Installation of the Event Server (ES)

3rd party dockers

I don’t maintain docker images, so please don’t ask me any questions about docker environments. There are others who maintain docker images. I have no affiliation with any of them. Feel free to explore the various options below, but please don’t ask me about them. I’ve also not tried any of these dockers.

If there are other repositories you are aware of that work well, let me know.

If you are using docker images, the next section does not apply.

Clone the repo

I’d recommend users download the latest stable release. Starting version 4.5 I have started tagging releases that are rested. The master branch will always be ‘cutting-edge’.

To clone the latest stable release:

git clone
cd zmeventnotification
# repeat these two steps each time you want to update to the latest stable
git fetch --tags
git checkout $(git describe --tags $(git rev-list --tags --max-count=1))

To clone master:

git clone
# repeat these two steps each time you want to update
git checkout master # only needed if you are on some other branch later
git pull

Configure the ini files

  • Edit zmeventnotification.ini to your liking. More details about various parts of the configuration are explained later in this readme
  • If you are behind a firewall, make sure you enable port 9000, TCP, bi-directional (unless you changed the port in the code)
  • If you are _not_ using machine learning hooks, make sure you comment out the hook_script attribute in the [hook] section of the ini file or you will see errors and you will not receive push
  • We now need to install a bunch of dependencies (as described below)

Install Dependencies

Note that I assume you have other development packages already installed like make, gcc etc as the plugins may require them. The following perl packages need to be added (these are for Ubuntu - if you are on a different OS, you’ll have to figure out which packages are needed - I don’t know what they might be)

(General note - some users may face issues installing dependencies via perl -MCPAN -e "Module::Name". If so, its usually more reliable to get into the CPAN shell and install it from the shell as a 2 step process. You’d do that using sudo perl -MCPAN -e shell and then whilst inside the shell, install Module::Name)

  • Crypt::MySQL (if you have updated to ZM 1.34, this is no longer needed)
  • Net::WebSocket::Server
  • Config::IniFiles (you may already have this installed)
  • Crypt::Eksblowfish::Bcrypt (if you have updated to ZM 1.34, you will already have this)
  • Time::Piece for parsing ES rules

Installing these dependencies is as simple as:

sudo perl -MCPAN -e "install Crypt::MySQL"
sudo perl -MCPAN -e "install Config::IniFiles"
sudo perl -MCPAN -e "install Crypt::Eksblowfish::Bcrypt"

If after installing them you still see errors about these libraries missing, please launch a CPAN shell - see General Note above.

If you face issues installing Crypt::MySQL try this instead: (Thanks to aaronl)

sudo apt-get install libcrypt-mysql-perl

If you face issues installing Crypt::Eksblowfish::Bcrypt, this this instead:

sudo apt-get install libcrypt-eksblowfish-perl

If there are issues installing Config::IniFiles and the errors are related to Module::Build missing, use following command to get this module in debian based systems and install Config::IniFiles again.

sudo apt-get install libmodule-build-perl

Next up install WebSockets

sudo apt install libyaml-perl
sudo apt install make
sudo apt install libprotocol-websocket-perl
sudo perl -MCPAN -e "install Net::WebSocket::Server"

Then, you need installed. It’s there on some systems and not on others In ubuntu, do this to install JSON:

sudo apt-get install libjson-perl

Get HTTPS library for LWP:

sudo apt-get install liblwp-protocol-https-perl


perl -MCPAN -e "install LWP::Protocol::https"

If you want to enable MQTT:

perl -MCPAN -e "install Net::MQTT::Simple"

If you are setting up MQTT:

  • A minimum version of MQTT 3.1.1 is required
  • If your MQTT:Simple library was installed a while ago, you may need to update it. A new login method was added to that library on Dec 2018 which is required (ref)

Note that starting 1.0, we also use File::Spec, Getopt::Long and Config::IniFiles as additional libraries. My ubuntu installation seemed to include all of this by default (even though Config::IniFiles is not part of base perl).

If you get errors about missing libraries, you’ll need to install the missing ones like so:

perl -MCPAN -e "install XXXX" # where XXX is Config::IniFiles, for example

If you are also planning on using the machine learning hooks, you will need to make sure you have Python3 and pip3 installed and working properly. Refer to your OS package documentation on how to get Python3 and pip3.

Configure SSL certificate (Generate new, or use ZoneMinder certs if you are already using HTTPS)

NOTE: If you plan on using picture messaging in zmNinja, then you cannot use self signed certificates. You will need to generate a proper certificate. LetsEncrypt is free and perfect for this.

If you are using secure mode (default) you also need to make sure you generate SSL certificates otherwise the script won’t run If you are using SSL for ZoneMinder, simply point this script to the certificates.

If you are not already using SSL for ZoneMinder and don’t have certificates, generating them is as easy as:

(replace /etc/zm/apache2/ssl/ with the directory you want the certificate and key files to be stored in)

sudo openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 4096 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/zm/apache2/ssl/zoneminder.key -out /etc/zm/apache2/ssl/zoneminder.crt

It’s very important to ensure the Common Name selected while generating the certificate is the same as the hostname or IP of the server. For example if you plan to access the server as Please make sure you use as the common name. If you are planning to access it via IP, please make sure you use the same IP.

Once you do that please change the following options in the config file to point to your SSL certs/keys:

cert = /etc/zm/apache2/ssl/zoneminder.crt
key = /etc/zm/apache2/ssl/zoneminder.key

IOS Users

On some IOS devices and when using self signed certs, I noticed that zmNinja was not able to register with the event server when it was using WSS (SSL enabled) and self-signed certificates. To solve this, I had to email myself the zoneminder certificate (zoneminder.crt) file and install it in the phone. Why that is needed only for WSS and not for HTTPS is a mystery to me. The alternative is to run the eventserver in WS mode by disabling SSL.

Install the server (optionally along with hooks)

NOTE : By default moves the ES script to /usr/bin. If your ZM install is elsewhere, like /usr/local/bin please modify the TARGET_BIN variable in before executing it.

  • You can now move the ES to the right place by simply doing sudo ./ and following prompts. Other options are below:
  • Execute sudo ./ --no-install-hook to move the ES to the right place without installing machine learning hooks

Update the configuration files

When you install the ES, it comes with default configuration files. They key files are:

  • /etc/zm/zmeventnotification.ini - various parameters that control the ES
  • /etc/zm/objectconfig.ini - various parameters that control the machine learning hooks
  • /etc/zm/secrets.ini - a common key/value mapping file where you store your personal configurations

You always have to modify /etc/zm/secrets.ini to your server settings. Please review the keys and update them with your settings. At the least, you will need to modify:

  • ZM_USER - the username used to log into your ZM web console
  • ZM_PASSWORD - the password for your ZM web console
  • ZM_PORTAL - the URL for your ZM instance (typically https://<domain>/zm)
  • ZM_API_PORTAL - the URL for your ZM API instance (typically https://<portal>/api)
  • ES_CERT_FILE and ES_KEY_FILE - the certificates to use if you are using HTTPS

Next, You can/should run it manually at first to check if it works

Making sure the ES gets auto-started when ZM starts

  • Go to your web interface, and go to Options->Systems and enable OPT_USE_EVENTNOTIFICATION and you are all set.
  • If you plan on using the machine learning hooks, there is more work to do. Please refer to Installation.

The rest of this section is NOT NEEDED for 1.32.0 and above!

Set up logging correctly for troubleshooting

For quick debugging, you can just run the ES or hooks manually by adding --debug but for proper logging, follow steps here