I'm trying to record a video using Motion, but it only records when a motion detected. Is there any option to use it as an ordinary video capture software?

4 Answers 4


I found the answer. As stated here, we have the command 'output_all'; which makes the exact thing that I wanted - allowing you to create continuous film:


  • Type: Boolean
  • Range / Valid values: on, off
  • Default: off
  • Option Topic

Picture are saved continuously as if motion was detected all the time.

This feature is not meant to be the normal mode of operation. Especially not if you have the output_normal or output_motion features enabled since it will keep on saving pictures on the disk and you will soon run out of disk space. So be careful with this command.

If your frame rate is 10 pictures per second motion will save 10 new picture pr second until the disk is full.

It does all the normal actions that are done when motion is detected. It saves pictures on the harddisk, execute external scripts, etc as fast as the frame rate of the camera. So it is probably a good idea to run with a low framerate when using this feature and to not use activate all the features that saves files on the disk.

The idea of this feature is that you can turn the feature on and off for a short period of time to test or to generate continuous mpeg films when needed.

  • Forgot about this :) But it usually helps to have something to automatically delete old pictures if recording to disk as it will run out of disk space.
    – Wilf
    Nov 29, 2015 at 20:02
  • output_all has been changed to emulate_motion since version 3.4. Source: motion-project.github.io/…
    – Kanchu
    Jul 13, 2018 at 8:45

In the motion.conf, output_all was changed to emulate_motion in motion version 3.4. Using this records video along with live streaming.

Sources: user: Kanchu | site: motion-project.github.io


if you need an application to do such matter please visit here. It is an Ubuntu tutorial but it works the same on raspberry pi But I highly Recommend you to try Home surveillance and motion detection with the Raspberry Pi, Python, OpenCV, and Dropbox tutorial. It is a greate post about Raspberry Pi, Python and OpenCV. it has great details and every body, with no python or OpenCV or even a linux knowledge can follow the steps and learn a lot.

  • NimaNr thank you for your effort, but I don't want to build a surveillance system. I just want to record video from a usb camera using Motion. Motion only records video when there is a motion in the scene; but, I want it to record non-stop video regardless of motion detection. Thank you.
    – dnzzcn
    Nov 24, 2015 at 15:37

Somewhere in the file /etc/motion/motion.conf there is a setting for this, sorry I can't remember what it was I haven't used motion in about four months.

  • There is a command called 'output_all' which is explained as 'Picture are saved continuously as if motion was detected all the time.' in the website of Motion. However it can't even manage to make that for the pictures. The system works perfect with video; but, when I enable this option everything blows up. Motion keeps showing errors, deletes '/var/run/motion/' directory for no reason etc.
    – dnzzcn
    Nov 26, 2015 at 13:55
  • Ah, ok. It seems the problem wasn't about the command. After several reboots and creating motion folder under '/var/run/motion' I managed to make it record videos regardless of motion detection. Thank you Patrick for your help.
    – dnzzcn
    Nov 26, 2015 at 14:25

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