For Developers writing their own consumers

How do I talk to it?

  • {"JSON":"everywhere"}
  • Your client sends messages (authentication) over JSON
  • The server sends auth success/failure over JSON back at you
  • New events are reported as JSON objects as well
  • By default the notification server runs on port 9000 (unless you change it)
  • You need to open a secure web socket connection to that port from your client/consumer
  • You then need to provide your authentication credentials (ZoneMinder username/password) within 20 seconds of opening the connection
  • If you provide an incorrect authentication or no authentication, the server will close your connection
  • As of today, there are 2 categories of messages:
  • ‘normal’ messages that are exchanged between a client (like zmNinja) and the ES. These messages are the following types: - auth (from client to server) - control (from client to server) - push (only applicable for zmNinja) - alarm notifications (from server to client)
  • ‘escontrol’ messages. This allows the client to change the behaviour of the ES dynamically. The changes are stored persistently in /var/lib/zmeventnotification/misc/admin_interface.txt.

Category: Normal messages

Authentication messages

To connect with the server you need to send the following JSON object (replace username/password) Note this payload is NOT encrypted. If you are not using SSL, it will be sent in clear.

Authentication messages can be sent multiple times. It is necessary that you send the first one within 20 seconds of opening a connection or the server will terminate your connection.

Client –> Server:


Server –> Client: The server will send back one of the following responses

Authentication successful:

{"event":"auth", "type":"", "version":"0.2","status":"Success","reason":""}

Note that it also sends its version number for convenience

Incorrect credentials:

{"event":"auth", "type":"", "status":"Fail","reason":"BADAUTH"}

No authentication received in time limit:

{"event":"auth","type":"", "status":"Fail","reason":"NOAUTH"}

Control messages

Control messages manage the nature of notifications received/sent. As of today, Clients send control messages to the Server. In future this may be bi-directional

Control message to restrict monitor IDs for events as well as interval durations for reporting

A client can send a control message to restrict which monitor IDs it is interested in. When received, the server will only send it alarms for those specific monitor IDs. You can also specify the reporting interval for events.


{"event":"control","data":{"type":"filter","monlist":"1,2,4,5,6", "intlist":"0,0,3600,60,0"}}

In this example, a client has requested to be notified of events only from monitor IDs 1,2,4,5 and 6 Furthermore it wants to be notified for each alarm for monitors 1,2,6. For monitor 4, it wants to be notified only if the time difference between the previous and current event is 1 hour or more (3600 seconds) while for monitor 5, it wants the time difference between the previous and current event to be 1 minute (60 seconds)

There is no response for this request, unless the payload did not have either monlist or intlist.

No monitorlist received:

{"event":"control","type":"filter", "status":"Fail","reason":"NOMONITORLIST"}

No interval received:

{"event":"control","type":"filter", "status":"Fail","reason":"NOINTERVALLIST"}

Note that if you don’t want to specify intervals, send it a interval list comprising of comma separated 0’s, one for each monitor in monitor list.

Control message to get Event Server version

A client can send a control message to request Event Server version




{"event":"control", "type:":"version", "version":"0.2","status":"Success","reason":""}

Alarm notifications

Alarms are events sent from the Server to the Client

Server–>Client: Sample payload of 2 events being reported:

{"event":"alarm", "type":"", "status":"Success", "events":[{"EventId":"5060","Name":"Garage","MonitorId":"1"},{"EventId":"5061","MonitorId":"5","Name":"Unfinished"}]}

Push Notifications (for both iOS and Android)

To make Push Notifications work, please make sure you read the section on enabling Push for the event server.

Concepts of Push and why it is only for zmNinja

Both Apple and Google ensure that a “trusted” application server can send push notifications to a specific app running in a device. If they did not require this, anyone could spam apps with messages. So in other words, a “Push” will be routed from a specific server to a specific app. Starting Jan 2018, I am hosting my trusted push server on Google’s Firebase cloud. This eliminates the need for me to run my own server.

Registering Push token with the server


Registering an iOS device:

{"event":"push","data":{"type":"token","platform":"ios","token":"<device tokenid here>", "state":"enabled"}}

Here is an example of registering an Android device:

{"event":"push","data":{"type":"token","platform":"android","token":"<device tokenid here>", "state":"enabled"}}

For devices capable of receiving push notifications, but want to stop receiving push notifications over APNS/GCM and have it delivered over websockets instead, set the state to disabled

For example: Here is an example of registering an Android device, which disables push notifications over GCM:

{"event":"push","data":{"type":"token","platform":"android","token":"<device tokenid here>", "state":"disabled"}}

What happens here is if there is a new event to report, the Event Server will send it over websockets. This means if the app is running (foreground or background in Android, foreground in iOS) it will receive this notification over the open websocket. Note that in iOS this means you won’t receive notifications when the app is not running in the foreground. We went over why, remember?

Server–>Client: If its successful, there is no response. However, if Push is disabled it will send back

{"event":"push", "type":"", "status":"Fail", "reason": "PUSHDISABLED"}
Badge reset

Only applies to iOS. Android push notifications don’t have a concept of badge notifications, as it turns out.

In push notifications, the server owns the responsibility for badge count (unlike local notifications). So a client can request the server to reset its badge count so the next push notification starts from the value provided.


{"event":"push", "data":{"type":"badge", "badge":"0"}}

In this example, the client requests the server to reset the badge count to 0. Note that you can use any other number. The next time the server sends a push via APNS, it will use this value. 0 makes the badge go away.

Category: escontrol messages

You can now control the ES dynamically using websockets. As of now, you can do the following:

  • mute all notifications
  • unmute all notifications
  • restart the ES
  • reset all customizations made in the ES control admin_interface

Note that any changes you make are persistently stored in the file specified in escontrol_interface_file attribute, which by default is /var/lib/zmeventnotification/misc/escontrol_interface.dat. This makes sure all settings are persistent across reboots.

escontrol authentication

Just like normal messages, you need to authenticate yourself. The password is specified by what you choose in escontrol_interface_password attribute inside zmeventnotification.ini.

To authenticate: Client–>Server:

{"event":"auth","category":"escontrol","data":{"password":"whatever" }}



escontrol commands

Get current control channel settings:


{"event": "escontrol", "data": {"command": "get"}}



Thes only show Client–>Server messages. Responses are not shown.

Mute all notifications:

{"event":"escontrol", "data":{"command":"mute"}}

Unmute all notifications:

{"event":"escontrol", "data":{"command":"unmute"}}

Mute only notifications for monitor IDs 2,4,6 (other IDs retain old values):

{"event":"escontrol", "data":{"command":"mute", "monitors":[2,4,6]}}

Unmute only notifications for monitors 8,12,14 (other IDs retain old values):

{"event":"escontrol", "data":{"command":"unmute","monitors":[8,12,14]}}

Restart the ES:

{"event":"escontrol", "data":{"command":"restart"}}

Reset/Clear all settings specified via this channel:

{“event”:”escontrol”, “data”:{“command”:”reset”}}

Change any abitrary config value inside zmeventnotification.ini:

{"event":"escontrol", "data":{"command":"edit", "key":"use_hooks", "val":"no"}}

In the above example, we have disabled hooks dynamically (use_hooks is the attribute inside zmeventnotification.ini that controls if hooks will be used)

Testing from command line

If you are writing your own consumer/client it helps to test the event server commands from command line. The event server uses Secure/WebSockers so you can’t just HTTP to it using tools like curl. You’ll need to use a websocket client. While there are examples on the net on how to use curl for websockets, I’ve found it much simpler to use wscat like so:

wscat -c wss://myzmeventnotification.domain:9000 -n
connected (press CTRL+C to quit)
> {"event":"auth","data":{"user":"admin","password":"xxxx"}}
< {"reason":"","status":"Success","type":"","event":"auth","version":"0.93"}

In the example above, I used wscat to connect to my event server and then sent it a JSON login message which it accepted and acknowledged.