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Klaus Hildner edited this page Jun 19, 2015 · 9 revisions

How to use scripts in openHAB


openHAB comes with a very powerful expression language, which can be used to define scripts. A script is a code block that can be defined by the user and which can be called and thus reused from different places.

Defining Scripts

File Location

Scripts are placed in the folder ${openhab.home}/configurations/scripts. The runtime already comes with a demo file called demo.script. The filename defines the name of the script (without its extension) for references.

You find scripts also inside a "rules" file (placed in the folder ${openhab.home}/configurations/rules): scripts are used to define the EXECUTION_BLOCK of a rule, each rule is composed of a trigger part and a script part.

The Syntax

The expression language used within scripts is the same that is used in the Xtend language - see the documentation of expressions on the Xtend homepage.

The syntax is very similar to Java, but has many nice features that allows writing concise code. It is especially powerful in handling collections. What makes it a good match for openHAB from a technical perspective is the fact that there is no need to compile the scripts as they can be interpreted at runtime.

Variables and Functions

To be able to do something useful with the scripts, openHAB provides access to

  • all defined items, so that you can easily access them by their name
  • all enumerated states/commands, e.g. ON, OFF, DOWN, INCREASE etc.
  • all standard actions to make something happen

Combining these features, you can easily write code like

    if(Temperature.state < 20) {
    	sendCommand(Heating, ON)

The return Statement

If you want to stop the rule/script execution you have to qualify a return value. If you don't explicitly provide this it can result in unintended rule behaviour. E.g.:

if(Temperature.state >= 20) return false

sendCommand(Heating, ON)

Differences between Rules and Scripts

As of OpenHAB 1.7, there are a few differences between a Rules EXECUTION_BLOCK code and a script.

  1. You cannot use the "import" statement within a script. You must fully qualify each and every reference with the complete package name. For example, a JODA DateTime reference must be org.joda.time.DateTime (e.g. var org.joda.time.DateTime myDateTimeVariable).

  2. You cannot reference script-level variables from within a closure block. For example, in a rule, code like createTimer(now) [| myVariable = 1 ] is valid, assuming "myVariable" is defined globally for the rule. In a script, that same access would fail with an error about myVariable not being final.

IDE Support

The openHAB Designer offers full IDE support for scripts, which includes syntax checks and coloring, validation with error markers, content assist (Ctrl+Space) etc. This makes the creation of scripts very easy!

Calling Scripts

A script is identified by its filename. If the filename is demo.script, the script name is simply demo. Every script has a return value, which is the result of the last expression in it (and might be null).

Scripts can be called from different places:

  • From within rules through the callScript("<scriptname>") action.
  • From a calendar entry in your Google calendar - just put > callScript("<scriptname>") in the entry
  • From inside the XMPP console by typing > callScript("<scriptname>")

Note that you can put any expression behind the ">" sign, calling a script is just one option. Therefore you could ask for the current temperature in the XMPP console like this:

> Temperature.state

In future, there might also be the possibility to use scripts for transformations (e.g. for defining label texts) or in command mappings.

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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