If you are looking for Linux software to use to set up a small business/home surveillance system, look at zoneminder. It has numerous features and is accessed through a web browser. It is a little more complicated to set up than software such as "motion" but you may get lucky. Check out the site below. There are also specific sites dealing with setting it up on different distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Motion is command line only, no gui.
The link below is to Linux supported webcams. I didn't see a date on it so don't know how current the info is:
If you check into zoneminder, I expect you would have problems with only 512M RAM.