Home Automation for Geeks

Home automation nowadays comprises much more than just lighting and HVAC. New Internet of Things devices and services are hitting the market constantly. But how to easily integrate them with each other? The open source project openHAB addresses this problem: it connects to a multitude of different systems and comes with powerful automation rules and nice UIs. Its modular architecture guarantees simple extensibility. While running it on small and cheap embedded devices such as the Raspberry Pi, you can explore the world of home automation beyond the ordinary: do a presence simulation with the push of a button, see live charts of your sensor data, or adjust your irrigation schedule through Google Calendar. Be prepared to see geeky hardware in the live demo in this session.

Kai Kreuzer
Kai Kreuzer is a Java and OSGi expert and a Home Automation enthusiast. He works as a Developer Evangelist in the Connected Home department of Deutsche Telekom AG. In his spare time he automates all aspects of his house – for which he founded the openHAB project early in 2010.
View more trainings by Kai Kreuzer at https://www.parleys.com/author/kai-kreuzer

Thomas Eichstädt-Engelen
Senior Consultant at innoQ Deutschland, has a strong focus on developing individual custom software with Eclipse Technologies (Java, RCP, OSGi). In his spare time he is passionately enhancing openHAB where he is committer since 2010.
View more trainings by Thomas Eichstädt-Engelen at https://www.parleys.com/author/thomas-eichstädt-engelen

Find more related tutorials at https://www.parleys.com/category/developer-training-tutorials


4 Open House Automation Alternative Solutions for OpenHAB

The Internet of Things is not only a buzzword, it’s actually a extremely fast increasing fact.

With an ever-expanding variety of devices offered to make it easier to automate, protect, and monitor your property, it has no time before been simpler nor more tempting to have a go at home automation. Whether you’re trying to regulate your HVAC(Heating Ventilating Air Cooling) system from another location, integrate a home entertainment, safeguard your home from robbing, fire, or another threats, reduce your electrical power consumption, or perhaps control a few lights, there are many devices available at your convenience.

While connected devices oftentimes contain proprietary components, a good initial step in bringing open source into your home automation system is to make certain the device that ties your devices together-and presents you with an interface to them (the “hub”)-is open source. Luckily, there are plenty of choices out there, with alternatives to run on everything from your always-on PC to a Raspberry Pi.

Have a look at a part of our favs.


OpenHAB (short for Open Home Automation Bus) is among the most widely known home automation tools among open source enthusiasts, with a significant user community and many supported devices and integrations. Written in Java, openHAB is portable across many major systems and also runs effectively on the Raspberry Pi. Supporting 100s of devices, openHAB is designed to be device-agnostic while making it simpler for developers to include their own devices or plugins to the system. OpenHAB also ships android and ios applications for device control, along with a design tools to help you build your own UI for your smart home system.

You can get openHAB’s source code on GitHub licensed under the Eclipse Public License. https://github.com/openhab/openhab


Calaos is created as a full-stack home automation system, together with a server application, touch screen interface, web application, native mobile apps for android and ios, and a preconfigured Linux operating system to run underneath. English speaking readers should be advised that, while some English documentation is present, part of the instructional material together with support community forums are chiefly in French.

Calaos is licensed under version 3 of the GPL and you can view its source code on GitHub. https://github.com/calaos


Domoticz is a home automation system with a very wide selection of supported devices, which range from weather stations to smoke sensors to remote controls, with a huge amount of extra third party integrations documented on the project’s website. It’s designed with an HTML5 frontend, rendering it reachable from both desktop browsers together with most recent handsets, and is light-weight, running on loads of low power products similar to the Raspberry Pi.

Domoticz is written primarily in C/C++ under the GPLv3, and its source code could be browsed on GitHub. https://github.com/domoticz/domoticz

Home Assistant

Home Assistant is an open source home automation platform, and is designed to be conveniently deployed on virtually any machine which could run Python 3, from a Raspberry Pi to a NAS device, and moreover ships with a Docker container to make implementing on other systems really easy. It brings together with various open source as well as business oriented solutions, which means you can link, as an illustration, IFTTT, weather information, or maybe your Amazon Echo device, to manages from locks to lights to even a command line notifier.

Home Assistant is released under an MIT license, and its source code is offred from GitHub. https://github.com/balloob/home-assistant


OpenMotics is a smart home automation system with both software and hardware under open source licenses, designed at providing an in depth system for controlling devices rather than stitching together many devices from diverse providers. Far apart from many of the other systems designed primarily for effortless retrofitting, OpenMotics focuses primarily on a conventional hardwired solution. To learn more, see our full article from OpenMotics backend developer Frederick Ryckbosch.

The source code for OpenMotics is licensed under the GPLv2 and is available for download on GitHub. https://github.com/openmotics

These are not the only available options, not surprisingly. Many home automation enthusiasts choose a diverse solution, or possibly decide to roll their very own. Several other potential choices to contemplate involve LinuxMCE, PiDome, MisterHouse or smarthomatic. Other people opt for personal smart home devices without including them into a single extensive system.

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