Hardware FAQ

jk2020 edited this page Dec 18, 2016 · 98 revisions


This page summarizes how to get openHAB server running on specific ARM hardware.

ARM Single-Board Computers

ARM-based computers are a popular choice due to low cost, small size, low power consumption and fan-less operation. They are usually extensible with available add-on components and via programmable GPIO.

ONLY use the vendor forums recommended Wifi, SD card and power supply. These systems have little headroom in their specs and may be flaky with other devices. A lot of power supplies don't actually deliver what they claim, so again, go with a recommended model or you will get random flakiness and reboots. If you experience dropped or duplicated packets from a USB device (keyboard, wifi, Z-Wave), search the vendor's forums for "keyboard not working". You may need to upgrade firmware or use specific ports and settings for the USB devices.

System Cores Ghz SoC/CPU Gb RAM IO Storage Primary OS
RaspPi 1/A 1 0.7 A5 0.5 GPIO SD Raspbian
RaspPi 2/B 4 0.9 A7 1.0 GPIO µSD Raspbian
RaspPi 3 64 Bit 4 1.2 A53 1.0 GPIO µSD Raspbian
Beagle Blk 2 1.0 A8 0.5 GPIO µSD, eMMC Slot Ubuntu
BananaPi /Pro 2 1.0 A20/A7 1.0 GPIO µ/SD SATA Bananian
BananaPi M3 8 1.2-1.8 A83T/A7 2.0 GPIO µSD, eMMC, SATA via USB Bananian
BananaPi M64 64Bit 4 1.2 A64/A53 2.0 GPIO eMMC Bananian
ODROID C1+ 4 1.5 A5 1.0 GPIO µSD, eMMC Slot Ubuntu
ODROID C2 64Bit 4 1.5 A53 2.0 GPIO µSD, eMMC Slot Ubuntu
Cubieboard 3 CT 2 1.0 A20/A7 2.0 GPIO µSD, eMMC Slot, SATA 2.0 Ubuntu
Cubieboard 4 4 1.3 A80/A7 2.0 GPIO µSD, eMMC Slot, USB3.0 Ubuntu
Cubieboard 5 CT+ 8 1.3 A80/A7 2.0 GPIO µSD, eMMC Slot, SATA via USB Ubuntu

Raspberry Pi2

Raspberry PI 2

  • Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1

A proven choice for small residential installations.

NOTE There have been issues with the zwave binding on the RPi. Refer to the z-wave binding for more information


  1. Install Raspbian Wheezy release 2014-01-07 or later. It includes Java 7 JRE that meets openHAB JVM requirements.

  2. Install openHAB - - as described in Linux-and-OS-X

Optionally, a complete JDK 7 or 8 for Linux ARM v6/v7 Hard Float ABI is available for download from Oracle or from Apt Repository.

Tweaking Performance

Stay up to date with rpi-update (https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update/)

tmpfs on SD card based devices

This article has tracked down the reason for the high I/O load you may experience when running openHAB on devices which use a SD card as storage media for the root (and /tmp) filesystem. Because the forum article is in german, here is a short summary:

  • The Apache Fileinstall Bundle is used to continuously check the $OPENHAB_HOME/addons folder in openHAB
  • The bundle writes nearly continously to /tmp/fileinstall-...
  • When uncommenting/setting RAMTMP=yes in /etc/default/tmpfs these I/O operations will be RAM access rather than slow SD card I/O
  • (on Raspbian Jessie, RAMTMP is ignored - set this with "systemctl enable tmp.mount")
Change GPU memory usage

For headless, reduce memory down to 16, this can be done by using raspi-config

Disabling TV Service

For headless, add these to /etc/rc.local:

# Limit GPU IRQs
fbset -xres 16 -yres 16 -vyres 16 -depth 8
/opt/vc/bin/tvservice -o

Overclocking does not seem to have a significant impact.

CubieBoard, ODroid, BeagleBone Black

These systems work well with OpenHAB for relatively large installations.

1. Install Linux distro

Recommended Linux distros:

  • ODroid C1: Ubuntu 14.04

  • BeagleBone Black: Ubuntu 14.04

  • CubieBoard2 or CubieTruck - Use Cubiuntu

2. Install JAVA - see java installation

3. Install and setup OpenHAB - as described in Linux---OS-X

Banana Pi (bPi)

Recommended distro: raspbian.

All about performance tweaking from Rpi above is applicable for the bPi too, but the most important thing is the SATA Port which enables users to work around the poor I/O performance of the SD card subsystem.

The SATA connection is the key if you want to run an openhab server (also a not-so-small installation) on such board. You can switch from SD card to SATA disks like described here.

Performance impact

The following data is taken from the monitoring of my openhab server which has about 75 items, 50 rules and 80 sitemap-items.

Without changing anything else but the mass storage from SD card (Transcend SDHC UHC-I X600) to SSD (Crucial M500) overall cpu load dropped from 2.x to about 0.8.

CPU load

Key to this was the reduction of I/O wait (writing to SD card) from 25% to below 5% in cpu utilization.

CPU utilization

So far the combination of Banana Pi and SATA SSD can be highly recommended.

Power supply of SATA devices

Be aware of power issues if you plan to use a normal (mechanical) hard disk. The bPi is only able to supply the 5V part of SATA power. Mechanical 3.5'' hard disks usually utilize 12V for the mechanical parts (disk spin motor, head control) and 5V for the electronical part. SATA SSD's and most 2.5'' HD's only use 5V and in general they do not require the 12V supply power to be present. For running an bPi with SATA SSD or 2.5'' HD the bPi-specific SATA/Power cable is sufficient in most cases.

feature overview


Setup intro

Linux and OS X





User Interfaces



(link to openHAB forum)



Application Integration



A good source of inspiration and tips from users gathered over the years. Be aware that things may have changed since they were written and some examples might not work correctly.

Please update the wiki if you do come across any out of date information.

Binding configurations

Use case examples

Item definition examples

Sitemap definition examples

Collections of Rules on a single page

Single Rules


Syntax highlighting for external editors

Release Notes

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