Build advice: Home security systems (motion sensor activated cam and lights)

I am looking to build a linux-based pc designed for home security.
Does anyone have recommended camera hardware, or a distribution they could suggest and or packages for a better known distribution if there isn't one designed for this function?

I figure I can use IP cameras, but I want something with a minimum of 1080p recording capability (ideally 60fps, but 30 / 24 is okay)
I have the tower built, but haven't loaded a distro yet. I was playing around with an ubuntu build using a few free apps I found but I wasn't able to get it working.
also, my camera is only 720 and I want to upgrade, as well as install 2 (or more) extra cameras for all sides of my home.

My budget is around 500 dollars CAN (so about 400 USD, willing to go higher for quality products)
Any suggestions for distro? I don't think there's a distro designed for security for home end users but I figure I could strip down to a minimum ubuntu and build it from there. I don't need a ui, just remote access.


i've built my own home automation utilities for x10 controls of lights and for IR controls for all my entertainment devices - all built on a raspberry Pi. in addition i also have a Logitech Harmony Remote for IR stuff.

in a different aspect (back to the main topic here) i have 4 Blink XT2 cameras set up around the house. (sorry, i got them BEFORE they started charging for the service and all 4 are "grandfathered" no fee; you'll have to sign up for the service if you go that route now). other than the "subscription" style fees, these are pretty handy with a phone App to rule them all.

i got the latest Amazon Dot Echo in an attempt (with some more s/w on the Pi called HA-Bridge) to bring them all under "Alexa" control.

very mixed success. the Echo found all the cameras, my robo-vacuum, the Harmony, the washer & dryer, the Fire TV (but not the Apple TV - odd) ... but it can't seem to "find" my habridge to run my IR/x10 stuff.

has anyone had any experience with this kind of thing?

i suspect Amazon - with the latest Echo - to go off on it's own "standard". Standards? We don't need no stinkin' standards!


One consideration is how to backup all the camera footage to an overseas server, given the way things are going if you encounter a police raid chances are they are going to destroy every camera and have forensics **** your comp up.

In that same vein of thought you should ideally rig it so that the footage is a staged deadman's switch. Basically a certain percentage of the footage is released (local news media, unlike their big time counterparts these guys actually have a decent shot of not being leftist shills) in 24 hour increments unless you go into the server and stop the process every 24 hours.

So long as the police raiding you are local that will cause a big, fat stink. It may even taint any juror the prosecution selects, all it takes is just one juror saying **** you to doom the prosecution.


I use Linux. As a rule, I can't find much open-source hardware that meets security requirements. I would use Linux-enabled surveillance cameras for home security cameras, such as CipherLab or ActiveCam, with software that allows you to view the web interface or through a web browser. It would be much easier and cheaper than buying hardware.

Even better if you save up and go to the pros for commercial and residential security services. It costs more, but the professionals have all the schemes in place.