Attempting to set up MotionEye OS


I followed the instructions to set up motionEye OS on my OctoCam. I D/L’d the relevant raspberrypi Motion Eye os and wrote it to my sd card using Etcher. This where the confusion starts. After writing the img., to the SD Card it appears to create an additional SD card/partition ??, is this correct ?. I then created wpa_supplicant.conf and place it in what I thought was the Boot partitionfbut this made little difference as when I then ran the SD card, nothing happens. I’m new to this so can you say where I’m going wrong ?


What do you mean by “nothing happens”. Does it boot, does it produce any errors or output?

It sounds like you put the right file in the right place, but motionEye OS can be a bit touchy about the wpa_supplicant.conf file- if you edit it in something like Notepad and end up with the wrong kind of line-endings, or even get your password wrong I believe it just bugs into a boot loop.


Just that, nothing happens. I have it plugged into a monitor and it shows nothing. What confuses me is the additional sd/partitition, where is that coming from and which of the two partitions is the “Boot” partition. When I used Etcher it created a G partition and then a H partition was also created. I presumed the G was the Boot partition and placed the wpa_supplicant.conf in there. What goes in the H part ?. I shall try re-writing wpa_supplicant.conf, using another editor and see waht happens.

Thank you for your reply


What was in the G and H partition?

When I write MotionEyeOS to an SD card I get a “D:” and “H:” drive- “D:” is clearly the Linux operating system and is in a format Windows doesn’t recognise (clicking it tells me I need to format the disk before I can use it) and “H:” is the boot partition which contains, among other things, config.txt.


G contained the MotionEyeOS and as with you, is not recognized by windows. H was a total surprise and at first I ignored it. After some thought I actually formatted it and thinking G was the boot partition, I moved the contents of G to H and placed the wpa_supplicant.conf in G. Of course, having read your reply, that would never work, and it didn’t. From your reply the wpa_supplicant.conf should be placed in H but before doing so should I format it ? needless to say i will give it another go.


I wouldn’t mess around with the partitions once the image has been written to the SD card, as this is likely what has caused the issue for you.

As @gadgetoid has explained, if you write the image to the SD card, there are normally two partitions on the SD card itself. One is the boot partition (normally labelled as such) and the other is the main “root” partition, which you shouldn’t be touching unless you know what you’re doing.

You will need to add the wpa_supplicant.conf file in the main part of the boot partition - i.e. if you were adding it on Windows, you would open the drive in Windows Explorer (called BOOT) and then drop the wpa_supplicant.conf file into the drive (i.e. you should see config.txt, cmdline.txt, fixup.dat etc) in there.

If you are also creating the wpa_supplicant.conf file in Windows Notepad, then I would warn against doing so. It can often add incorrectly formatted characters into the file, which may look right to you, but mean something different on Linux. If you need a (free) alternative, look for Notepad++ or Brackets as they are both good text editors.

Also, if you are connecting the Pi to a display, you won’t see anything on MotionEye OS as it’s designed to run “headless”, i.e. without a monitor and keyboard connected. You should only be able to access it via SSH (if enabled) and via your web-browser.

I would re-write the SD card, create the wpa_supplicant.conf file using Notepad++ or Brackets, add the file to the boot folder and then boot it (leave the root partition well alone - normally Windows cannot even see this anyway).

One last thing - are you using the correct MotionEye OS image for your Pi? There are different versions for Pi Zero, Pi 2, Pi 3 etc…

I’ve got three Pi’s at home (all different versions) running MotionEye OS all fine - so I suspect the issue you are experience is one of the above.


Hi thank you for your reply. I discovered that my micro SD card is at fault and as soon as I get a replacement I will try what you have suggested and let you know.


I’ve got a MotionEyeOS card on standby here so I can follow-along-at-home as it were - if you run into any more problems.


Success, got it working as attached photos show. My 32gb microsd came in today so I had another go, taking in the points made and it worked first time. I have set camera resolution to 1280x720 at about 10 frames per second as recommended on the Pimoroni instructions. What I would like to know now, if that’s okay, is what settings to set up and why. I take it that this is a sort of security system but where do the photos/video go and how best to set it up.

Thanks again for your help


I’ve not played with the OS enough to know what setup would suit you best, but there’s an extensive Wiki detailing usage scenarios, configuration, etc here:

It looks like it can do motion-triggered emailing of still images, which seems like it might be a good bet.

I really need to get one of these set up at home!


AS you may know I finally got it working but now I’m looking for some advice on how too set it up re the settings. I plan to use only one camera so if you could give me some idea how you set yours up, that would be a great help.



Try the link that @gadgetoid provided above. It’s to the wiki page on the motionEyeOS repository. There are no “right” or “wrong” settings, but those that work for you.

There is also help in the tool (hover over the blue circles with question marks) that provide additional information about the particular setting.

It really is self-explanatory.

I wouldn’t set the camera resolution or frames per second too high otherwise you’ll soon run out of storage space.

You’ll learn more if you try it yourself. Worst case scenario is you need to reflash your SD card with the image and start again.


I’ve set one up in my kitchen for now- just to get a feel for how it works. Honestly it feels like the best way to handle recordings is to run each camera on a small SD card and use a host PC to handle recording the feed- possibly even amalgamating several low-res feeds into one video. I managed to record using VLC on a Windows PC but it seemed tricky. There is almost certainly dedicated video security software that would do a better job, but I haven’t investigated that’s yet!

Looks like recording on the Pi itself can be set up with various different schedules, and also motion triggered? I haven’t played with it much!