Frigate - I've neither seen the boat nor the bird

Frigate - I've neither seen the boat nor the bird


Frigate - I've neither seen the boat nor the bird but my Frigate can actually dock or nest?! :-) Frigate is an open source NVR, a Network Video Recorder which is run as a Docker container on a Docker host. My preferred choice was to run it on Ubuntu 21.04 and install all the docker components directly on ubuntu on hardware. This is the recommended install method.

I hope that, by exposing my own configuration here, people might install and configure frigate faster than I did.

Why Frigate?

In my case I wanted basically ANY CAM in one place. AND I wanted to recognise cars, people, bicycles, motorcycles, cats, and dogs from ANY of those cams. Now I've been a huge fan of Hikvision cams, but I also have other cams that do not have the same possibilities, qualities, properties, and performance as the Hikvison cameras. So to give equal opportunities to any camera with an IP supporting RTSP, IMHO Frigate is the best tool out there.

Let's have a look at the hardware I've used and the configuration files I've managed to assemble using friends and google.

I bought a fairly cheap Intel Nuc 11th gen. Pro I7/i7-1165G7 Tall Barebone Tiger Canyon NUC11TNHI7, and filled it with 32GB (2x16GB) KINGSTON FURY Impact DDR4-2666 CL15 RAM, and a WD Black SN750 SSD M.2 2TB NVMe PCIe disk
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Formfactor E-key

The reason to buy this NUC was because some of these NUCS had 3 different M.2 ports, 2280 NVMe (M); 2242 SATA (B), and lastly the 2230 (E-key) (E) which I needed for my Coral M.2 card. M.2 cards have a rectangular shape. The size of an M.2 module is marked by its form factor. The form factor defines the width by length in millimeters.

Google Coral hardware
I bought a too expensive Coral M.2 board on eBay (M.2 E key), meaning i ripped out the excellent Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 WIFi card and replaced it with a Google Coral Accelerator Dual Edge TPU.

Google Coral?

Google Coral is an edge AI hardware and software platform for intelligent edge devices with fast neural network inferencing. Coral is Google's initiative for pushing into Edge AI, with machine learning devices that run without a connection to the cloud

Ubuntu installation

I use Rufus for almost anything IMAGING onto USB Sticks. this time to install Ubuntu on hardware. LMGTFY: "How to Make Ubuntu 21.04 Bootable USB Drive using Rufus". I picked up an Ubuntu ISO image from and Rufus from When the push comes to shove, just install a server, don't bother with any GUI or other fetures. Easy-peasy, just follow the prompts and "Bob's your uncle!" Other things you'll need (just google it)

  • Set an IP (not DHCP) for your system using /etc/netplan/
  • Set a hostname using hostnamectl
  • Make sure you can use Putty or any other SSH client to access your server. I'm always logging in as root via putty to avoid all that sudo stuff no one needs. I know - NO SECURITY for the convenience. But I don't give a damn. This server is not available on the internet.
  • Make sure NTP is working. I most often configure the servers as my defaults

I just installed MQTT Server (The Broker) on Home Assistant using the "Mosquitto broker". I use it for the Home Assistant add-on 'Zigbee2mqtt' (because zha is just shit) and for Tasmota devices, such as Sonoff Basic, and more. Well. Comfigure it with a admin, password, and default port, and youl'll be fine. Go here:

Here's my own Home assistant MQTT configuration. You can find it here: "Configuration>Add-ons, Backups & Supervisor>Mosquitto broker>Configuration>"Mosquitto broker Optons"

1certfile: fullchain.pem
3  active: false
4  folder: mosquitto
5keyfile: privkey.pem
7  - username: mqtt 
8    password: yourPassword
9require_certificate: false
Create these directories

Putty yourself onto your frigate server and mkdir these:

  • /frigate
  • /frigate/media
  • /frigate/config
  • /frigate/coral
Docker Installation

Docker on ubuntu is fairly easy. You have got to end up with docker compose and docker. These commands will make the shit happen to be able to install frigate. #LMGTFY.

Coral Setup #LMGTFY.

Frigate Installation

Just go to this page, You'll need the information on that page

docker compose

Running docker compose with the following Docker compose file, is what stands up a container, and an app, and that app is based on an docker image you specify in the docker compose file. In the volumes: section you can see real life ubuntu paths mapped the paths that will surface magically within the docker conatiner. this means the file /frigate/config/config.yml maps to the frigate app as /config/config.yml and it will be read-only.

Run docker-compose up and docker-compose down in your /frigate/config folder while you keep editing and troubleshooting your /frigate/config/config.yml file When you're done, take it down, and then use the -d switch to run it as a daemon:

1docker-compose up -d
My Docker Compose file

I'll admit it, I'm not even a rookie when it comes to docker containers. I'd say I'm a total illiterate and a dumb fuck. Even so, with a little explanations and a lot of help from my friends I managed to get my very first Docker Compose file up and running. This file was /frigate/docker-compose.yml

Not very far from the practical example mentioned on the Frigate installation page. Here's what I ended up with:

 1version: "3.9"
 3  frigate:
 4    container_name: frigate
 5    image: blakeblackshear/frigate:stable-amd64
 6    restart: always
 7    devices:
 8      - /dev/apex_0:/dev/apex_0
 9    volumes:
10      - /frigate/config/config.yml:/config/config.yml:ro
11      - /frigate/media:/media/frigate
12      - type: tmpfs # Optional: 1GB of memory, reduces SSD/SD Card wear
13        target: /tmp/cache
14        tmpfs:
15          size: 1000000000
16    ports:
17      - 5000:5000
18      - 1935:1935
19    environment:
20      FRIGATE_RTSP_PASSWORD: "yourPassword"

What made Coral tick? this entry:

1    devices:
2      - /dev/apex_0:/dev/apex_0
My initial Frigate Config file

When I first started to test, I created the simplest file not far from the original shown in the installation document . This file went into /frigate/config/config.yml

 2  host:
 3  user: mqtt
 4  password: yourPassword!
 7  back1:
 8    ffmpeg:
 9      inputs:
10        - path: rtsp://youradmin:yourPassword!@
11          roles:
12            - rtmp

Note: This config does NOT engage Coral, so the CPU does the detection stuff.

My current Frigate Config file

I have listed the config as an example on two different Hikvision cameras, and one Ubiquiti Unifi Protect camera. For the full config file options, go here:

 2  host:
 3  user: mqtt
 4  password: yourPassword
 7  coral:
 8    type: edgetpu
 9    device: pci:0
12  enabled: True
13  width: 1280
14  height: 720
15  quality: 3
16  mode: continuous
19  position: "br"
20  format: "%d.%m.%Y %H:%M:%S"
21  color:
22    red: 255
23    green: 255
24    blue: 255
25  thickness: 2
26  effect: shadow
29  track:
30    - person
31    - bicycle
32    - car
33    - motorcycle
34    - bird
35    - cat
36    - dog
39# This is a hikvison 
40  westcam:
41    ffmpeg:
42      inputs:
43        - path: rtsp://youradmin:yourPassword!@
44          roles:
45            - detect
46            - record
47            - rtmp
48    detect:
49      enabled: True
50    record: # <----- Enable recording
51      enabled: True
52    snapshots: # <----- Enable snapshots
53      enabled: True
54# This is a hikvison 
55  backeast:
56    ffmpeg:
57      inputs:
58        - path: rtsp://youradmin:yourPassword!@
59          roles:
60            - detect
61            - rtmp
62            - record
63    detect:
64      enabled: True
65    record: # <----- Enable recording
66      enabled: True
67    snapshots: # <----- Enable snapshots
68      enabled: True
69# This is a Ubiquiti Unifi Protect cam  
70  trampoline:
71    ffmpeg:
72      inputs:
73        - path: rtsps://
74          roles:
75            - detect
76            - record
77            - rtmp
78    detect:
79      enabled: True
80    record: # <----- Enable recording
81      enabled: True
82    snapshots: # <----- Enable snapshots
83      enabled: True

What made Coral tick? This entry:

2  coral:
3    type: edgetpu
4    device: pci:0
Home Assistant integration

The Home Assistant Addon is not the same thing as the integration. Go here for a fine install doc: and Frigate's own:

  1. Integration: Home Assistant > HACS > Explore & Add Repositories > Frigate
  2. Restart HA
  3. Add-on: Home Assistant > Configuration > Integrations (add frigate)
  4. Lovelace Card: Home Assistant > HACS > Frontend > "Explore & Add Integrations" > Frigate Card
  5. Add this to Home Assistant configuration.yaml:
1# Example configuration.yaml entry

I hope this makes your installation and config easy