External Live Stream

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Here are some examples of embedding the ZM camera stream in a webpage.

Webpage to View Streams (non-API)

In 1.32 and 1.34, you may have to adjust the following setting for auth_relay if authentication is used. Note that this conflicts with ZMNinja, which requires auth_relay to be set to hashed, I believe.

Post by rockedge» Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:09 pm
in a WordPress page or post I use something like this: Remember that 
with certain authorizations set, the URL would be slightly different.
this URL works when :
Options->System->OPT_USE_AUTH = ON
Options->System->AUTH_TYPE = Builtin
Options->System->AUTH_RELAY = NONE

<h2><img class="aligncenter" 
src="http://your_zm_server/cgi-bin/nph-zms?mode=jpeg&scale=100&maxfps=5&buffer=1000&monitor=1&user=admin" alt="stream down" width="420" height="340" /></h2>


Note that this URL omits password. But it is given in the top example.

Example Webpage

<html><body bgcolor="black">
<img width="412px" height="268px" src="http://IPOFZMSERVER/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?mode=jpeg&monitor=1&scale=100"&user="watchinguser"&pass="somepassword" >
<img width="412px" height="268px" src="http://IPOFZMSERVER/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?mode=jpeg&monitor=2&scale=100"&user="watchinguser"&pass="somepassword" >
<img width="412px" height="268px" src="http://IPOFZMSERVER/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?mode=jpeg&monitor=3&scale=100"&user="watchinguser"&pass="somepassword" >
<img width="412px" height="268px" src="http://IPOFZMSERVER/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?mode=jpeg&monitor=4&scale=100"&user="watchinguser"&pass="somepassword" >
<img width="412px" height="268px" src="http://IPOFZMSERVER/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?mode=jpeg&monitor=5&scale=100"&user="watchinguser"&pass="somepassword" >
<img width="412px" height="268px" src="http://IPOFZMSERVER/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?mode=jpeg&monitor=6&scale=100"&user="watchinguser"&pass="somepassword" >

Webpage to View Streams (API)

Here's an example of setting up a stream on a webpage using the API. This is better if you use ZMNinja, as it doesn't require adjusting the auth configs as above (which will break zmninja). This is taken in part from: https://zoneminder.readthedocs.io/en/stable/api.html#getting-an-api-key First, understand there are three parts to this.

  • A script that runs on the server, obtains a recent valid token for the stream, and stream edits (sed) it into an index.php file
  • An index.php file that is always available online
  • A crontab entry to periodically run the script

For reference, see the zoneminder.readthedocs.org section regarding the API. Also, you may want to password protect / setup basic auth on the webserver if this is wan-accessible. If you do put this behind basic auth, and you want to 'save' the password in the browser, modern browsers require an HTTPS certificate as well, so in that case you might use dynamic dns and lets encrypt (that will be outside the scope of this guide).

  • script
#!/bin/bash -x
cd /etc/zmscript && curl -X POST -d "user=username&pass=password" http://localhost/zm/api/host/login.json > cred
cd /etc/zmscript && cat cred | jq .access_token | tr -d \" > token
cd /etc/zmscript && res=$(cat token)

# sed -i -e 's/whole line/whole line'
sed -i  -e "s|token=.*|token=$res' \\>|" /var/www/nginx/index.php
  • index.php
==Image Map of Cameras==
    <script type="text/javascript" >
  setInterval(function() {
                }, 1800000); 
<img src='https://yourserverwanipordns/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?scale=200&width=640p&height=480px&mode=jpeg&maxfps=12&buffer=1000&&monitor=1&token=sometokengoeshere' >

  • /etc/crontab entry
*/15 *  * * *  root  /etc/zmscript/script.sh

Imagemap of Cameras

Imagemap as the GUI for Zoneminder is very effective, albeit this example is blurred for privacy sake. Trust me that it is better than it appears here.

If you only have 1 or 2 cameras, this probably isn't relevant, however if you have a larger installation, it can be slow and cumbersome to use the ZM gui to view cameras. The solution is to make an HTML imagemap, and an iframe, and view the cameras from a custom webpage.


Using the API instructions above, we can add basic auth and have a webpage to view streams. It's a reasonable next step to take an imagemap and put links for each video on the map, with an iframe at the top which will display one stream at a time. Let's get started.


First you will need a map of your property. It can be an architectural drawing, or googlemap image, or perhaps an overhead drone view. Take that image, load it in GIMP and add circles where the cameras are. Next you will need the generate the HTML code.

You wouldn't want to make the code from scratch, that would be tedious, so instead use an imagemap generator. The one I used which worked well was https://github.com/n-peugnet/image-map-creator and the live instance here: https://n-peugnet.github.io/image-map-creator/ Unfortunately I wasn't easily able to find one that could be self-hosted (which is preferred). Import your graphic and make circles (a 2nd time) where your circles on the graphic are. Make sure to add labels to all the circles (right click) this way you can find them in the code later. Let's use the following map image.


You don't need a realistic looking map. Anything that is remotely similar will be functional. Import it into the above generator and create the circles. If you do it properly you will have something that looks like this in html code:

<map name="map.png" id="map.png">
	<area shape="circle" coords="229,73,23"  nohref alt="" title="shedinside" />
	<area shape="circle" coords="354,134,29" nohref alt="" title="shedoutside" />
	<area shape="circle" coords="185,183,27" nohref alt="" title="mainrearleft" />
	<area shape="circle" coords="152,347,28" nohref alt="" title="mainoutsidefrontleft" />
	<area shape="circle" coords="534,356,28" nohref alt="" title="mainoutsidefrontright" />
	<area shape="circle" coords="506,185,25" nohref alt="" title="mainrearright" />
	<area shape="circle" coords="715,180,25" nohref alt="" title="garageinside" />
	<area shape="circle" coords="728,301,28" nohref alt="" title="garageoutside" />

This image map HTML will need some editing after the fact. In particular, you will want to delete the nohref, as we will be filling in the details for the URLs later. Also the URLs will go at the end of the tag, so the sed command mentioned above for the API works properly.

Webpage with iframe

I'm going to jump ahead with an example for brevity's sake. This page will include the bare minimum to get a working page similar to the gif above. We will use the javascript reload from the API example above, as well as the script to refresh the tokens on the webpage. It's assumed you are hosting the page on the same server as the cameras. Please read the comments on the HTML for important notes on this setup if this is new to you.

    <script type="text/javascript" >
      setInterval(function() {
      }, 1800000); 

<!-- IFRAME -->
      <iframe id="mainframe"
	      title="Inline Frame Example"
              style="height: 420px;width: 500px;border: 0px;" >

<!-- to target anchor links to iframe, target of imagemap (or any anchor link) must be the name of the iframe -->
<!-- https://stackoverflow.com/questions/740816/open-link-in-iframe --><!-- note: that height x width doesn't seem to work --> 
      <div style="transform: scale(0.7); margin: 0px;">

<!-- IMAGEMAP -->
	<img src="./map.png" alt="Workplace"  usemap="#mymap" style="position: relative; top: -200px"> 
<!-- note that the img here has the usemap and #mymap values, which correspond to the map's name -->

	<map name="mymap" id="mymap">
	  <area shape="circle" coords="229,73,23"   target="iframtarget" title="shedinside"             href="https://myzmserver/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?scale=100&width=640px&height=480px&mode=jpeg&maxfps=12&buffer=1000&&monitor=1&token=thisismytoken"    />
	  <area shape="circle" coords="354,134,29"  target="iframetarget" title="shedoutside"            href="https://myzmserver/zm/cgi-bin/nph-zms?scale=100&width=640px&height=480px&mode=jpeg&maxfps=12&buffer=1000&&monitor=2&token=thisismytoken"    />


That's it. Javascript is technically not required, unless you want the tokens to update. PHP is also not required. The sed command may need to account for double slashes in the URL, so it can be edited from

sed -i  -e "s|token=.*|token=$res' \\>|" /var/www/nginx/index.html


sed -i  -e "s|token=.*|token=$res\" \\>|" /var/www/nginx/index.html

See Also

https://forums.zoneminder.com/viewtopic.php?t=31702 - Map code from another user that was imported into ZM, and should be ready for 1.38.


Quickly Change pixel settings for page

It should be possible to use CSS and have the videos fill the page appropriately (I haven't gotten around to it. Contributions welcome.) but it's also possible to use sed here to adjust the pixels as needed:

sed -e 's/oldpx/newpx/g' -i cameras.html

Refresh Page Periodically

Refreshing the page is a good idea, so that any streams don't drop out for any reason. You can do this with xdotool (see Dedicated_SBC_Camera_Monitor#Refresh_Screen_Periodically )or possibly with html:[1]

Js isn't necessarily needed here, since you will only be refreshing every couple of minutes. Though you can use js for a more seamless transition.

Scale may be required for large numbers of cameras or resource constrained hardware (SBCs)

See that scale=100 option in the URL? That is used to downscale or downsample the video stream resolution. But, since you set the height and width, it won't make the video smaller. If you have a 2K stream, but you are viewing it at 640x480, you don't need 100% scaling. Lower the number to keep the bandwidth / memory usage down.

Where this is required, is when you have a lot of monitors, say 20+ cameras. Or you have an SBC that can't handle full res streams. In these scenarios, if you don't scale, you will either see the CPU max out on the watching computer, or you will see video feeds drop in and out periodically. For more details, see how ZM handles the URL for montage.

Single Snapshot URL

The URL for a single snapshot is:


Adjust Monitor # as needed. (Also see note in setup section above).

Alternative Single Snapshop JPG via ZMU

zmu is a binary, along with zma, and zmc that can do various functions. One of them is creating a jpeg.

/usr/bin# zmu -h
zmu <-d device_path> [-v] [function] [-U<username> -P<password>]
zmu <-m monitor_id> [-v] [function] [-U<username> -P<password>]
General options:
  -h, --help           : This screen
  -v, --verbose          : Produce more verbose output
  -i, --image [image_index]    : Write captured image to disk as <monitor_name>.jpg, last image captured
                   or specified ring buffer index if given.

I put a full usage example here: https://wiki.zoneminder.com/How_to_view_the_latest_frame_of_a_camera


It is possible to use ffplay to directly stream a single camera feed (bypassing ZM) to the desktop. Although refreshing may be more involved.

ffplay -i rtsp://user:Password@ipaddress:554/video

See Also