Imgcomp: An off-line surveilance program for Raspberry Pi

I wrote imgcomp to use with Raspbery Pi computer with camera module.

Imgcomp captures still images every second (or other configured interval), and if siginficant changes are detected, saves the images into a directory hiearchy, organized by date.

I use imgcomp for monitoring activity at my workshop in the country when I'm not present, much like one would use an infrared triggered wildlife camera. I also use it for timelapses because it conveniently skips frames where nothing happens. I used it for the timelapses in my mouse trap video, the last third of my chainsaw mill video, and this motion triggered timelapse

I'm making the code available here, for free, so you can use it too. However, some computer expertise is required to use it.


Imgcomp is not a user friendly program
Familiarity with Linux, compiling code, and editing configuration files is required if you with to use it. Imgcomp has no "user interface" to speak of. If you have never compiled a program, imgcomp is not for you. I don't have the time to teach you on how to use Linux or a Raspberry Pi. If you are completely unfamiliar with Linux, it will take you a few weeks of study to get sufficiently up to speed with it.

Imgcomp comes in a source tarball compressed with lzma (lzma compresses better than gzip or bzip2, and is faster than bzip2). Once you have downloaded the file "imgcomp.tar.lzma", copy it to your /home/pi directory on a Raspberry Pi (model 1 or 2, with raspbian installed) and type the following command:

tar --lzma -xvf imgcomp.tar.lzma

After that, go into the "imgcomp" directory and type "make"

Make sure you have a camera module installed, enabled and working.

Go into the /home/pi/imgcomp directory and run "setup-imgcomp". This creates a ram disk and makes an initial configuration file in your /home/pi directory. Then go into the home/pi directory and type: imgcomp/imgcomp

The default configuration instructs imgcomp to save images into a directory hierachy named "images", with directories for evey day, and subdirectories for every hour.

For more information, please see the imgcomp manual, configuration options and detection regions

You can download the source tree here: imgcomp.tar.lzma (Approximately 200 k)

Unpack the source tree by copying this file into /home/pi in your Raspbery Pi and typing tar -xvf imgcomp.tar.lzma


If you would like to report bugs, feel free to email me. If the above instructions don't make sense to you, then this software is not you. I don't have the time to teach you how to use Linux. You aren't paying for using it, so I don't owe you support.

I'm sure I will get suggesstions to host this on github. You are welcome to upload it on github and manage a branch of it if you like to. I don't have time to monitor and manage a public github project, so I will not be uploading it to github myself.

If I get too many questions about how to use Linux and such, I will have to make my imgcomp program unavailable. Hopefully, it won't come to that.


Other open source software I have written: jhead, ftpdmin and finddupe

Online toys: The eyeballing game  The pushy game and Online gear generator

Non-free software that I wrote and sell: BigPrint ($21) and the Gear generator ($26)

See also:


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