Debian 8.1 64-bit with Zoneminder 1.28.1 the Easy Way

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Note: This procedure is obsolete with the release of Zoneminder 1.29.0 in February 2016. Zoneminder 1.28.1 is no longer in the backports.


This easy install is for Debian 8.1 and 8.2 on Amd64 architecture (Jessie) with Zoneminder 1.28.1 from the back ports install. Please note that this documentation is also correct for Debian 8.1 release.

A special THANKS to "felixr" for filling in where I did not know what to do!

I installed Debian from the netinst CD with only web server, SSH server and standard system utilities. Tasksel does not install LAMP under Debian so I installed MySQL and PHP after reboot.

Note: I log in using Putty on my Windows PC as I can then copy and paste commands from this instruction. I also install Webmin to manage the server from a web browser. http://www.webmin.com/deb.html

Log in as root.

su root  (followed by your root password)

Install PHP, and MySQL server (This installs MySQL server 5.5. If you want to use MySQL 5.6 follow the instructions Install MySQL 5.6 on Debian Jessie (using mariadb also works fine, as tested on Debian 8.2, replacement package for mysql-server is then mariadb-server)

apt-get install  php5 mysql-server php-pear php5-mysql

Add the Jessie backports to your standard repo

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

add to the bottom of the list:

deb http://http.debian.net/debian jessie-backports main

Ctrl+o Enter to save CTRL+x to exit

Update Sources

apt-get update

Check to be sure everything is up to date

apt-get upgrade
apt-get dist-upgrade

Optional: Set static IP address

nano /etc/network/interfaces

Make changes similar to this:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
  address 192.168.1.10
  netmask 255.255.255.0
  gateway 192.168.1.1
  dns-nameservers 192.168.1.1

Reboot server if needed

Install Zoneminder

apt-get install zoneminder


You may need to install "extra" VLC components (I will check this and edit as needed)

apt-get install libvlc-dev libvlccore-dev vlc

Create Zoneminder database in MySQL (Note: this also creates the default Zoneminder user and permissions in MySQL)

This next step creates a file which contained the MySQL user and password. Otherwise you will have to enter the user and password on the command line which is not secure!

Go to the root directory

cd ~

Create a hidden password file

nano .my.cnf

Enter this content (but use your MySQL root password!)

[client]
user=root
password=(mysqlpass)

Ctrl+o Enter to save

CTRL+x to exit

Create database (press ENTER after each command)

mysql < /usr/share/zoneminder/db/zm_create.sql 
mysql -e "grant select,insert,update,delete,create on zm.* to 'zmuser'@localhost identified by 'zmpass';"

Remove password file

rm .my.cnf

Set permissions of /etc/zm/zm.conf to root:www-data 740

chmod 740 /etc/zm/zm.conf

chown root:www-data /etc/zm/zm.conf

Enable Zoneminder service to start at boot

systemctl enable zoneminder.service

Add www-data to the sudo group (to enable use of local video devices)

adduser www-data video

Start Zoneminder

systemctl start zoneminder.service

Check to see that Zoneminder is running

systemctl status zoneminder.service

Enable CGI and Zoneminder configuration in Apache.

a2enmod cgi

a2enconf zoneminder

Restart Apache

service apache2 restart
      • You may be tempted to try Zoneminder at this point but there is one setting you will need to change from the web gui. Read on!!!

Optional: Install Cambozola (needed if you use Internet Explorer)

cd /usr/src && wget http://www.andywilcock.com/code/cambozola/cambozola-latest.tar.gz
tar -xzvf cambozola-latest.tar.gz
replace 936 with cambozola version downloaded
cp cambozola-0.936/dist/cambozola.jar /usr/share/zoneminder

You should now be able to access the web server using http://servername


Open Zoneminder in web browser

http://serverip/zm

Click Options

Uncheck: Check with zoneminder.com for updated versions (?) click Save

Click Images tab

Check Is the (optional) cambozola java streaming client installed (?) Click Save

Click Paths

Change PATH_ZMS from /cgi-bin/nph-zms to /zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms Click Save

Optional: under Paths change PATH_SWAP to /dev/shm (puts this process in RAM drive) Click Save

Restart Zoneminder

Your Zoneminder install is now ready to add cameras!