For this article we will assume your Shinobi installation is found in the default directory, /home/Shinobi.

What is SMTP

SMTP spells out and directs how your email moves from one computer to another.

How does it apply to Triggering an Event?

Many IP cameras come with a built-in Motion Detector and E-Mail client. When motion is detected the camera can send an email through your specified SMTP server.

Shinobi can now create an SMTP server for this purpose. When Shinobi receives an "email" it will see it as a reason to trigger an event, just like how it would trigger if Shinobi's built-in motion detector had caught motion.

Unlike an actual SMTP server, the one running in Shinobi is only designed to take trigger requests. It will not direct any real mail.

Why do this?

  • The Shinobi server isn't doing the Motion Detection processing anymore, the camera takes the load instead.
  • The camera is better capable of detecting something sooner because its accessing the stream at the hardware level.
  • The camera may have other hardware to make the Motion Detection even more precise than if you were to simply check for pixel changes in a video stream.
  • The Motion Detection within your camera may be something you are already familiar with. You can skip learning how to use Shinobi's Motion Detection and still make use of all the Triggering options.

Enabling the SMTP server

1. Add the following option to your conf.json.


Run these commands to do so.

cd /home/Shinobi
node tools/modifyConfiguration.js addToConfig='{"smtpServer":true}'

2. Now restart Shinobi

pm2 restart camera

Available Options

Option Description Example Value
smtpServer Toggle for the SMTP server. Default is false. true
smtpServerPort Specify a specific port for the SMTP server to run on. Default is 25. 1338
smtpServerSsl An object that contains paths for a certificate and key. {"cert":"./ssl/cert","key":"./ssl/key"}
smtpServerSsl.cert Path to your SSL certificate. ./ssl/cert
smtpServerSsl.key Path to your SSL key. ./ssl/key

Configure Monitor Settings for SMTP Triggering

1. Open the Monitor Settings and switch to Advanced view to reveal the Global Detector Settings.

2. Within the Global Detector Settings set the following fields.

  • Send Frames : No

3. For Recording when an SMTP Trigger occurs set the following options.

  • Identity > Mode : Watch-Only
  • Global Detector Settings > How To Record : Traditional
  • Global Detector Settings > Reset Timeout on Next Event : Yes

Setting up the E-Mail Client in a Camera

For this tutorial we will use a Reolink C1 Pro

1. Open the Device Settings by clicking the gear icon in the top right.

2. Click Network then Advanced on the left and finally E-Mail at the top.

3. Set the following fields to setup the Shinobi Event Trigger.

  • SMTP Server : The IP Address of the machine running Shinobi.
  • SMTP Port : The Port in which the FTP Server is running, default is 25.
  • Sender Address : The Username you use to login to the Shinobi dashboard. This can also be an API key. Structure must simulate an Email address, [API KEY]@Shinobi
  • Password : The Password you use to login to the Shinobi dashboard. If an API key is used for the Username the Password must be the Group Key.
  • Recipient Address 1 : Should be set as the Monitor ID with an @ symbol and some text to simulate an Email address. Input structure is [MONITOR ID]@Shinobi. See image above for an example.
  • Additional Recipient Addresses : You can specify other Monitors to trigger from this one camera's internal detector.
  • Schedule > Enable : This will toggle the E-Mail notifier.

4. Press E-Mail Test and it will trigger an event in Shinobi.

5. Save the changes.