Feb 192013

Just finished my first video tutorial !

This will guide you from a fresh install of Raspbian Server Edition all the way through to getting snapshots in your email.

Would love to hear some feedback on this, positive or negative 🙂

Feb 182013

I recently setup motion on my Raspberry Pi so I could stream a Logitech c110 to my Android phone. That was successfully setup in this post.

Next step was to start sending the snapshots to my email address when motion was detected. That way I could see if anything was being detected without having to log into the Raspberry Pi itself.

As I started off with RSE, there is no mail daemon installed, so that’s the first thing I need to do.
sudo apt-get install postfix

Configuration for postfix will depend on where you want email to be routed to. I will be sending it to GMail, and my ISP needs the mail to go through their mail server, so I selected Internet with smarthost
Next thing to setup is the local mail client. There are a few options, but in this post we will use heirloom-mailx.
sudo apt-get install heirloom-mailx

We can test out the Postfix install by attempting to send a test email with our newly installed mail client now !
echo 'hi' | mail -s Test <Your Email Address>
This will send an email to your email address with a body text of “hi” and the subject of “Test”.
If you receive it, congratulations ! Your Pi is now emailing out.
If not then you may need to check your junk mail to see if it got junked.
If there are any issues getting the mail out, running mail on the Pi will launch the mail client in which you will see any failed attempts to send an email.

Once Postfix and the local email client is setup, it’s time to configure motion.
If you’re only running one camera, in /etc/motion/motion.conf at approximately line 521, you should see this
; on_picture_save value
This is the line that configures what motion will do to a file once it is saved.

What we will do, is setup motion to attach the file to an email, and send it to your email address when motion is detected and a file is saved.
To do that, change line 521 to the following –
on_picture_save echo 'webcam alert' | mail -a %f -s "Webcam Alert" <Your Email Address>
Make sure you remove the ; at the beginning as that denotes a commented out line.
The ‘webcam alert’ text can be changed to whatever you want in your version.
Running mail with the -a command line argument will attach the file specified, in this case it is %f, which is motion’s variable for the saved file.

Once that is done, restart motion with /etc/init.d/motion restart and whenever you get motion detected, it will email you the picture as an attachment !

Feb 142013

Version 2.4 has been released. Pick it up here


Raspbian Server Edition is Raspian with a lot of the GUI and other non-essential utilities stripped out. It’s meant to be used as an easy to deploy base for servers of any kind. It keeps the core of Raspbian with no extra utilities slapped on.


Raspbian Server Edition 2.3 is based on the 2013-02-09 release of Raspbian. Disk usage is down to around 570 megabytes.

I’ve stripped out approx 283 packages in this release. The full list can be found here.

An image is also available for your downloading pleasure.
The tar.gz version can be found here

SHA1 Hash :
5ca2ea00f9378f64d27451e3abd0cc16a984bb80 RSEv2.3.tar.gz

Please support the continued development of Raspbian Server Edition by donating !

Related Posts
Feb 122013

So I recently got my original 256MB Raspberry Pi operational again. I decided to try out Motion on it as I hadn’t tried it out on the Pi before.

Starting out with a fresh install of Raspbian Server Edition, I apt-getted motion with sudo apt-get install motion which installed all the relevant packages. I plugged in my Logitech C110 webcam, which got detected beautifully.

Afterwards, I modified /etc/motion/motion.conf to configure the settings
The following code block contains the important bit of the settings that I used

width 320
height 240
framerate 5
threshold 4500
quality 50
webcam_quality 25
webcam_maxrate 5
webcam_localhost off
control_localhost off

After modifying /etc/motion/motion.conf, I modified /etc/default/motion to enable the daemon to start, and started motion via the /etc/init.d/motion start command.

Trying to view the feed on the Pi via the web interface was a success !
To view it, simply visit http://pi ip address:8081 and you should get a stream.
With those settings, I get a slight delay in the webcam feed from motion, about 1 second, but nothing major.
CPU is sitting on around 15% with just the feed.
I will trial out some motion detection later on, as well as trying motion out via WiFi as it is currently plugged in to ethernet.

Feb 112013

A few months ago, the SD card socket on my original Raspberry Pi broke off to do an unfortunate smelting accident…No, not really. It was just dropped onto the SD card socket and snapped.

After some months of trying a few different fixes, I eventually gave up and bought a 512mb Raspberry Pi instead. But recently with some new ideas, I wanted another Pi to test out a few different things at once. Since I had a Pi lying around already, I decided to have another crack at fixing it.
I found a SD card socket that was almost a perfect fit for the Pi from Element 14 (SKU 2081361)

The old SD Card had already been de-soldered from my earlier attempts, so I just had to line up the pins and solder them down.

The end result came out like this –
SD Card Socket

There are 2 floating pins (on the left in the picture) that are used to detect whether the card is inserted, which are at the opposite end of where they should be, so I ended up just leaving them be, and on the Pi itself soldered the 2 pins that should have been connected there. This means that the Pi will always think that there’s a SD card inserted. Apart from those 2 pins, each and every other single pin lined up perfectly.

My soldering isn’t great so the SD card socket is a bit crooked, but the SD card still fits in beautifully in the case that I also purchased off Element 14.

After soldering, I inserted an SD card, and successfully booted up the Pi with the new SD card 😀