openHAB 2 on Linux

The following instructions will guide you through the process of setting up openHAB 2 and recommended packages on a Linux system, with the focus on Debian/Ubuntu derivatives. openHAB 2 can be set up and executed on other Linux distributions, the steps may slightly differ.

All instructions can be executed in a terminal or remotely via SSH connection.

This page is structured as follows:

If you are unfamiliar with Linux, SSH and the Linux console or if you want to improve your skills, read up on these important topics. A lot of helpful articles can be found on the internet, for example:

  • “Learn the ways of Linux-fu, for free” interactively with exercises at linuxjourney.com.

Linux file permissions is one of the biggest sources of issues, Linux novices run into. If you find yourself in a situation, where you have no write access to the openHAB configuration or system files wrong permissions and/or the incorrect use of sudo are often the cause. Train your understanding of Linux permissions at linuxjourney.com/lesson/file-permissions.

Meeting the Requirements: As a first step, please verify, that your system meets the prerequisites.

A repository providing the latest Oracle Java 8 revision (above “101”) is being maintained by the Webupd8 Team. Follow the provided guides for either a repository based or a PPA based installation. In short these are the commands to execute step-by-step on most systems:

echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu xenial main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-java.list
echo "deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu xenial main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-java.list
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys EEA14886
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-set-default

Installation

openHAB 2 can be installed though a package repository or manually from file. The installation through a provided package repository (using apt / apt-get) is recommended for end users. The manual installation through a platform independent archive file is suited for users who know what they are doing and systems with a non-Debian distribution, not using the apt/deb package system.

Package Repository Installation

Installation through a package repository is the recommended choice on Debian/Ubuntu derivatives. Alternatively resort to the manual installation approach.

First, add the openHAB 2 Bintray repository key to your package manager:

wget -qO - 'https://bintray.com/user/downloadSubjectPublicKey?username=openhab' | sudo apt-key add -

Then, you can choose between, Official (Stable), Beta or Snapshot builds:

  • Official Release

    The stable builds contain the latest official release with tested features.

    Add the openHAB 2 Stable Repository to your systems apt sources list:

    echo 'deb http://dl.bintray.com/openhab/apt-repo2 stable main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openhab2.list
    
  • Beta Release

    The beta builds come out less frequently, but will contain new features that are currently in the testing phase.

    Add the openHAB 2 Beta Repository to your systems apt sources list:

    echo 'deb http://dl.bintray.com/openhab/apt-repo2 testing main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openhab2.list
    
  • Snapshot Release

    The snapshot build is created almost daily, and includes the latest changes to the openHAB 2 core and add-ons. These changes are often unstable, so you should use this branch only for testing or development purposes.

    Add the openHAB 2 Unstable Repository to your systems apt sources list:

    echo 'deb http://dl.bintray.com/openhab/apt-repo2 unstable main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openhab2.list
    

Next, resynchronize the package index:

sudo apt-get update

Now install openHAB with the following command:

sudo apt-get install openhab2

When you choose to install an add-on, openHAB will download it from the internet on request. If you plan on disconnecting your machine from the internet, then you will want to also install the add-ons package.

sudo apt-get install openhab2-addons

Optionally, you may in addition install the legacy add-ons package openhab2-addons-legacy. This package contains 1.x bindings, for which there is already a 2.x version available. This might be useful if you’re coming from openHAB 1.x for example.

If everything went well, you can start openHAB and register it to be automatically executed at system startup:

  • Linux init systems based on sysVinit (e.g. Debian 7, Ubuntu 14.x, Raspbian Wheezy and earlier):

    sudo /etc/init.d/openhab2 start
    sudo /etc/init.d/openhab2 status
    
    sudo update-rc.d openhab2 defaults
    
  • Linux init systems based on systemd (e.g. Debian 8, Ubuntu 15.x, Raspbian Jessie and newer):

    sudo systemctl start openhab2.service
    sudo systemctl status openhab2.service
    
    sudo systemctl daemon-reload
    sudo systemctl enable openhab2.service
    

The first start may take up to 15 minutes, this is a good time to reward yourself with hot coffee or a freshly brewed tea!

You should be able to reach the openHAB 2 portal at http://openhab-device:8080 at this point. If you’re new to openHAB, then you should checkout the beginner’s tutorial!

The openHAB 2 portal page

Upgrade

To stay up to date with new releases, you should do regular upgrades. This is especially important if you are working with the latest snapshot as changes and fixes are incorporated constantly.

Your personal configuration will be retained on upgrades. We still recommend a backup before each upgrade.

Upgrading is as easy as:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Changing Versions

You may want to switch to a different repo, or an older (but more stable) version of openHAB. To do this, simply select the repo as in the installation instructions above, then find the version by bringing a list of all versions available to install:

sudo apt-get update
apt-cache showpkg openhab2

Once you know which version you want, you can upgrade/downgrade to it by using the apt-get install=[version] command, for example:

sudo apt-get install openhab2=2.0.0-1

Backup and Restore

To make a backup of your openHAB 2 system, you need to retain your configuration and userdata files.

# stop openhab instance (here: systemd service)
sudo systemctl stop openhab2.service

# backup current installation with settings
TIMESTAMP=`date +%Y%m%d_%H%M%S`;
mkdir  ~/openhab2-backup-$TIMESTAMP
cp -arv /etc/openhab2 ~/openhab2-backup-$TIMESTAMP/conf
cp -arv /var/lib/openhab2 ~/openhab2-backup-$TIMESTAMP/userdata

# restart openhab instance
sudo systemctl start openhab2.service

If you later want to restore settings, just replace them. Maybe you will need to delete the existing data first.

# stop openhab instance (here: systemd service)
sudo systemctl stop openhab2.service

# restore data
sudo cp -arv ~/openhab2-backup-20160131_235959/conf/* /etc/openhab2/
sudo cp -arv ~/openhab2-backup-20160131_235959/userdata/* /var/lib/openhab2/

# restart openhab instance
sudo systemctl start openhab2.service

Uninstall

To uninstall openHAB 2 and get rid of all related files managed by the apt package manager, make a backup, then uninstall openHAB and remove the repository:

sudo apt-get purge openhab2*
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openhab2.list

Manual Installation

The manual installation/setup is an alternative to the otherwise recommended installation through package repository.

First, create a Linux system user for openHAB. This user will later serve to execute the openHAB runtime with restricted permissions and can be used by other services like Samba if desired.

sudo adduser --system --no-create-home --group --disabled-login openhab

We are going to download a platform independent archive file and extract it to the path /opt/openhab2. Choose between the latest Beta release or a Snapshot with all incoming contributions, created daily. As openHAB 2 is still in an evolving state, the snapshot may be the preferred choice.

  • Official Release

    Download and extract the latest offical version of openHAB 2 from bintray.com/openhab to your host.

    cd /tmp
    wget -O openhab-download.zip https://bintray.com/openhab/mvn/download_file?file_path=org%2Fopenhab%2Fdistro%2Fopenhab%2F2.0.0%2Fopenhab-2.0.0.zip
    sudo unzip openhab-download.zip -d /opt/openhab2
    rm openhab-download.zip
    
  • Beta/RC Release

    Download and extract the desired beta or release client version of openHAB 2 from bintray.com/openhab to your host. We will use openhab-offline-2.0.0.RC1.zip as an example:

    cd /tmp
    wget -O openhab-download.zip https://bintray.com/openhab/mvn/download_file?file_path=org%2Fopenhab%2Fdistro%2Fopenhab%2F2.0.0.RC1%2Fopenhab-2.0.0.RC1.zip
    sudo unzip openhab-download.zip -d /opt/openhab2
    rm openhab-download.zip
    
  • Snapshot Release

    Download and extract the latest snapshot version of openHAB 2 as a zip file from openhab.ci.cloudbees.com to your host, for example:

    cd /tmp
    wget https://openhab.ci.cloudbees.com/job/openHAB-Distribution/lastSuccessfulBuild/artifact/distributions/openhab/target/openhab-2.0.0-SNAPSHOT.zip
    sudo unzip openhab-2.0.0-SNAPSHOT.zip -d /opt/openhab2
    rm openhab-2.0.0-SNAPSHOT.zip
    

The extracted openHAB files should belong to the earlier created openhab user. Execute:

sudo chown -hR openhab:openhab /opt/openhab2

Everything is ready for a first test run. Execute openHAB and you should be able to reach the openHAB 2 Portal at http://openhab-device:8080 after a few minutes:

# execute as restricted user openhab:
sudo su -s /bin/bash -c '/opt/openhab2/start.sh' openhab

You will see the openHAB Karaf Console in your terminal and can directly interact with it. Please be aware, that openHAB 2 will need a few minutes so finish the first start, even after the Karaf console is visible. Let openHAB 2 settle for around 15 minutes. If the portal is not reachable by then, restart once.

The openHAB 2 portal page

An important downside of the above method is, that openHAB will be terminated, as soon as you close your terminal. To work around that, a quick solution is, to execute openHAB in a detached screen terminal.

A cleaner approach is to create a Linux service.

Service

The following instructions are intended for a Linux init system based on systemd (e.g. Debian 8 / Ubuntu 15.x and newer). This will allow you to register openHAB as a service, so that it runs at startup and automatically restarts if openHAB crashes. The service will be running with the privileges of the user “openhab” and expects the openHAB files under /opt/openhab2.

Create the file /lib/systemd/system/openhab2.service with the following content:

[Unit]
Description=The openHAB 2 Home Automation Bus Solution
Documentation=http://docs.openhab.org
Wants=network-online.target
After=network-online.target

[Service]
Type=simple
User=openhab
Group=openhab
GuessMainPID=yes
WorkingDirectory=/opt/openhab2
#EnvironmentFile=/etc/default/openhab2
ExecStart=/opt/openhab2/start.sh server
ExecStop=/bin/kill -SIGINT $MAINPID
Restart=on-failure

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Next, enable the service to be executed on system startup, start the service and retrieve status information:

# initialize the new service (execute only once)
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable openhab2.service

#start and retrieve status
sudo systemctl start openhab2.service
sudo systemctl status openhab2.service

The output of status after a successful execution should be similar to:

 openhab2.service - The openHAB 2 Home Automation Bus Solution
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/openhab2.service; enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Thu 2016-08-14 01:16:00 GMT; 18h ago
     Docs: http://docs.openhab.org

Installing add-ons

When running a manual installation, it is possible to pre-download add-ons or legacy add-ons if you want to install any bindings at a later date without connecting to the internet. Simply download the kar files (the latest builds can be found here) and move them to the /opt/openhab2/addons folder.

Upgrade, Backup and Restore

To stay up to date with new releases, you should do regular upgrades of your manual installation. This is especially important if you are working with the latest snapshot as changes and fixes are incorporated constantly.

Your personal configuration will be retained on upgrades. We still recommend a backup before each upgrade.

To upgrade your manual installation, you simply need to replace the openHAB runtime files. Make sure to first stop your openHAB instance.

To make a backup of your openHAB 2 system, you need to retain your configuration and userdata files.

The following shell commands will create a backup, install the newest openHAB 2 version and restore settings:

# stop openhab instance (here: systemd service)
sudo systemctl stop openhab2.service

# backup current installation with settings
TIMESTAMP=`date +%Y%m%d_%H%M%S`;
sudo mv /opt/openhab2 /opt/openhab2-backup-$TIMESTAMP

# download new version (please replace URL)
cd /tmp
wget https://openhab.ci.cloudbees.com/job/openHAB-Distribution/lastSuccessfulBuild/artifact/distributions/openhab/target/openhab-2.0.0-SNAPSHOT.zip
sudo unzip openhab-2.0.0-SNAPSHOT.zip -d /opt/openhab2
rm openhab-2.0.0-SNAPSHOT.zip

# restore configuration and userdata
sudo cp -arv /opt/openhab2-backup-$TIMESTAMP/conf /opt/openhab2/
sudo cp -arv /opt/openhab2-backup-$TIMESTAMP/userdata /opt/openhab2/

# fix permissions
sudo chown -hR openhab:openhab /opt/openhab2

# restart openhab instance
sudo systemctl start openhab2.service

Uninstall

To uninstall (or more precisely remove) openHAB 2 after being manually set up, take a backup if needed and then simply stop and deactivate the openHAB service and get rid of all files:

sudo systemctl stop openhab2.service
sudo systemctl disable openhab2.service
sudo rm -rf /opt/openhab2/
sudo rm /lib/systemd/system/openhab2.service

File Locations

  Repository Installation Manual Installation (according to guide)
openHAB application /usr/share/openhab2 /opt/openhab2
Additional add-on files /usr/share/openhab2/addons /opt/openhab2/addons
Site configuration /etc/openhab2 /opt/openhab2/conf
Log files /var/log/openhab2 /opt/openhab2/userdata/logs
Userdata like rrd4j databases /var/lib/openhab2 /opt/openhab2/userdata
Service configuration /etc/default/openhab2 (not preconfigured)

Viewing Log Messages

In order to get more insight on what your openHAB system is doing and to see occurring error messages, it is recommended to always have a look on the openHAB log files. These will tell you everything you might need to know. Execute the following command in one session or have both files separated in sessions side by side:

  • Package repository based installation:

    tail -f /var/log/openhab2/openhab.log -f /var/log/openhab2/events.log
    
  • Manual installation:

    tail -f /opt/openhab2/userdata/logs/openhab.log -f /opt/openhab2/userdata/logs/events.log
    

You could even set up an SSH configuration (in Putty or similar) to automatically connect and execute the commands every time you start working on your setup.

With openHAB 2 you can also use the Karaf console to have a colored glance at the logging information.

The following is not directly related to the openHAB installation but rather recommended on a openHAB system. The need for these and the exact implementation on a specific system might differ from user to user.

Privileges for Common Peripherals

An openHAB setup will often rely on hardware like a modem, transceiver or adapter to interface with home automation hardware. Examples are a Z-Wave, Enocean or RXFcom USB Stick or a Raspberry Pi add-on board connected to the serial port on its GPIOs. In order to allow openHAB to communicate with additional peripherals, it has to be added to corresponding Linux groups. The following example shows how to add Linux user openhab to the often needed groups dialout and tty. Additional groups may be needed, depending on your hardware and software setup.

sudo adduser openhab dialout
sudo adduser openhab tty

Additionally it’s needed to allow the java environment to access the serial port of the connected peripheral. Therefore the following setting has to be added/adapted on your system in file /etc/default/openhab2:

EXTRA_JAVA_OPTS="-Dgnu.io.rxtx.SerialPorts=/dev/ttyUSB0:/dev/ttyS0:/dev/ttyAMA0"

The shown device handlers are just the three most common examples. Please contact the community forum for more detailed information regarding individual hardware.

Java Network Permissions

The Java Virtual Machine hosting openHAB is restricted in it’s permissions to interact on network level for security reasons. Some openHAB add-ons, like the Network or AmazonDash bindings, need elevated permissions to work. If needed, grand these permissions by executing the following command:

setcap 'cap_net_raw,cap_net_admin=+eip cap_net_bind_service=+ep' `realpath /usr/bin/java`

Network Sharing

openHAB depends on configuration files and folders with custom content (details in Configuration articles). Because your openHAB installation most probably is stored on a remote device, being able to easily access and modify these files from your local PC or Mac is important, therefore setting up a Samba network share is highly recommended.

The Eclipse SmartHome Designer software does also depend on a mounted share to access the openHAB configuration files.

We will now guide you through the Samba network shares setup process. Start by installing Samba. Afterwards open it’s configuration file in your favorite editor:

sudo apt-get install samba samba-common-bin
sudo vim /etc/samba/smb.conf

Change the workgroup name if needed, otherwise uncomment and enable WINS support:

wins support = yes

Next, add the desired share configurations to the end of the file:

  • Package repository based installation:

    [openHAB2-userdata]
      comment=openHAB2 userdata
      path=/var/lib/openhab2
      browseable=Yes
      writeable=Yes
      only guest=no
      public=no
      create mask=0777
      directory mask=0777
    
    [openHAB2-conf]
      comment=openHAB2 site configuration
      path=/etc/openhab2
      browseable=Yes
      writeable=Yes
      only guest=no
      public=no
      create mask=0777
      directory mask=0777
    
  • Manual installation:

    [openHAB-files]
      comment=openHAB2
      path=/opt/openhab2
      browseable=Yes
      writeable=Yes
      only guest=no
      public=no
      create mask=0777
      directory mask=0777
    

Save and close the samba configuration file.

The shares are configured to be not open for guests nor to the public. Let’s activate the “openhab” user as a samba user and set his password (e.g. “habopen”):

sudo smbpasswd -a openhab

Be aware, that creating and later using a specific user will ensure, that permissions are honored. Make sure, the “openhab” user has ownership and/or write access to the openHAB configuration files. This can be accomplished by executing:

sudo chown -hR openhab:openhab /etc/openhab2 /opt/openhab2/conf

Finally check the configuration file for correctness and restart Samba to load the new settings:

testparm

# Linux init systems based on sysVinit
sudo service smbd restart
# Linux init systems based on systemd
sudo systemctl restart smbd.service

Mounting Locally

After setting up and restarting Samba, check your connection to the shared folder and create a permanent mount. Check the network devices manager of your local operating system to find and access your openHAB host and share. These might however not be auto-discovered. You can also manually connect:

  • On Mac OS X: Open Finder → Go → Connect to Server: smb://openhab@openhab-device.local
  • On Windows: Open Windows Explorer → Address bar: \\openhab-device.local → Right click a share and assign a drive letter

Be sure to use the actual host name instead of openhab-device. When asked, authenticate with the username “openhab” and the chosen password. If you are not able to connect, try with the IP of your device (e.g. smb://openhab@192.168.0.2 or \\192.168.0.2).

If everything went well, you are set and ready to start configuring your openHAB system.