Cannot locate thing, item, etc files on a pi

I installed openhab2 on a pi2 using the complete image download. Everything works OK except that I cannot find the thing, item, rules files - or any others. I have checked the locations in the documentation but the directories are empty except for the readme.txt. I also created a rule using Paper UI, but it is not recognised by HABmin. Help!

By default, there are no files created in the corresponding configuration sub-directories. You will have to either create them manually or use PaperUI to define your stuff (things, items, etc). When you use PaperUI for this purpose, the info are stored in the jsonDB (/var/lib/openhab2/jsondb/) and not in the /etc/openhab2/ sub-dir.

The main (manual) config sub-dir is in /etc/openhab2/ and there you will find the others (e.g. /etc/openhab2/items/).

Check also: &

I believe that if you create the rule via PaperUI, you won’t see it in the HABmin Automation->Rules section.
There you will only see the rules that you have created manually via placing *.rules files in the /etc/openhab2/rules/ sub-dir.


…will there by a problem if you have two different folders with .items and/or .things? One in (/var/lib/openhab2/jsondb/ and one manual under/etc/openhab2/items/?

I created my items/things with the paper UI but now its seem that I have to do it manually because I cannot group them and I would like to mark them as lighting for Alexa.


The only place where you should place manually configured files is in the /etc/openhab2/ sub-dirs.

The jsonDB should not be manually configured (you can do it but it’s not really needed since you manage the content that is stored in there from the PaperUI). It has a different format than the manual configs.

The 2 configurations (manual and auto) can co-exist without any problems. This is how most OH2 installations are build today and it’s fine. I personally use a 90% manual and 10% auto (for Z-Wave things) config mix.

You can group your items via PaperUI. First, turn off simple mode in PaperUI->Configuration->System->Item Linking. Then, you will see a new menu option on the left side (Configuration->Items). You can edit your PaperUI created items and put them in groups.
Things are not “groupable”, only items (which are linked to the channels of the things).

I know… too much info :slight_smile:

Wow, thx! I’ve read the last 2 days to find out 1st Where the config folder is and 2nd how I can group the items without writing all manually again. Perhaps I jumped too much from site to site :slight_smile:
Thanks a lot! Not too much Info - the right Info :relaxed:


Some of this info is covered by:

The best solution is to ask in this community forum because some other sites may have out-dated info :slight_smile:

I have been intrigued by Openhab for a while. With the latest release of Openhabian I decided to give it a shot.

I have installed Openhabian on a RaspberryPi3. Everything went smoothly. I then followed the tutorials and added my zwave devices and my MySensors devices. That also went smoothly.

Then I followed the tutorials for the BasicUI (.items, .sitemaps and .rules files). After creating these files in in the appropriate folder in /etc/openhab2/… the BasicUI is blank and the test rule I made isn’t working.

Even though the BasicUI doesn’t recognize the .item files and default.sitemap file I created, the PaperUI does recognize them and now I have duplicate channels (2 on/off switches for each Zwave power outlet).

The tutorial states that these files belong in the openhab/conf directory. So I created a ~/conf/items, /sitemap, and /rules directories and copied the previously created files there. The BasicUI still doesn’t recognize them.

So I am at a loss. The BasicUI is blank and the test rule I made doesn’t work. I am not sure where those files should be. If they should be in /etc/openhab2 then I don’t know why they aren’t recognized.

Any suggestions?

Hello @kchest,

/etc/openhab2/... is the only correct location.

You’ve not once mentioned the log files. To have one eye on these is crucial while working on your configuration.

If you are using openHABian there is even a graphical frontend preinstalled (on newer installs) or installable through sudo openhabian-config. Try the “openHAB Log Viewer (frontail)” here: http://openhabianpi:9001

When you’ve gained access to the log, you’ll be informed every time you change one of your items, rules or sitemap files and errors will be indicated. Also be sure to use the Smarthome Designer to learn about errors in your file beforehand.

Hi ThomDietrich
My apologies for dropping out of sight. I was distracted by a major construction project at home and then lost sight of this technical project.

When I first read your reply I slapped myself for being so naive. Logs, of course! I have refocused on it and decided to reinstall openhabian. Everything is working much better now and I have got everything working well. I even have a BasicUI with frames working. So far I’m very happy with openhabian!

Appreciate your advice on this.

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Great to hear! Good luck with the next steps :wink:

Jumping from link to link when reading the documentation is also my problem. I did not read the full documentation yet, but I find myself lost quite often.