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Linux and OS X

Thomas Dietrich edited this page Dec 24, 2016 · 3 revisions


Note: for Hardware specific details for Synology Diskstation, QNAP, and ARM boards like Raspberry Pi visit:


openHAB is a Java application and is expected to run on all platforms where JVM 1.8 or later is available. This includes Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux on x86, x86_64, and ARM architectures. openHAB can be run on laptops, desktop computers, or ARM based single-board computers.


  • Note: As of the release of openHAB 1.7.1 on 26. Juli 2015 the deb-repository is digitally signed! Therefore you will have to add the "openHAB Bintray Repositories" gpg key to your apt keyring if you want to use the repo. This is also necessary for the installation of releases prior to 1.7.1.. The key installation is described below.


  1. Install Java if 1.8 or higher is not already installed. The following will display your current Java version.
java -version
  1. Add the openHAB Bintray Repositories key to the apt-keyring

using wget:

wget -qO - '' | sudo apt-key add -

or using curl:

curl '' | sudo apt-key add -
  1. Add openHAB apt repository to the apt sources list (Note: the current openhab.list file will be overwritten)
echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openhab.list
  1. Resynchronize the package index
sudo apt-get update
  1. Install the openHAB runtime
sudo apt-get install openhab-runtime
  1. If you have more than one OpenHAB binding with a USB device (Z-Wave, RFXCOM, etc), refer to symlinks

  2. Start openHAB - manually

  3. Init based on sysVinit (e.g. Debian 7 / Ubuntu 14.x and earlier)

sudo /etc/init.d/openhab start
sudo /etc/init.d/openhab status
  1. Init based on systemd (e.g. Debian 8 / Ubuntu 15.x and higher)
sudo systemctl start openhab.service
sudo systemctl status openhab.service
  1. Start openHAB - at system startup
  2. Init based on sysVinit (e.g. Debian 7 / Ubuntu 14.x and earlier)
sudo update-rc.d openhab defaults

or using Init based on systemd (e.g. Debian 8 / Ubuntu 15.x and higher)

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable openhab
  1. Install the add-ons / bindings as you need them (see list on right side-bar)
sudo apt-get install openhab-addon-${addon-type}-${addon-name}


sudo apt-get install openhab-addon-binding-knx
sudo apt-get install openhab-addon-persistence-rrd4j
sudo apt-get install openhab-addon-io-dropbox
sudo apt-get install openhab-addon-action-twitter

A list of all available packages can be retrieved with

sudo apt-cache search openhab
  1. Configure your system as outlined here: configuration.

  2. If you wish to use a USB zwave stick or other USB/serial device you will need to add the "openhab" users to the "dialout" group:

sudo usermod -a -G dialout openhab

and then reboot.

  1. Test it

Point your browser to http://localhost:8080/ and you should see your sitemap.

Performance Tuning

Once your system is stable and configured the way you want it, review Performance Tuning

To Upgrade

Note: changed configuration files will be retained even on upgrades.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

File locations

  • service configuration /etc/default/openhab
  • site configuration /etc/openhab
  • log files /var/log/openhab
  • userdata like rrd4j databases /var/lib/openhab
  • openHAB engine, addons and /webapps folder /usr/share/openhab

Advanced Setup

Apt Repository Distributions

  1. stable

The latest stable openHAB release will be installed.

  1. testing

The latest release candidate of openHAB will be installed.

  1. unstable (not yet available)

The latest snapshot release of openHAB will be installed.

  1. version based distribution names (1.7.0, ...)

All Releases are available as with a distribution name corresponding to the version name. If you want to stick your installation to a specific version use one of these distribution names. The installation will only be upgraded if you change the sources.list to another version. Therefore "apt-get update && apt-get upgrade" can be safely used for the other linux software.


echo "deb 1.7.0 main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
echo "deb 1.7.0.RC1 main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

Snapshot builds

Not yet available.

Java 8 Installation for Ubuntu or Debian

su -
echo "deb trusty main" | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-java.list
echo "deb-src trusty main" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-java.list
apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys EEA14886
apt-get update
apt-get purge openjdk* # (to remove previously installed lower versions)
apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Manual installation (alternative approach)

WARNING: this quick setup is an example for a KNX environment. You need different addons and configurations for other bindings.

Installing the openHAB runtime

The openHAB runtime comes as a platform-independent zip file. To install it, follow these simple steps:

  1. You will need to install Java if not already installed. Go to to get it. For ARM based systems and Synology Diskstation, see Hardware FAQ for instructions on getting Java.
  2. Unzip the openhab-runtime-<version>.zip to where it is intended to be running from, e.g. /opt/openhab.
  3. Copy the bindings you have downloaded -knx-binding-<version>.jar and http-binding-<version>.jar- to the "addons" directory.
  4. Create a personal configuration file configurations/openhab.cfg and add the appropriate configuration parameters from configurations/openhab_default.cfg (depending on the bindings you've copied).

OPTIONAL: Installing the openHAB designer

The openHAB designer comes as a platform-dependent zip, so choose the right type for your platform. To install it, follow these simple steps:

  1. Unzip the openhab-designer-<platform>-<version>.zip to some directory, e.g. /opt/openhab-designer
  2. Launch it by the executable openHAB-Designer
  3. Select the "configurations" folder of your runtime installation in the folder dialog that is shown when selecting the "open folder" toolbar icon.

Configuring the server

For please visit the configuration page(s).

Start the server!

  1. Launch the runtime by executing the script

Go test it!

openHAB comes with a built-in user interface. It works on all webkit-based browsers like Chrome, Safari, etc. Point your browser to http://localhost:8080/ and you should be looking at your sitemap.

Yocto Layer

For people who make their own linux distribution using Yocto, there is a openHAB layer available:

You can also find it through the very convenient layer search site:

The layer contains one recipe that install both the runtime engine and addons. Check the README for specific instructions for the layer. How to add and use a layer is not covered here (you need to know that in order use Yocto in the first place), but some explanation can be found here:

Via Chef

There is a chef cookbook available at It can install from the Debian packages or via source.

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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