BigBrother makes harnessing the powerful open source video software FFMPEG to record or re-stream your IP CCTV cameras easy


The popular open source software FFMEG has the ability to record and re-stream just about every video format imaginable - but harnessing all that power into a simple CCTV system can be difficult, time consuming and require a lot of custom scripting. BigBrother takes care of this for you.


Using two simple Unix style text configuration files you can setup as many cameras as your server hardware can handle.


Need more cameras than a single server can handle? BigBrother & FFMPEG are completely free so you can spread cameras across as many servers as needed with no extra licensing costs.


BigBrother provides continuous recording for each camera segmented into 1 hour per file


Each file is conveniently named by camera name, date and time so you can easily find what you are looking for.


You can group cameras into folders - for example by floor


BigBrother can group recordings by day of the week automatically deleting after 7 days if you wish to recycle disk space


BigBrother can provide a web interface to view camera streams in real time and can mirror a stream from one network to another - for example if your cameras are on a dedicated VLAN you can configure the web server to provide live viewing from PCs on a different VLAN or you can even make streams available over the internet using the authentication features of the web server to restrict access.


Note that BigBrother provides streaming over HTTP and you will need to install 3rd party webserver software such as Apache or lightpd


Access to recorded files is via the servers standard filesystem. If you want to access them easily off a separate PC running either Windows, Linux or a Mac then you can setup a Samba fileserver. Instructions are given in the README file on how to do this.

Source Code

Pre-built packages


BigBrother is Python & Bash based and will run on any Unix style system with Python and a bash compatible shell. The web interface requires a PHP enabled web server


The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a widely used free software license, which guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share and modify the software. GPL is a copyleft license, which means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. Software under the GPL may be run for all purposes, including commercial purposes.


The software is provided free of charge without obligation or warranty but if you find it useful please consider a donation