Tag Archives: system

Adding a Storage Drive to Gigastrand NVR

Using a secondary storage drive was not originally in the design for the Gigastrand NVR software however, it is a critical feature for many users to be able to separate out the video storage from their main system drive. It also solves a host of other issues with storage and even allows for an external device or a RAID to be used for storage.

At some point we will release a script file to do this automatically. For now, this is how you can do it manually. NOTE: This could result in data loss if not done properly. If you are not comfortable doing this on your own, Gigastrand can help you remotely.

  1. Format and setup the drive (using Parted or Gparted)
    1. NOTE: If you format the drive EXT3, the rest of the instructions will work fine. Otherwise, in step 4, change ext3 to the file system that you set the drive up with.
  2. Mount secondary drive (ex. sdb1, sda2) in /etc/kmotion/images_dbase
    sudo mount sdb1 /etc/kmotion/images_dbase

    1. NOTE: Rename the folder (ex. images_dbase2) before mounting if you want to copy information over later.
  3. edit fstab (/etc/fstab) as root (right-click on the file>Root Actions>Open As Text)
  4. Add the line:

    /dev/sdb1 /etc/kmotion/images_dbase ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 2

  5. Save the file
  6. Open the drive
  7. Change ownership to active user (right-click>Root Actions>Ownership to Active User)
  8. Edit /etc/apache2/envvars as root
  9. add the following 2 lines
    export APACHE_RUN_USER=user
    export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=user
  10. restart Apache

    sudo service apache2 restart

It wouldn’t hurt to restart the computer to make sure all the settings took hold but that is optional. Be sure to stop the NVR before you start and start the NVR (icons on the desktop) once complete.

 

Foscam setup in Gigastrand OS

Foscam cameras come in a wide variety for sizes and styles and have a number of features, however, they are not very Linux friendly. Just to access the back end to change camera settings, a Windows executable is required. This is the case on some other cameras as well.

The good news is that the Foscam cameras can be configured to stream video to the Gigastrand NVR without having to access the back-end. Using the default username and password, you can reserve the IP address it pulls down in the router. Then, follow the instructions below. Source: http://foscam.us/forum/how-to-fetch-snapshots-and-mjpeg-stream-on-hd-cameras-t4328.html

Fetching JPG snapshots by URL (HD Video)

http://ip address:port/cgi-bin/CGIProxy.fcgi?cmd=snapPicture2&usr=admin&pwd=

Fetching MJPEG stream by URL (SD Video)

There are two steps needed to fetch the MJPEG stream.

Step 1: Set the stream to MJPEG.

http://ip address:port/cgi-bin/CGIProxy.fcgi?cmd=setSubStreamFormat&format=1&usr=admin&pwd=

Here “1” sets an MJPEG stream, if we don’t want to set the MJPEG stream, we would set the number to “0” which sets an H.264 stream.

When inputting this URL and pushing “Enter” in your browser, it will return the following result:

<CGI_Result>
<result>0</result>
</CGI_Result>

Step 2: After setting the MJPEG stream, it can be fetched using an HTTP URL.

http://ip address:port/cgi-bin/CGIStream.cgi?cmd=GetMJStream&usr=admin&pwd=

Simply replace the IP address, port, username, and password into the above URL to access your camera’s MJPEG stream.

Accessing Foscam Back-end Natively in Gigastrand OS 

If you absolutely have to access the camera back-end, it can be done with a Virtual box running Windows, however, there is a less complicated way to do this.

Using Crossover, install Firefox 20. Gigastrand OS comes with a 14 day trial of Crossover. You can use this Windows version of Firefox to download and install the web components executable. This has been tested to work, though you will not be able to view video directly from the camera. You can get around this by using the MJPEG video URL in a native browser.

Gigastrand NVR: Drive Full, not recycling

Twice we have seen where the drive appears to fill up but there is no apparent reason for the drive being full. Three of the reasons we have seen so far are caused by 3 different but related issues.

1. Apache errors – for some unknown reason, the Apache log file (located in /var/log/apache2/) grows to an incredible size. Deleting the log file resolves this issue.
2. Virtual Ramdisk error – The Gigastrand NVR has a virtual ramdisk where it caches images. Sometimes (especially if the motion daemon is fiddled with) the ramdisk will start writing to the user folder. Deleting the files and and NVR restart will resolve that issue as well.
3. If you have a full compliment of cameras, the default storage size of 20Gb will fill up very fast (less than 12 hours in some cases). This is too fast for the machine to effectively clean up. This issue manifests itself in the same way as the other 2 issues, but the system is essentially working.

To fix the third issue, edit the /etc/kmotion/kmotion_rc file and change the images_dbase_limit_gb to something higher than 20Gb but less than your available storage.

 

Gigastrand By the numbers 2016

The stats are in for 2016 and this is what they say.

In 2016, Windows PC sales accounted for 0% of all sales. All personal computer sales were 100% Gigastrand OS.

In 2016, for every Windows-based video security device sold, Gigastrand sold 3 Gigastrand NVR systems.

Revenue in 2016 doubled from 2015.

New unit sales were up 400% in 2016.

Conversions (taking a customer PC and upgrading it to Gigastrand) was up 400% over 2015.

January 2016 saw a new sales record. January 2017 is projected to beat it by 50%.

We have had an incredible 2016 thanks to our customers. Here is to a very bright 2017!

 

Gigastrand NVR: Refresh Repositories Before Install

If you attempt to install Gigastrand NVR immediately after a fresh install of Gigastrand OS, you will want to refresh the package list before you do. If you don’t, the NVR software will look like it installs, but will miss several critical steps resulting in failure.

You can refresh the package list in 2 ways.

1. Open a terminal and type

sudo apt-get update

2. Open Apper; click on Updates; click Check for New Updates.

This will refresh the packages so you can install the NVR software fully. The operating system will refresh the packages automatically – eventually. This is a bit faster.

Gigastrand to Give Away Over 400 Copies of OS

Gigastrand will give away over 400 DVD copies of its OS from December 1 – 31. Once gone, Gigastrand will cease production of individual DVD copies except in the case of specific products.

The copies will be distributed both online and locally. Some will be retail packages, but most will be individual discs. Copies bought online will be at a reduced price to cover shipping and handling.

This giveaway is a part of the annual holiday giveaway to promote the Gigastrand OS and do something special for our customers. It is a fantastic opportunity to get a copy of Gigastrand OS with all the improvements we’ve done recently.

If you are looking for something truly free and to satisfy that desire for instant gratification, Gigastrand OS Download might be more your speed. You can burn it to a disc using a program like infrarecorder or copy it to a USB drive with unetbootin.

Regardless of how you get Gigastrand OS, get it now before these offers expire.

Please Vote for Gigastrand OS on Distrowatch

Nearly 2 years and 3 versions ago, Gigastrand OS was submitted to Distrowatch. We are listed on the site but, like some other distros, we are sort of stuck in limbo on the Distrowatch site. There is a list where you can recommend / vote for a distro to move it along in the process.

For those who do not know what Distrowatch is, it is a website that lists and tracks all of the different Linux distributions. It has been around for a long time and is the go to place for Linux enthusiasts.

We would like to see how many votes we can get from our users on the site. The first thing you have to do is go to the Distrowatch website (link below).

https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=submit

Next find Gigastrand OS. An easy way to do this is to do a CtrL + f to open the find dialog. This will allow you to search the page and works in Chrome and most browsers.

Then, click the Recommend button next to Gigastrand OS. This will submit your vote for Gigastrand OS.

In the meantime, we are giving away the download version of Gigastrand OS for FREE until the end of the year as a thank you for supporting us through version 3.4. I personally feel that v3.4 is the best version of Gigastrand OS we have ever come out with.

Let’s see how many votes Gigastrand OS can get on Distrowatch!

Gigastrand re-releases OS 3.4 for a very good reason.

Gigastrand re-released Gigastrand OS 3.4 today for one very good reason: security.

The original image for Gigastrand 3.4 released about a week ago with a few minor enhancements and some security updates. Today’s release switches from OpenOffice to LibreOffice and adds a password reset tool that deletes itself from the desktop once it is used.

We decided it was time to switch to LibreOffice because it is better supported and more secure than OpenOffice. About the only thing OpenOffice had going for it was brand recognition.

The security tool is something we developed so users have a quick and easy way to set the root and user passwords after install. Once it is used once, the shortcut is removed from the desktop so it is not accidentally used again. The tool itself resides in the /etc/ folder.

A similar tool will be added to Gigastrand’s NVR software in the 1.5 release. Currently, you can reset the NVR password by going to Func and clicking on F12.

The aim in developing these tools is to prompt and assist end-users to secure their systems properly. Running default passwords on any device connected to the internet is never a good idea.

Included with this release is the Gigastrand NVR software – updated to 1.4. Some slight performance improvements have been included as well as a few new minor features.