Alternative UIs? OpenRemote, iRule, iViewer?

Chris I love the floor plan layout. I am working on getting a small touchscreen in each room and having layouts like that would be nice. I think thats what originally attracted me to openremote was this video

That UI lets you take photos of your room with appliances/lights turned on and off and then cut up the photos. I liked that idea. and makes it very intuitive for someone that doesn’t know the system. “just touch the light you want on or off”

There is this github project: OpenHAB-Controlpanel

Tried it out, it works using the REST API, but seems to be optimized for a wall-mounted tablet.

Bye, Frido.

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Based on the weather binding, I have created a ui that is displaying most important information on my tablet mounted at the wall. The benefit of this approach is, that I have full control on the layout, do not have to install any additional “overhead” like PHP and additional server.
For me, it would be an urgent requirement, that openhab 2 would again support a html server.


OH2 does include a web server - it’s just not (currently) served out of the webapps folder like on OH1. Currently it needs to be packaged into a JAR, but the JAR is very small and mostly just contains the HTML/JS/etc files…

The advantage of this approach is -:

  1. Installation is very simple - just copy the single JAR into the addons folder
  2. The server can then register itself into the OH2 dashboard

I know this probably isn’t what everyone wants, and I think the webapps folder should also be supported, but the current approach is actually quite nice and convenient.


I’d be interested in a better UI as well. Also I’m interested in how you mount and power a tablet in the wall?

I started to look at Zebra.js for the UI but havn’t got anywhere with it yet. I also like the look of the Honeywell Evo (

I think that could also be adapted for lights with pictures of bulbs and dim levels.

If you just want a simple dashboard type of UI, you could look into using dashing (, which gives you a ready framework to start from. A user over at the SmartThings forum put together a nice dashboard running on a Nexus 7 tablet -

Starting with his Github code ( and just substituting for openHAB instead of SmartThings, I have a similar dashboard running off my openHAB server communicating via REST etc.


I’m using OpenRemote as an interface on an iPad, Nexus 7 and iPhone. It can control my Veralite directly, OpenHAB via REST calls, and various devices directly - Sky STB, Kodi.

It’s based on Tomcat, so it can run alongside OpenHAB provided you modify the ports. I did that for a while, but now run OpenRemote as a Docker image on my unRAID server.

Downside is that it is a LOT of work to setup/design and it doesn’t support scaling of 1 design across multiple platforms. You have to design from scratch a new interface for each device and each orientation.

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@smar - That interface looks great. Would you mind sharing your setup?

It can/will save me, and anyone else interested, a great deal of time.

On a another note, perhaps this forum should open another (sticky?) thread for people to share how their respective dashboard/GUI interface for OH/OH2.

Sure. Give me a few days and I’ll put together some basic instructions.

EDIT: I managed to get it documented/uploaded to github. Link is on a new thread - Dashboard UI suitable for tablets

Neil, my pipe dream is to get a nexus 7 which has inductive charging… Then have a small plate of some sort on the wall with the charging component in it. Magnets built into the plate and also to the back of the tablet so the nexus 7 tablet just sticks to the wall, the magnets would help it align correctly to charge.

I really like the idea of being able to pull the tablet off the wall and take it with me :smile:

Nick, do you have any video posted showing how your interface works?

Hakan, that flic button looks super cool! Only downside for me would be that it has to “talk” through a phone to control stuff… Would be great if it could talk directly to openhab without needing a phone…

Sorry Tommy I don’t, the OpenRemote side of things is very ‘practical’ at the moment, trying to find decent icons that work on all the designs is challenging.

Basically the OpenRemote software talks to a network based Global Cache to control my (old!) AV gear. It also talks directly to the Veralite to control Z-Wave & 433MHz devices. Any changes to the Veralite connected devices are then reflected on OpenHAB & OpenRemote automatically.

I use iRule on a couple of iPad mini’s as a UI for openhab. It connects to Openhabs REST interface, and uses json for feedback.

It’s very flexible, and you can make nice looking UI’s. There is a bit of a learning curve though, and the documentation sucks.

I have lots of screens, but this is the basic lighting controller screen (there are 4 other lighting screens). The tabs are various other devices.

The main difficulty is that the interface is tricky. iRule has HTTP “gateways” they are called, but they don’t work well (you can’t customize the headers). It also has a tcp “raw socket” interface (gateway), so I use that, and make my own POST and GET strings. It’s not too hard.

One thing that I found challenging is that openhab’s REST interface really does not work as the wiki describes. I spent most of my time trying to figure this out. The difficult bit is getting notification (subscriptions) to work.

I could only get HTTP streaming to work (well I am using raw sockets), and then if I streamed on a socket, it would tie up that whole socket, so I would have to open multiple sockets to handle other POST’s and GET’s. It also times out after 5 minutes (you can re-connect on a timer or “automatically” but it’s kludgey).

I finally gave in and wrote myself a socket/HTTP server in python. Which works amazingly well. Latency is as near zero as you can tell, and the REST interface makes everything in iRule device independent, so it’s easy to work with. It should really be an openhab binding, but it’m not good with Java.

On the screenshot, most of the controls are Insteon lights/sensors, the TV lights are ZWAVE though.

Some weird things I found with the REST interface (contrary to what the wiki says), is that you can’t get notifications on items, other than individual items. So for instance you can’t stream on /rest/item/group_name, or /rest/items (for all items). You can stream on /rest/sitemaps/name/group_name (which is weird), or /rest/sitemaps/name/page_number (the wiki says “page id” and implies it’s the group name - it’s not it’s a number like 0000, 0001 where the number is the page in the sitemap from top down). You can stream on group names though, just not how it describes.

I would like to be able to stream on all items, but can’t figure it out. You can only stream on things that have items directly in them (not things that have lists of sub items/pages etc.). So I have to set up multiple streams.

Can anyone confirm that this is really how it works? just seems odd that you can’t stream on /rest/items or /rest/groups.

If anyone is interested I can share the basic set up (OK for simple things), for more complex things you need my python server, but you can have that also if you need it.


It would be a great help to the community if you corrected or elaborated the wiki with what you have learned. I can’t say if what you saw is how it is supposed to work but your experience clearly shows that is how it does work.


Ok, Wiki updated.

I would still like to know how to stream on all items if anyone knows…

that’s ‘Control-Freak’, comes with visual HTML designer and visual block-language and lets you interconnect anything which speaks TCP,SSH,MQTT,Serial,UDP or HTTP and spits out web-apps. I never tried the OpenHab MQTT adapter but you should get most connected via REST or MQTT. It’s rather aimed at bigger or at least more complex hardware like DSP racks, HDMI switches, projectors but it can easily deal with things like lamps,… But hey, certainly not a replacement for OpenHab’s designer itself but rather completing. It’s pretty naked compared. Attention: work in progress, but does well for us already.

I would gladly see how you do it in iRule.
Today I use UDP commands and frankly, they suck :slight_smile:

I use iViewer together with MQTT javascript adapter to control my OH installation. MQTT IMHO is better than REST as I get status updates immediately without polling or using tricks like Atmosphere. For simple one-screen tablet installation it’s free.

Wondering if anyone has tried using Qt Designer or the new and improved Adobe Dreamweaver?