Zoneminder and FreeNAS

Wanted to bring this topic here because I’m a newb and IMO the ixsystems forum seems geared more for those who have a lot of experience.

I installed the Zoneminder plugin (isystems official mind you) and got things setup, verified the zmNinja app via their windows app etc but got to wondering. With the limited FreeNAS and ZFS knowledge I have, I did wonder isn’t it really intensive to be writing these video files? Upon physical inspection my blinky lights are extra EXTRA blinky. Googled and some ixsystems threads came up, opinion is to setup TMPFS

The guide seems to deviate into opinions, different ways to do it, some worked, some didn’t. In kind Lawrence fashion, what is TMPFS, why?, and how should it be done in regards to running the Zoneminder jail?

Sorry, I have never used Zoneminder or TMPFS hopefully someone else in the forums here has.

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I have been using Zoneminder for about 6 months now and I am running a raidz2 on a 24 thread, 64GB machine and I see minimal impact on all resources. I only have 1 camera but it’s recording at 4K. You will see disk activity for sure because it’s consistently writing to disk for every frame per second. I think the biggest question is are you seeing a performance decrease since you got your Zoneminder up and working?

Every zoneminder server i installed is using the HDD all the time wile recording.

I couldn t make the freenas oficial ZM plugin work with more than 4 cameras. I couldnt figure it out why.
I end up installing ubuntu 20.04, and this docker container:

Snap, youtube vid idea haha

I’m also running RAIDz2, two vdevs into one pool on a dual socket old Enterprise rack mount stuff- way over powered for my use-case and my SoCal power bill agrees. Performance seems to be fine. Missing NetData I installed the plugin and my system is pretty much idling all the time. I could probably run a few Plex streams, have 20 cameras, do some rsync, torrents etc and still not justify this rig. My concern is more being optimized for power and disk usage- reduce were possible.

Interestingly I tried Zoneminder about 6 months ago and no matter what I did I couldn’t get my Reolinks to be smooth, and there are a lot of Reolink tricks on the Zoneminder forum. Trying it again later, its much smoother.

That might have been your browser? When I was researching the zmNinjaPro app the dev’s documentation explained the streaming limits on Chrome and Firefox, so you can have many cameras installed but only see the stream of 4 on your browser- another pitfall to using zoneminder IMO.

The dev’s documentation says Chrome cuts off at 6 streams but that might be outdated, my ZM montage will only show 4 streams at a time. If I refresh sometimes one of the camera streams gets swapped with one that wasn’t streaming proving its coming in, its just a streaming all those feeds to browser issue.

The zmNinja application kind of gets around this by taking a pic of the stream every second or so and showing that on the dashboard.

I know Zoneminder is free and was probably a dev’s ‘meh’ project in the beginning, but its still very rough around the edges, and has limitations that puts it in “hobby project” territory and not “trust my security to it” territory.

I’m very tempted to go Synology to have a turn-key, it just works all-in-one box that sips power. But I love me that ZFS.

Back to TMPFS, looks like its a way to cut out some RAM (which my system has plenty of) to be used as mounted storage. So the only advantage I see here for Zoneminder is when you are using a recording function that would capitalize from this:

Namely Modect, I think it saves a jpeg every second or so to do a pixel comparison for motion. If all that could be done in RAM and tossed, it would reduce wear on the drives.

I am currently using Mocord so TMPFS wouldn’t help with the frequency to write to disk. If my use case shifted to Modect then I will take the time to try and setup TMPFS.

Honestly, I think its a mistake trying to make a FreeNAS into something more than just a NAS. As a NAS its the best IMO- the ACLs, ZFS, various NAS features. But when you try to make it like a Synology, unRAID etc it falls short as I feel the documentation and forum climate isn’t on par with the latter mentioned platforms, nor has the GUI caught up to what the OS can do.

But sweet sweet ZFS…