6 Oct 2009
server development snapshot
(source only, no binaries)
is available, addressing few minor bugs.
22 Oct 2008
Experimental V4L2 support is available in the latest
server development snapshot
(source only, no binaries).
When opening a capture device, access is first attempted through the V4L2
interface, only reverting to V4L upon failure.
To force use of the V4L interface, use the '-l 1' command-line
Please download and test it, and share your experiences on the mailing list -
your feedback is precious!
Keep in mind that some of the features available under the old V4L API haven't
been ported to V4L2 yet (e.g. channel selection, tuner setup etc.), but will
be added in the near future.
19 May 2007
The long-awaited Palantir suite v2.7 is available, with
some hot new features:
On the client side, a bug has been fixed in the Windows client which prevented
proper client->server audio transmission.
10 Sep 2005
The Palantir suite v2.6 is available.
Support for the Logitech QuickCam Sphere/Orbit pan/tilt facilities has been
improved; they should work regardless of the pwc driver version in use.
Support for the MotionEye camera found in some Sony laptops has been added.
It is now possible to run the server in "viewer" (or "monitor") mode, in which
a X11 window displays the output from the capture source. In this mode, no TCP
connections are allowed to the server. To start the server in viewer mode,
just append "-V" to the command line.
To enable this feature, the server has to be compiled with
"make ENABLE_X11MON=1" (alternatively, ENABLE_X11MON must be set to 1 in the
Please notice that the binaries provided on the website have this feature
disabled, so -V will not show up in the list of available options.
On popular demand, it is now possible to set the capture frame rate (currently
only for the webcams supported by the pwc driver) via a command-line option or
the config file.
Another great piece of news is full support for the WL-500 router series from
ASUS. While some adventurous users had previously managed to hack Palantir
enough to be run on the router, with this new source release you'll only need
to type "make mips" to compile the executable for the MIPS architecture.
As a bonus, the kernel driver for the Logitech Quickcam Messenger (quickcam.o)
and the "qcset" companion utility are included in the binary distribution -
more cams, more fun!
The Qt client has had some buglets fixed, and the pathname of the configuration
file which is looked for at startup has been changed from ./pclient.ini to
The Java client has been ported to the Swing toolkit (which helped revamping
the looks a bit) and Java 1.5.
It is now possible to execute the client as a stand-alone application; see its
README for details.
Support has been added for gauge-like meters in the device control pane.
2 Jul 2004
The Palantir server v2.5.5 is available.
The server now supports the Logitech
QuickCam Sphere/Orbit pan/tilt facilities. See the palantir.conf manual page
or the relevant FAQ item for details.
A bug which allowed a malicious client to crash the server has been fixed.
Although this did not represent a security hole in any way for the system
running the server, everyone running a publicly accessible server is
urged to upgrade!
Other important features include proper handling of large frame sizes
(exceeding 640x480) and the ability to individually choose the TCP ports for
the video and audio streams.
As far as client-side software is concerned, thanks to the great work of
Daniele Lavatelli we're glad to announce the long-awaited release of the first
native, Qt-based Linux client. Although some features are still
lacking (audio channel, control capabilities), it already includes
extra functionalities not found in its Windows counterpart (for example, a
multi-panel interface to simultaneously display video from multiple servers).
The Palantir client for Windows v2.3.2 now available implements
the latest version of the protocol, required to interoperate with the latest
version of the server.
Moreover, the Java client has been greatly enhanced,
especially with regards to device control functions.
Tim Niemuller created RPM packages for the Palantir server and
clients. See the download page for links. Well done
Thanks to Tieffesistemi, a software
and consulting firm located in Milan, Italy, a new demo
location is now available.
4 Feb 2004
The Palantir server v2.5.4 is available.
The most important change is a bugfix preventing a malformed control
string sent by a malicious client from crashing the server (as reported
by paul at msunix dot co dot uk). Please upgrade at your earliest
A workaround has been implemented for some camera drivers (W996CF,
CPiA) reluctant to infer the capture depth from the requested palette.
A new configuration file parameter, ClientAckTimeout, specifies how
long the server should wait for frame acknowledgement from stand-alone
clients. The default is now 30 seconds (it was 15 in pre-2.5.4
Three new values for the "Visual" parameter - Slider_X, Slider_Y,
Slider_Y - allow explicit assignment of a control to one of the sliders
on the client's main window, which used to be reserved for pan, tilt and
The Palantir client for Windows v2.3.1 is now able to display
the numerical value associated to these sliders as well, by selecting
the "xyz readings" item from the "Display" menu.
Last but not least, thanks to Matt Pope a new demo location is
available, with a beautiful view from Salt Lake City. Check the Demo page for details.
31 Oct 2003
Precompiled binaries of the Palantir server for
Linux/PowerPC are now available!
21 Sep 2003
The Palantir server v2.5.3 is available.
The audio capture device is now selectable via the command-line option
"-a" and the new config file option AudioCaptureDevice (the default
is /dev/dsp). If the device has a fixed sample rate, Palantir attempts to
downsample the audio stream to fit the GSM compressor requirements.
The server is now more robust with respect to audio failures: if the
subsystem cannot be properly initialized, the server no longer aborts -
the audio channel is simply disabled.
Extra checks are performed on the URLs requested by clients, to avoid
starting the capture engine on bogus requests such as "/robots.txt".
22 Aug 2003
The Palantir server v2.5.2 is available.
Two new config file directives, VideoAudioInput and VideoAudioVolume,
allow selection of the audio input device on the capture card (for those
video cards featuring one or more audio sources, like TV or radio
tuners) and its volume adjustment.
Another new feature is the ability to apply simple filters to the
captured frames. Currently supported filters are Flip (mirrors the image
horizontally), Invert (reverse the image vertically), and UpsideDown (equivalent
to Flip Invert; useful if your camera is mounted rotated 180 degrees).
The Palantir client for Windows v2.3 is available, supporting
configuration via the classic .ini file
3 May 2003
The Palantir server v2.5.1 is available.
Additional HTTP headers prevent Mozilla from trying to cache the
live stream (although the file was deleted upon disconnection from
the server, it ate up an increasing amount of disk space during display).
The source code for the GSM library is now included with the Palantir source
package and is automatically built when compiling the server. This ensures that
the server is linked against a library built with the right compile-time
options to properly interoperate with the Windows client.
6 Apr 2003
The Palantir server v2.5 is available.
Multi-buffered capture via mmap() is now implemented when supported by the
video capture driver (e.g. bttv), providing a huge frame rate
A new "performance measurement mode", in which the server runs a tight
capture-only loop and no clients are served, can be requested via the -P
Other minor bugfixes have been scattered everywhere.
8 Feb 2003
The Palantir server v2.4.1 is available.
It features two new configuration directives: Audio to enable or
disable the audio channel (enabled by default), and VideoNorm to set
the correct TV video norm for your country (PAL, SECAM, NTSC; default is
PAL, so if the pictures you capture look corrupted in some strange ways try
changing this setting).
A mailing list for the Palantir project is now active
7 Feb 2003
Added the FAQ section.
9 Jan 2003
The whole Palantir system is now open source!
Download the source code or a precompiled (i386)
The Palantir server v2.4 is available.
Video and serial devices must be specified with their full path (e.g. /dev/video
Named pipe path must now be explicitly specified in the config, or no pipe is
used (as in the serial port case).
Many minor bugfixes and some cleanup.
A working (although incomplete) Java client is included in the
freely downloadable distribution.
The Palantir client for Windows v2.2.1 is also available.
29 Aug 2002
The Palantir server v2.3.1 is available.
A bug has been fixed which caused the server to overestimate the number of
connected clients if, under heavy load, no more threads could be created to
serve new connections.
Besides, the default notifier for devices on the Internal link is now
Client, so it is no longer necessary to explicitly state
it in the configuration file.
21 Aug 2002
A new Palantir demo installation is online!
It is located at the amateur radio
station in the Heinz Nixdorf Museumsforum
Check the Demo page for details.
12 Aug 2002
The Palantir server v2.3 is available.
Several major changes: the capture thread wake-up delay upon client connections
has been eliminated, making the system really snappy (this can be especially
appreciated on a LAN).
In order to reduce bandwidth usage, the number of simultaneous connections to
the video stream can now be limited via the new MaxStreamingClients
configuration directive. Clients in excess to this limit are served a
The system log can now be written to a file, specified by the new
LogFile configuration directive. To allow log rotation, this file is
closed and reopened when the server gets a HUP signal.
Device names and hints are now properly %-encoded before they are sent to
12 Aug 2002
The Palantir client for Windows v2.2 is available.
Many new features: full %-decoding of all text received from the server and an
improved positioning of the devices form on the desktop. Besides, the "audio"
channel selector is now enabled only if the server provides an audio channel,
and the "Control" button is enabled only if the server provides an audio channel
or has writable devices connected to it.
The new "Servers" menu makes it possible to quickly choose among multiple
A guide to the client is now available on
24 Jul 2002
The Palantir server v2.2.1 is available.
It features a cleaner handling of user-input text (which requires the Windows
client to be upgraded to version 2.1).
24 Jul 2002
The Palantir client for Windows v2.1 is available.
It features a partial rewrite of the audio subsystem to manage
suboptimal setups (e.g. half-duplex audio cards), support for the revised
text transmission protocol implemented in version 2.2.1 of the server, and a
few cosmetic changes.
The executable is now distributed in the UPX packed format, which requires no
manual unzipping and results in a 25% better compression ratio than Zip.
12 Jul 2002
The Palantir client for Windows v2.0.1 is available.
It fixes a bug which prevented audio TCP connections to be made to ports other
12 Jul 2002
The Palantir site is online.
5 Jul 2002
The Palantir server v2.2 is available.
Writing to the devices is now as fully (and coherently) supported
as reading from them.
The palantir.conf configuration file is now completely documented in its
own manual page (an HTML version is available
5 Jul 2002
The Palantir client for Windows v2.0 is available.
Connection attempts to unresponsive servers are now interruptible, and timeouts
in the connection phase are handled gracefully.
The pan/tilt/zoom sliders are now only shown if the corresponding devices
are declared in the server configuration file.