Debian 10 Buster with Zoneminder 1.32.3 the Easy Way

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Debian 10 Buster with Zoneminder 1.32.3 from the Debian Multimedia Repository

Install Debian Buster. I used the net install CD and installed only SSH server and standard system utilities from tasksel.

You will need to install LAMP. One good guide to do this can be found here:

Install Zoneminder

Add the Deb Multimedia repository. (instructions at:

Edit sources.list

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add to the end of the file:

deb buster main non-free

Ctrl+o Enter to save

Ctrl+x to exit

After you have added the necessary line in /etc/apt/sources.list the first package to install is deb-multimedia-keyring.

sudo dpkg -i deb-multimedia-keyring_2016.8.1_all.deb
sudo apt update

Install Zoneminder

sudo apt install zoneminder vlc-plugin-base 

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

sudo mysql -uroot -p < /usr/share/zoneminder/db/zm_create.sql
sudo mysql -uroot -p -e "grant all on zm.* to 'zmuser'@localhost identified by 'zmpass';"
sudo mysqladmin -uroot -p reload

Set permissions

sudo chmod 740 /etc/zm/zm.conf
sudo chown root:www-data /etc/zm/zm.conf
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /usr/share/zoneminder/
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/cache/zoneminder/

Enable Zoneminder service to start at boot

sudo systemctl enable zoneminder.service

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

sudo adduser www-data video

Start Zoneminder

sudo systemctl start zoneminder.service

Check to see that Zoneminder is running

sudo systemctl status zoneminder.service

Enable CGI and Zoneminder configuration in Apache.

sudo a2enmod cgi
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2enconf zoneminder

Add timezone to PHP

sudo nano /etc/php/7.3/apache2/php.ini

Search for [Date] (Ctrl + w then type Date and press Enter) and make changes as follows for your time zone

; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions
date.timezone = America/New_York

Ctrl+o Enter to save

CTRL+x to exit

To get the API working you need to Edit zoneminder.conf. Here is an example of wht your file should look like:

First make a copy of zoneminder.conf

sudo cp /etc/apache2/conf-enabled/zoneminder.conf /etc/apache2/conf-enabled/zoneminder.sav

Next, edit the file

sudo nano /etc/apache2/conf-enabled/zoneminder.conf

At the end of the file add these three entries:

<Directory /usr/share/zoneminder/www/api>
   RewriteEngine on
   RewriteRule ^$ app/webroot/ [L]
   RewriteRule (.*) app/webroot/$1 [L]
   RewriteBase /zm/api
<Directory /usr/share/zoneminder/www/api/app>
   RewriteEngine on
   RewriteRule ^$ webroot/ [L]
   RewriteRule (.*) webroot/$1 [L]
   RewriteBase /zm/api
<Directory /usr/share/zoneminder/www/api/app/webroot>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteRule ^ index.php [L]
    RewriteBase /zm/api

Ctrl+o Enter to save

CTRL+x to exit

Restart Apache

sudo service apache2 restart

All done! Navigate to http://serverip/zm