would to try.. my question is how about battery life?

    1. Avatar for George
      George on

      It’s mains operated, 5v and draws little current, ~2A under load roughly. The Pi is powered by a phone charger.

  7. Avatar for sunil
    sunil on

    I want to add hi-focus ip camera to raspberry pi 3…as a other network camera …but I’m facing difficult in URL .. how to add another ip camera to raspberry pi 3

  8. Avatar for Tabish
    Tabish on

    Hi, I am installed raspbian. Now I want to install motion Pie. Please guide me whether the motionpie will be installed on my host computer or on Raspberry Pi??

  9. Avatar for Uldis
    Uldis on


    While booting Pi Zero for first time:
    configuring wired network: no device
    Ethernet: no network connection available, rebooting

    On Zero Pi there is no RJ45 network connection.

    I have TP-Link USB wi-fi dongle, when booting clean raspbian everything works fine Wi-Fi up and running. Maybe wrong motioneyeos version for my Zero? Which of these versions fit Zero?


  10. Avatar for pallavi
    pallavi on

    great tutorial, works perfectly to me. I want to ask 1 question, how I can record audio+video using this because there isn’t​ any sound in the video.

  11. Avatar for An
    An on

    With a hope that someone will reply with a solution I’m asking to provide instructions on how to access my Raspberry Pi as a ROOT user?

    This soft blocks me from using the device. All I’m trying to do is setup no-ip on the PI

    Please help!

  12. Avatar for Jon
    Jon on

    For a multiple camera setup is it better to add the multiple cameras to a beefier pi (Pi 3 or 2) or will it be ok adding all the cameras to a pi zero w?

  13. Avatar for john shepherd
    john shepherd on

    Thank you for your superb app. However when I use the notification using Gmail I get an 5.7.14 error which I can overcome by making my account in Google less secure. I would prefer not to do this and as such is their another option within the app itself?

  14. Avatar for Bri
    Bri on

    Thank you for sharing this great tutorial! Got it up and running in minutes. Great software that just works! Struggling with getting it working on external network on my Zyxel router, but sure I will get there eventually.

  15. Avatar for Benno
    Benno on

    comes to me there is something wrong
    everything works for 5 minutes then the pi in screen saver and the camera connection lose this only comes back after a restart

    Who can help me

  16. Avatar for vijay
    vijay on

    Hi, the name of the machine is “meye-73a2ef56” so what might be my login and password=

    1. Avatar for Rick
      Rick on

      Per the instructions and unless they changed since I installed mine:

      To login as the admin go to key symbol in the upper left corner.

      The username is admin and the password is blank, this can be changed later.

  17. Avatar for Tony
    Tony on

    Is it possible to see the motionpie GUI on the Raspberry Pi HDMI screen?

    1. Avatar for Alexandru
      Alexandru on

      Hi Tony,

      Yes you can, since the screen is connected through the hdmi cable.
      Just type this on PI browser or even better on your computer browser: –> replace x with the numbers of Pi’s address on your network.
      You should see the motion web page.

      You can find Pi’s ip address by hovering your mouse over the wifi connection icon on Pi or go to your router or if you have an Android phone download this app named: Fing.
      It will list you all the devices on your local network.
      Let me know if I can further help you.

  18. Avatar for Tony
    Tony on

    Is it possible to use a usb keyboard directly into the Raspberry Pi when using motionpie?

    1. Avatar for Alexandru
      Alexandru on

      Hi Tony,

      I recommend that you install Raspbian.
      Once installed go into the Raspbian menu, pick Administration menu option then click on Raspberry Pi Configuration icon.
      Once you see the new window you will see a series of options you can enable.
      Click on radio button on the side of: Enable VNC.
      Then reboot.

      After reboot you should see a VNC icon up to the menu bar.
      Don’t do anything for the moment.
      Go to your computer and download any VNC viewer.
      Once installed, start the viewer and please type this:
      login: pi
      password: raspberry –> if you are using this only on your local network is fine to keep same password, but if you open your motionEye to the outside world then is strongly advised to change the Pi password. Don’t disregard this important matter. I have read some stuff over the internet of hackers taking control of these pi’s. Is kind of stupid since is nothing important there, but it may be an entry point for them to get into your own internal network and create havoc into your own laptops, etc.

      You should see in a while the pi screen on your local computer.
      Let me know if this worked for you.

  19. Avatar for Jerry
    Jerry on

    Will any of the images on github work with a Pi Zero?

    1. Avatar for Alexandru
      Alexandru on

      Hi Jerry,

      If the images are compiled to run on 32 bit mode it should run on a old pi and pi zero.
      But if it is compiled for 64 bit, new pi is 64 bit it will not work on older pi and pi zero.
      Best thing it is to give it a try and install it.

  20. Avatar for Laur
    Laur on

    Hi, I just set up my Rapsberry Pi 3 with camera and with the lastest version of motioneyeos on it.

    Accessing it from my LAN works fine, but when I want to change some settings such as add a password, there is a problem. The only settings I can access are “Preferences”, no other settings are visible. I searched online but find no prior mention of this issue.

    Also, I am trying to set-up portforwarding on my ASUS router but cannot figure out how to do it, as the only requests are: Service name, Port range, Local IP, Local Port and Protocol (TCP or UDP). I have checked on your guide and the ASUS guide but they only explain how to set-up a game server. Could you help me by shedding some light on what I might be doing wrong?

    Best regards.

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