Raspberry PI webcam

Raspberry PI webcam

Raspberry PI webcam

Turn a raspberry 2 into a small webcam that provide pictures.
The goal is to setup an USB webcam on a Raspberry and to take picture on a cyclic way.
The solution is able to transfer the picture to a remote directory (on a web server for example).

Il faut

  • Raspberry 2
  • cheap USB webcam
100% Complete

Setting the raspberry

First of all, you need to grab and install NOOB. There are so many tutorial on that point that I don't want to describe how to do it. Please refer to the source page of the project on raspberrypi.org

Set time

Set the time with a cron job :

sudo crontab -e

and add the line :

# Mise a jour de l'horloge
0 */1 * * * ntpdate pool.ntp.org

Install fswebcam

sudo apt-get fswebcam

Make a script to take pictures cyclically and send this picture to a remote machine, create a file /home/pi/.fswebcam.conf with :

resolution 800x600
jpeg 95
delay 5
title "FabLab UBO"
subtitle "Ultimaker"
info "Webcam Raspberry Pi"
timestamp "%d/%m/%Y %H:%M:%S"
set brightness=50%
set contrast=50%
skip 2
save /home/pi/Pictures/viewcam.jpg
exec /home/pi/Pictures/command.sh
loop 10

Note that this script will execute the file command.sh in 

the directory /home/pi/Pictures

Transfer picture to an other server

SCP can copy a file over secure access. We will implement a solution using ssh keys just because the batch file is not enabled to enter a password :-)

Install ssh in the remote (and local machine) :

sudo apt-get install ssh

Generate keys with the command (public and private key will be stored in the .ssh directory) :

ssh-keygen -t dsa -b 1024 -f ~/.ssh/YourRemoteServerName

Transfer the public key to the remote server :

ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/YourRemoteServerName YourRemoteUser@YourRemoteServerName

Create the command.sh script that will use our key and transfer the picture to the remote server :

scp -i /home/pi/.ssh/YourRemoteServerName /home/pi/Pictures/viewcam.jpg YourRemoteUser@YourRemoteServerName:/var/www/html/webcam/pictures

Make the script executable :

sudo chmod 755 command.sh

Now you have a standalone raspberry who can take pictures and send them to another machine. Let's make a webserver's page to display this picture on internet.

To execute our script, in a terminal just enter the command line (Ctrl-C to stop it) :

fswebcam -c /home/pi/.fswebcam.conf

If you are looking for a solution that works on bootup to the console, take a look at this link. Basic rundown:

  • Create a file for your startup script and write your script in the file. As the script is in the init.d directory, it have to have a specific header to respond with the runtime dependencies :

sudo cp /etc/init.d/skeleton /etc/init.d/autostart.sh

sudo vi /etc/init.d/autostart.sh

... and paste the above command line at the end :

# Execute the script fswebcam as "pi" user

su - pi -c "fswebcam -c /home/pi/.fswebcam.conf"

  • Make the script executable:

sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/autostart.sh

  • Register script to be run at startup:

sudo update-rc.d autostart.sh defaults

Photo : Alexandre PERETJATKO

Configuring a page to display picture

100% Complete
Please, note that this tutorial will not deal how to setup a LAMP.

As we have seen before (see "command.sh"), the picture is transfered in a directory name /var/www/html/webcam/pictures, so the PHP script will display this picture and reload it every minute (60 seconds).

Here is the index.html :

<html lang="en">
    <title>My beautiful webcam</title>

    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="60; URL=index.html">

        <div data-src="pictures/viewcam.jpg"></div>


Photo : Alexandre PERETJATKO

Configuring Raspberry WIFI network

100% Complete
This tutorial show you how to setup your Raspbian WIFI in command line

Il faut

  • Raspberry with raspbian

Of course, you can setup your WIFI with the GUI in your Rapberry by following the Foundation Guidelines https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/wireless/README.md but, this is the way to setup manualy your WIFI network.

To scan for WIFI network, enter the command :

sudo iwlist wlan0 scan

The name of the WIFI (the SSID) is a line starting with ESSID:"YourWIFINetwork"

Edit the network configuration etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf :

WIFI interface is eth0 (wlan0 is for your wired network), so locate the line iface eth0 inet dhcp and change it as root to :


Restart the network :

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

Define your Rapberry hostname :

sudo raspi-config

Go in Advanced option > Hostname and enter what you want


You can see if your setting have been update with the command (it will display the @IP you enter before in the wlan0 part):

ifconfig wlan0

Problems encountered :

No @IP on WIFI (command ifconfig wlan0 give no IP address):

Maybe you have a hard coded IP in a previous config, check the end of the /etc/dhcpd.conf file and comment (or delete) the SSID you may have here.

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