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Jul 31, 2018

Open Lighting Architecture - OLA

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The Open Lighting Architecture (OLA) is a framework for controlling entertainment lighting equipment. Within the entertainment lighting industry, the Digital Multiplex protocol (DMX-512) and IP variants such as Streaming ACN (sACN) are used to control lighting fixtures.

OLA provides the distribution layer that abstracts away the various protocols used. This allows authors of lighting control software to focus on generating the control information, rather than having to implement support for different hardware devices & network protocols. OLA runs on Linux & Mac OS X, some features will also work on Windows.

OLA can also be used to convert between different network protocols. With the use of a USB to DMX512 device, OLA can act as a DMX-over-IP to DMX512 gateway.

OLA consists of three parts, the daemon olad, the olad plugins and the client library, libola.

Documentation on OLA, including examples on how to get started, are provided on the Open Lighting Architecture Docs site. The pages are automatically updated from the git repository.

Downloading OLA

OLA is distributed in a number of formats, including Debian / Ubuntu Packages and MacPorts. The OLA Downloads page has more information.

Tagged releases in the git repository are signed. To import the public key, run:

$ git cat-file blob simon-pubkey | gpg --import

and then to verify the release:

$ git tag -v 0.9.6


Support for OLA is provided via the mailing list and IRC channel. The Getting Help page has more details.



The OLA plugins are located in ./plugins. For a walkthrough of an example see plugins/osc/

C++ Library

The C++ Client is in ./ola. The C++ DMX Client API Tutorial has various examples on how one can use the client.

Python Module

The Python module can be built by running configure with --enable-python-libs. There are examples on how to use the Python API in python/examples.

Java Library

There is an experimental Java library which can be built by running configure with --enable-java-libs.


The AUTHORS files contains a list of code contributors. A full list of supporters is published on the website.