Flussonic Watcher documentation

Installing Watcher Cluster

Flussonic Watcher works in cluster mode as a service. The cluster mode requires at least two servers to operate.

The server configuration in a cluster is the following:

  • The control server (endpoint). It has Flussonic Media Server, the web interface to Watcher, the business logic, and the PostgreSQL database engine.

  • Streaming servers (streamers). A streamer is a server machine that has Flussonic Media Server installed. It stores DVR archives and handles camera streams. You can add from 1 to 100 streaming servers.

The following picture shows the parts of Watcher cluster and the flow of video streams:

Watcher cluster

Flussonic Watcher in cluster mode supports only the PostgreSQL database engine. It initializes the database on the first run.

Installation main steps

Prerequisite: Flussonic Media Server must be installed on the managing server and on all the streamers.

To install Watcher in a cluster:

  1. Install PostgreSQL on the managing server and specify the path to it in the administrator UI of Flussonic Media Server.
  2. Open the Watcher's administrator UI and create a user with administrator privileges.
  3. In the Watcher's administrator UI create a cluster and add streamers.

All these steps are described later on this page.

Comparing Watcher Cluster with Watcher Single Anchor Anchor x2

The cluster mode is suitable for medium and large projects with unlimited number of cameras (more than 500, limited by hardware).

Larger projects require cluster organizations and stream reservation tools. In this mode, cameras work with two and more servers.

Installing PostgreSQL Anchor Anchor x2

Before you start installing Watcher Cluster, install Flussonic Media Server and then launch PostgreSQL.

To install PostgreSQL is necessary in the console under root-access to execute the command:

apt install postgresql

In the case of PostgreSQL, the user and the database need to be created independently. Type the commands in the console:

sudo -u postgres createuser -P vsaas

Answer: Enter password for new role: (enter super admin password)

Answer: Enter it again: (enter super admin password)

sudo -u postgres createdb -O vsaas -e -E UTF8 -T template0 vsaas_production

Answer: CREATE DATABASE vsaas_production OWNER vsaas ENCODING 'UTF8' TEMPLATE template0;

Go to the IP cameras in the administrative interface and specify the path to the database in "Database path" section.

Watcher Cluster in UI

Do not forget to replace vsaas_password with a real password of the vsaas user that you created above.

Specify mode cluster option in the configuration file /etc/flussonic/flussonic.conf:

vsaas {
  database postgresql://vsaas:vsaas_password@localhost/vsaas_production;
  endpoint enabled;
  mode cluster;

Save and restart Flussonic Media Server with the command:

service flussonic restart

At the address http://flussonic:8080 the Flussonic Watcher interface will open.

To return to Flussonic Media Server admin panel, please visit http://flussonic:8080/admin.

IMPORTANT! To work correctly, Watcher must be added to the DNS record hostname Watcher server.

After installation, the administrator will be created.

Admin creation Anchor Anchor x2

Enter http://flussonic:8080/admin in your internet browser’s address bar to bring up an administrator control panel. On the very first launch, the system will ask you to enter an email and come up with a password to create the first administrator account.

Installing Cluster

Next, go to SettingsStreamersEdit and create a cluster.

Create a cluster Anchor Anchor x2

Log in as administrator, then go to SettingsStreamersEdit. This settings page is essential for the entire system, and here you can create a cluster. Add at least one stream server to make cameras function.

Prior to adding a new streamer in the Watcher settings, install Flussonic Media Server on a separate server with an external IP-address. Also, enter cluster_key that matches the Watcher key.

When the camera server is ready to go, create a new streamer in SettingsStreamersEdit, and then fill out the New streamer:

  • Hostname — Streamer’s URL. (e.g.,, or a domain name).
  • Cluster key — Cluster key. If the streamer’s and Watcher cluster keys are the same, there is no need to fill this field.
  • The path to the archive — It is important to fill in this field, otherwise the archive will not work (e.g., /dvr).

When you have multiple streamers, you can select a default one. Click on the streamer from the list and click Set as default. In this case, all new cameras will be added in the default stream server.


  • In section "Streamers", you don’t need to add a host that has Watcher deployed.
  • All servers must have the same time.

You can enable streams reservation for each streamer (failover).

How to do it see this section «Failover».

Updating Watcher Anchor Anchor x2

Important. Whenever you need to install Flussonic Watcher updates, it’s necessary to migrate your database. Therefore we recommend that you back up your database before updating Watcher.