A simple, secure, private webcam for a Raspberry Pi
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How to build a simple,secure,private webcam with webRTC

using https://pi.pe/ 's IoT toolkit.

webcam block diag

Code and docs backing up the talk given by @steely-glint

at https://www.krankygeek.com

backgrounder video at: https://youtu.be/8zgvhL-poRQ


Use our API and device agent software to make a webcam with

  • end-to-end encryption
  • low running costs
  • simple setup
  • no open ports
  • accessable from a smartphone browser
  • no passwords
  • works on 3g, 4g, wifi etc.

For more info on the API see https://steely-glint.github.io/PipeApiDocs/


  • 1x HDMI screen or xwindows capable display e.g. Adafruit PiTFT 2.2" HAT Mini Kit - 320x240 2.2" TFT - No Touch

  • 1x micro sd card 8GB or larger

  • 1x Raspberry Pi

  • 1x Raspberry Pi camera

  • 1x git repo (cloned from here)

  • 1x copy of |pipe|'s IoT beta to run on the Pi

  • 1x or more Chrome browsers

  • Around 30 mins to 1hr

To obtain a copy of our beta software, send an email with your Pi's serial number to me. You can get the serial number with awk '/^Serial/ { print $3}' < /proc/cpuinfo

The beta software (and associated intellectual property) is licensed for that single Pi and not for re-distribuiton or re-use.


  1. Build the pi plug all the bits together - soldering is required for the tft
  2. setup the OS
  • download a recent copy of raspberian (not lite)
  • put it on an sd card https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/
  • ssh into the new device (or plugin a mouse/kbd) (note you may need to add a 'wpa_supplicant.conf' and 'ssh' file in /boot to enable wifi/ssh on first boot) ssh pi@raspberrypi.local (assuming you only have one)
  • run raspi-config -
    • rename the device,
    • enable the camera,
    • change the password ,
    • set to login in auto as pi with a graphical user interface,
    • disable VNC
  • configure the screen (if isn't HDMI)
  • reboot
  • log back in - with the new password...
  • sudo apt-get update
  1. setup wifi (if needed) ethernet links are more secure and PoE is the best way to power a PiCam but in some situations wifi fits the bill (recent Rasberian versions allow you to put a wpa_supplicant.conf in /boot so it can connect up on first boot)
  2. install and config software
    • see installSteps.txt
  3. reboot

Hosting - none

This is the |pipe| magic - the web interface is stored on your pi but protected so only you and people you lend access to can see it. You can edit the docs/index.html file to change the behaviour.


  • You should see a QR code on the TFT screen -
  • Scan it with a qr code reader on your android phone.
  • Or you can use https://pi.pe/p/scan.html in chrome
  • The devices should pair and take you to the webcam interface


If you want to access the webcam from a different computer or android phone, you can do a lend/borrow transaction.

  • On the device you used to claim the pi, browse to https://pi.pe/p/index.html
  • Select lend your device
  • Select the period you want to lend access for
  • Have the other android user scan the resulting QR
  • They will now have access

Tightening up:

  • check for open ports netstat -lnt -remove associated software or firewall it.
  • other....