SecuritySpy install on NAS
  • Is it possible to install SecuritySpy Software on a Qnas?
  • SecuritySpy runs on a Mac computer, but it can capture to any NAS device that supports AFP (Apple File Protocol). Most NAS devices support AFP; it appears to be widely supported in the range of QNAP NAS devices.
  • Thanks for the answer but this is how my setup is right now. What I would like to do is installing the SS software on my Qnas as an application instead of having my iMac running 24/7. I have all kinds of other software/servers running on my Qnas already and its running 24/7 anyway :-)
  • If your NAS supports virtualisation software, I suppose this may be possible by using something like VMWare to create a virtualised Hackintosh, though I haven't heard of anyone attempting this before!
  • Thanks, ill try to find something and post result in this forum if i succeed :-)
  • Yes please post back, your results would be very interesting!
  • It is almost 2 years later - and no feedback from @iTkaos? I'm also interested in running SS on my NAS instead of running my Mac 24/7.
    Now that I spent a lot of money for my 8 cams + update I don't want to buy another Surveillance Software Licence for my Synology NAS.
    Would be very grateful for an answer from anybody who could install SS on a NAS.
  • I guess the limitations is that the NAS would need an operating system to run the actual SecuritySpy software.
    As Ben suggests, a virtualization software would resolve that part, but it would mean that you would need to buy copy of the OS for the NAS.
    If you then use SS on the NAS OS I don't think you would need a new license of SecuritySpy.
  • I had this issue - the cheapest option for me was a 'headless' Mac Mini administered via VNC and writing to the NAS. As long as the machine (and as many cams as possible) are wired, there will be no issue.

    Many NAS devices do not have the HW acceleration / graphics cards / processing power to run on-the-fly video processing apps. Just look at the mess of Synology support for the Plex media server for evidence!
  • I agree with @camguyfbr - even if it could be done (which, if possible, would be difficult), the resources available on the NAS would be meagre - only enough for a very basic system. Using a Mac mini gives you much more power, is easy to set up and maintain, and a basic (or previously used) model isn't too expensive.
  • I'd only add if you are going to run a Mac mini headless - make sure to get an adapter like the OWC "video accelerator" - it makes the Mac think a monitor is connected so the video drivers load which improves performance with VNC and Security Spy.
  • Hi BrianM,

    Well, I'd never realised that the GPU acceleration was not initiated without an HDMI/thunderbolt display attached! I've been using Display Menu ( to spoof the VNC session into thinking there's a 1080p monitor. Worked OK for VNC purposes, but I did always wonder why things were slightly more sluggish than on my other Mac Mini, which is attached to a TV via HDMI and which runs as a media server. Just ordered a 4k version from here ( and will report back.
  • The dongle arrived and it works well for 20-odd quid. There's not a huge shift in performance, but since the machine only runs SS and a handful of web services, that might have been predictable. Nice outcomes are a reduction in memory pressure from 25%+ to below 16% (8x cams, running 1080p/15fps/H264CBR) complete elimination of swap usage - maybe the biggest bonus - and reduction in reported CPU usage by single cameras. A happy by-product for me is that I can now VNC to the machine in full 2560x1440px iMac screen resolution. It almost doesn't feel headless! Thanks BrianM.
  • I just want to throw it out there, since Ben said he's never seen anyone do it... (albeit a couple years ago)

    I run Security Spy w/ Indigo & Ubiquiti UniFi AP Manager on a 10.10 MacOS VM running inside VMware ESXi 6.0 on a Super Micro 1U. It has 32GB ram, E3-1225 Xeon processor and 4 internal drives. It also run a pfsense VM and a mythbuntu VM. I have a 1TB "laptop" spinning drive dedicated as a video storage volume while the boot volume runs on a really fast SSD.

    It's not a hackintosh in the sense that I didn't modify MacOS at all. VMware natively supports Mac virtual machines; I just had to make it think it was running on a Mac. This is by far the cheapest way to deal with 4-8 cameras pushing billions of pixels per second. The Mac Pro needed to compare to this rig would cost around 5000USD. I spent less than half that.

    As for running SecuritySpy on a NAS: it's not a computer and it will never happen. The Mac does a lot of fancy things like motion detection and event notification. These are things your NAS was not designed to do. If you want to use SecuritySpy - and face it, why wouldn't you - you will need to have a computer running 24/7. I used to use a nice retina MacBook Pro for this. It was a great option when I only had four 1.3MP cameras. Now I'm up to 7 cameras ranging 2-4MP; I needed a bigger system to keep up with my demands and I built my own. Instead of dedicating an expensive Mac to the task, I built a multipurpose server with an expensive copy of virtualization software. In the long run it pays for itself in cheaper power bills and less hardware to maintain. It's also a really fun project. If you only have a couple cameras, a MacBook Pro might be a good option. Beyond that, you're stuck with an iMac or a Mac Pro.

    And now I'm off to buy a USB 3 -> HDMI adapter to see if it improves performance... ;)
  • I guess we could also consider a Mac Mini an option. Did that for a while too, but they're so underpowered it's hard to even suggest. :) The new version of SecuritySpy definitely helps with resources though. Bravo Ben.
  • Mac mini's can handle it fine, Core i5 or Core i7just needs around 8+ GB of ram to ensure that isn't a bottleneck, and recommended good hard drive separate from the boot drive to record to (I use external multi-drive bay with mirrored 4TB 3.5" drives)

    Mine is a 2012 quad Core i7 2.3 Ghz with 16 GB of ram and SSD boot drive. - it has about 90% of the CPU power of the base 2013 Mac Pro for 1/3 the price. (also does other service type activity with Plex, and Mac Server doing caching & https web) - 6 cameras running right now, have had 7 running before - total Security Spy plus the VTEncoder & Decoder services is under 30% CPU load on one CPU with under 600 MB of ram used by them.
  • Yeah, you pretty much got the last good mac mini they made. Downhill since. ;)
  • I've done some work with the 2014 models - the base isn't great agreed - with an SSD it's ok for basic home usage but is underpowered in CPU for anything more advanced than web/email. The midrange i5 and high end i7 do pretty well at most tasks with dual cores plus virtual cores - still not as fast as the previous quad-core, but the integrated video is faster - some things like Security Spy use the GPU to assist so it can be somewhat close.
    I am disappointed that it doesn't have "easy" dual-drive options for doing mirrored RAID, but the PCIe flash is pretty good.
    no option to change ram after purchase is a huge loss. (if Apple listened to recommendations, I'd put quad core option, 2 user upgradable ram slots, and 2 NVMe M.2 for storage. For home and work that would be a win)

    For the "current" 2014 model - Ordered with enough initial specs (like 16 GB of ram), they are still more than enough for running something like SecuritySpy
  • frankyhall, how did you get VMWare to think it is running on a Mac?

    Just out of curiosity, can that be done with VirtualBox, or only VMWare?
  • I've never looked into or attempted to do this with VirtualBox. I did look into it with VMware Fusion at one point (simply to emulate a Mac on a PC), and it looked like a pain there too. I managed to "work" a couple different tutorials to make this work with VMware ESXi. It's not that difficult, but there are a few steps involved. If I ever have to rebuild the system I'll make a blog post about how I do it. Sorry I don't have a better answer for you.
  • Just an FYI - Now working with a Synology Wi-Fi router that has similar capabilities to run optional "packages" like the Synology NAS.

    Although conceptually very interesting to consider running apps on this or similar NAS, the reality is very different.

    These systems run a stripped-down embedded Linux called "BusyBox". The CPU is a low-power ARM V7 and total ram is only 512MB and not expandable (because the hardware is a SOC). No GPU or any hardware accelerators obviously.

    An old Mac Mini (or any old Mac) is lightyears ahead in performance.

    Other than the thrill of saying "I got xxx running on my NAS" it is totally ridiculous to consider it for anything serious. (A 64bit iPhone or iPad Pro has more processing power and lots more memory than any of these NAS/embedded devices).

    Having said that, it is reasonable to use for lightweight or application-specific add-on features. I am using the Synology NAS with their optional VPN Plus server package and for that use (running an inbound L2TP VPN Server) it makes sense and works well.

    By doing this, I can easily VPN in to the network thus SecuritySpy and other IoT/Home Automation devices can be accessed without exposing them directly to the public Internet and w/o juggling port forwards, uPnP, etc. Much more secure.

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