Pytomation is an extensible device communication and automation system written in Python. It's uses include home automation and lighting control but is certainly not limited to that. It is supported on any platform that supports Python ( Windows, Mac OS-X, Linux, etc )
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Pytomation is an extensible device communication and automation system written in Python. It's uses include home automation and lighting control but is certainly not limited to that. It is supported on any platform that support Python ( Windows, Mac OS-X, Linux, etc )


Pytomation currently has support for the following hardware interfaces with more planned in the future.

Near Future

  • Python 3 support
  • Restrictive User security (beyond the current admin user)


  • Written in Python
  • Mobile Web and Android clients w/ continuous device state updates (web-sockets)
  • Voice Commands from Android (“Home Control” app)
  • Local Telnet and Web access
  • Unique language to describe devices and actions
  • Smart objects: Doors, Lights, Motion, Photocell etc.
  • Optional “Mainloop” programming, for more complicated control
  • Optional “Event driven” programming, for complex actions when a device state changes
  • Time of day on and off control
  • Delays for time off
  • Idle command, device will return to "idle" state
  • Map one command to another with optional source and time
  • Good hardware support with more coming
  • Very easy to add new hardware drivers
  • Good documentation complete with examples
  • Much more



Before you can create an instance and run Pytomation automation software you must satisfy a few dependencies. Pytomation is written in Python and currently has been tested under versions 2.6.x and 2.7.x.

Pytomation also requires the following packages to be installed for normal operation:

  • pySerial - Support for RS232 serial interfaces.
  • Pyephem - High-precision astronomy computations for sunrise/sunset.
  • Pytz - World timezone definitions.
  • APScheduler - Advanced Python Scheduler

Optional Packages:

  • python-gevent - A coroutine-based Python networking library (PytoWebSocketServer)
  • python-openssl - Allows the PytoWebSocketServer to use native SSL (https and wss connections)

Additional packages are required for development and testing. See requirements.txt for a more complete list.

Debian packages are available for pySerial, pytz, python-gevent, and python-openssl. They can be installed with :

sudo apt-get install git python-dev python-serial python-tz python-gevent python-openssl

For other operating systems, search your package manager for the equivalent packages or use pip to install the Python dependencies.

The remaining dependencies can be installed with pip. Pip is a tool for installing and managing Python packages, such as those found in the Python Package Index.

Again, under Debian distributions you can install the python-pip package:

sudo apt-get install python-pip

Once pip is installed it is easy to install the rest of the dependencies with the following commands:

sudo pip install pyephem 
sudo pip install APScheduler

To use the optional websocket server:

sudo pip install gevent-websocket

The gevent-websocket server is pretty fast, but can be accelerated further by installing wsaccel and ujson or simplejson

sudo pip install wsaccel ujson

Website encryption (SSL)

  1. Follow steps 1-5 from:

  2. Then follow the steps from:

  3. Now generate server.crt, with the Subject Alternative Names specified (Ubuntu steps no longer work in Chrome/Android)

    echo "\n[SAN]\,DNS:pytomation" > extfile
    openssl x509 -req -extfile ./extfile -days 365 -in server.csr -CA /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem -CAkey /etc/ssl/private/cakey.pem -CAcreateserial -out server.crt
  4. Copy the key and crt you genterated from steps 2 and 3 (not the files from step 1) to folder that pytomation can access and name them server.key and server.crt.

  5. Set ssl_path, in pytomation/common/, to the folder you created.

  6. To import the root CA, on your client devices, so all your generated certificates work on your devices follow the steps from:

  7. To create a cert that can be imported into the android system, using root privelege:

    openssl x509 -inform PEM -subject_hash_old -in /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem | head -1
    cat /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem > [outputFromFirstCommand].0
    openssl x509 -inform PEM -text -in /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem -out /dev/null >> [outputFromFirstCommand].0


    cat /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem > 5ed36f99.0
    openssl x509 -inform PEM -text -in /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem -out /dev/null >> 5ed36f99.0

    Resulting file must be copied to /system/etc/security/cacerts/ on android system.

Build openzwave and python-openzwave

Aeon Labs Z-Wave requires python-openzwave, which must be compiled from source. It's highly recommend you use the archived source code. Version 3.0+ no longer requires Cython, which was the source of most of the build/seg fault issues with python-openzwave. 3.0beta2 has been tested to work on both a 64bit Ubuntu 14.04 system and a Raspberry PI. Instructions are at

The config for OpenZwave will be located in the extracted archive, at openzwave/config. I recommend copying the config to your system /etc:

sudo cp -R openzwave/config /etc/openzwave
sudo chown -R pyto:root /etc/openzwave
sudo chmod 660 /etc/openzwave/options.xml

Also note that if you have any security devices in your Zwave network, you will need to set the NetworkKey option in options.xml. That network key is why it's recommend to change the file permissions on options.xml, so only root and the pyto user can read it.


Like with all other interfaces. Make sure the pyto user account owns or otherwise has permissions to use the device. You may want to give your own usr account access as well.

sudo chown youruseraccount:pyto /dev/yourzwavestick
sudo chmod 770 /dev/yourzwavestick


sudo chown pyto:pyto /dev/yourzwavestick
sudo chmod 770 /dev/yourzwavestick

Make Permissions Permanent

Add the following either /etc/udev/rules.d or /lib/udev/rules.d (Similar procedure can be used for other serial interfaces. lsusb -v can grab the necessary ATTRS info.)

SUBSYSTEM=="tty", ATTRS{idVendor}=="10c4", ATTRS{idProduct}=="ea60", ATTRS{serial}=="0001", SYMLINK+="zwave", GROUP="pyto", OWNER="pyto"

ozwsh (OpenZWave Shell, for testing)

sudo pip install urwid louie
/ --device=/dev/yourzwavestick


You are now ready to install pytomation. First, clone the pytomation git repository. Change into the pytomation repo directory and run ./ You may have to make it executable with the command chmod +x ./ first. can take an optional argument which points to an alternate installation directory:

 ./ /some/other/folder/pytomation

The command does the following:

  • Confirms where you are installing Pytomation to.
  • Makes a "pyto" user and creates the home directory.
  • Copies all the necessary files into Pytomation's HOME.
  • Creates an /etc/init.d/pytomation init script for starting Pytomation on boot.
  • Configures pytomation to start automatically at boot time

You are now ready to configure pytomation and create an instance for your devices.