a multichannel interactive streaming solution


What is Palantir?

Palantir is a Linux-based streaming system designed to transmit live video, audio and data over a TCP/IP network, as well as to control remote devices.
It is named after a word invented by J. R. R. Tolkien and mentioned in his tales, whose meaning is far-seer. The correct pronounciation requires the "i" in "tir" to be accented.

While conceptually similar to the many webcam-like products populating the modern Internet, some unique features set a considerable distance between Palantir and its competitors.

  • The video streaming section was designed with performance in mind. Even a low-end machine can directly sustain the load of many hundreds of clients, without the need for an intermediate buffering server.

  • The vast choice of clients able to display the live video stream ranges from regular web browsers to a specialized client for Windows which requires no installation - just download and go.
    A Qt-based client for Linux is also available.

  • The availability of a full-duplex, telephone-quality audio channel permits communication between server and one client at a time - your remotely controlled site is just a microphone and a speaker away.

  • A supplementary, bidirectional data channel enables clients to operate hardware devices of any kind connected to the server via a serial line, as well as to get feedback from them and present it to the user in graphical form. Examples of these devices include pan/tilt/zoom machinery, flood lights, temperature sensors, strain gauges, etc..

Palantir can stream over a LAN, a VPN, or the Internet at large.
Fields of application span from surveillance to entertainment, industrial process control and site monitoring.

System requirements


  • A 486-class (or better) PC running Linux (kernel 2.2.x or above).

  • A video4linux-compatible capture device (almost every PCI card and many webcams are supported).

  • An OSS-compatible sound card (for audio communication).

  • A network connection supporting the TCP/IP protocol.


  • Any browser on any operating system is able to display a snapshot of the captured video, as well as the devices' status report in textual form.

  • Browsers supporting the multipart/x-mixed-replace HTTP type can also display the live video stream natively. The list of such browsers currently includes Mozilla and its derivatives (Netscape, Firefox etc.) on all operating systems, and Internet Explorer on the Macintosh only.
    Note: depending on the network connection speed, the video stream display may be prone to latency problems (there may be some time lag between the live action and the observed frames). Use a stand-alone client to achieve a stricter synchronization.

  • Any Java-enabled web browser can run the Java applet client, which can display the live video stream with reduced latency as well as check and operate the hardware devices connected to the server.

  • For the Windows and Linux operating systems, native clients are available which allow all the features of Palantir - low-latency video, audio communication, device control - to be fully exploited.
    For maximum comfort on the Windows user's side, the Windows client can be made available for download at the same site running the Palantir server, and can be run without requiring installation.


This software is distributed under the GNU General Public License version 2.

Copyright 2016 Fastpath Research