[CLOSED] New Docs Discussion: Should we recommend a platform?

The most important question is not which platform is the best, but how to get new users excited about using Openhab. Second, the question arises, which target group should be reached. Do we want to reach the leaked computer nerd or the normal consumer or noobs? If an average consumer is the target, then you should start with an operating system that is used on 90% of all PCs worldwide. Or using just the system that is currently available to use. As I said, just to try and practice or play around. One can also refer to the many advantages of an Openhabian or Raspberry and suggest the user. However, if our target group is the nerd, then new documentation is completely unnecessary.


if I had to pick a point out of those two… can’t really, old dead Win PC with Linux is great choice, installation on Win is less then easy

I agree, if you are a strong advocate of running openHAB on Win, split off a discussion on that and perhaps solicit some help and at least maybe a discussion will ensue which could reveal options for improving Win install or whatever

Sorry… edit to add:

People contribute what they want/can/have time to help with. Saying developers haven’t done enough smacks of being unappreciative which I never would want to be or come across as
again if you are a strong advocate of running openHAB on Win … start a thread, make PRs and raise issues

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What is so difficult to install Java Runtime Environment, unzipping a zipfile to c:\openhab2 and setting a system variable? It takes less than 30 minutes to get ìt running.

This coming from a guy who started with which openhab1 version Alex? You made it thru that, you are a smart guy! Reasons win is not so great already above. Link to (what turned out to be unnecessary) Zulu wall of text, worrying about something which it is suggested to put in own directory in the root of the system disk? Really? Yeah down load this and place it in the system disk root and give it a bunch of permissions and ignore ensuing warnings of virus ect ect ect
(I’m being silly here but you get the point)

I do not use Zulu. I use Oracle. My virus scanner (Kaspersky) had nothing to complain about. I did not have to grant rights to C:\Openhab2. And if it does, where is the problem? I started with OH2. Does anyone still install OH1?

  1. When ever I start with a new project not just Openhab, I want to know what the developers use as this always means less bugs for me as the code is tested on the hardware they use better than other devices they do not use.

  2. If listing a few recommended devices, I like to see what their limitations are up front. Ie if recommending rasPiX then it should be clear that they only have 1gb of ram and in what types of setups this is not enough. I don’t like having to purchase hardware multiple times, nor do I like setting up openhab multiple times, so knowing what to expect so I can just shell out more money now to save hours of work later on is what I see as important in documentation.

  3. There are some great youtube videos showing step by step how to setup Openhab, perhaps link to them in the documentation.

Since you use the Odroid C2 like I do, have you ever tried my Openhab install script? I find this the easiest way to get one running especially with the RTC option added…

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I’m sorry, I must have mistaken you for another user who had stated they started in openHAB1 version in another thread.
my apologizes

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And I am strongly against that opinion, as said before, as a new user I would like the idea that I can use whatever I have.
And then statements like “Windows sucks” and “Pi sucks least” definitely aren’t helping.

I think you are not getting my point. I am only trying to understand what you are suggesting, as you seem to suggest that a new user shouldnt go with a Windows system. But so far you haven’t given any reasons why not to go for a Windows system. Then why the bias? (Like, why any bias at all?)

At the risk that I am repeating something that has been said already earlier: IMHO a recommendation needs to come from a place that assumes little to nothing. Taking myself as an example: when I started with OH2, I had some 15y old programming experience in Pascal (Pre-object-oriented…lots has changed since…), and just some user application experiences on Windows and MAC. And not particular deep knowledge in either. So in this case, which system does the community want to recommend?

If anyone has some deeper experience on any system: the dies are cast already, and there is no recommendation necessary, familiarity will almost always win. This forum is a great example: docker, cubernete, and other various virtualizations, various single board computers, Windows, MAC, Linux (in various distros), PCs, MACs, servers, with configurations supported in GUI, text files, through ansible, github and others, etc. are all in use in various combinations by those who have the experience for the respective systems.

Reading all of this…is fascinating…and confusing. Again, as a new user, which system is likely to give me the lowest entrance barrier. Again, don’t assume anything, I was willing to learn, but there is a limit to it. Hence for reasons above, I chose RPI (mainly it is easy to set up a new system).
From the posts here, you all seem to have a computer knowledge that is vastly superior to mine. So of course, you have strong choices and preferences. I don’t even have a favorite editor…and yaml, XML, or JSON (just because there are discussions in another thread on this) are all things I have (had) to look up…again, the inexperienced and uninitiated (as myself when I started and still to some extent today) have due to a lack of knowledge little to no possibility to voice a preference…one way or the other, that is just something you, the uninitiated, has to learn anyway.
In my day job, I am using only standard MS applications on a windows computer…so again no synergies or preferences here.

Maybe I am/was not the typical new user, but again, I believe for any sysop, dev, programmer, etc…recommendations are nice-to-have at best (and maybe only serve to start animated discussions). But what if i am only a user that at best works with MS Office…I don’t need or want options…I need guidance in this case on what is likely the easiest path to get started. RPI and openHABian seems to fit this bill, not the least due to the support on the raspberry forums and this forum…where the support for RPI seems to be the deepest, and as mentioned before: they are cheap and super easy to set-up from scratch if it seems the easier way to fix a configuration problem.


Thanks for the tip, I’ll give it a try the next time I buy a batch of them.

Currently, I just use Clonezilla to flash an image to the fresh eMMC chips.

Step back a bit to get out of that dead end type of discussion please.

Remind you this thread was started following up on the thread on reworking the introductory docs.
These are now going to read like this:

So the recommendation is not a Pi but to use what you like or know best.
But as there’s a large amount of newbies that in fact have no preference (as all of us to discuss here do), we agreed that we should help them in providing them with a recommendation (and to say that again: that recommendation only applies if they don’t have any strong preference).
Now on what to recommend most people agree that the best option is a Pi with openHABian because in addition to this being the ‘mainstream’, there’s convincing reasons (cost, openHABian) to exclusively apply to this combo. Fully re-read this thread if you disagree.

A current Pi (3B+) has all the power it takes to run even complex home automation setups 24x7 - I do myself and a couple of other power users do.
It’s not perfect but none of the options is. And although you dislike the wording, it’s certainly the one to suck least. So for most users, let alone the average one, there will not ever rise a need to move to yet another platform.
All in all, I don’t see a single good reason to deviate from that recommendation as it is written down in the intro.

EDIT: except that in the last sentence it should read “Raspi 2 or 3” to avoid any misunderstanding.
@lipp_markus could you please add that to your PR.

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The introduction paragraph looks perfect as it is now.


None dead. If something dies, (cant remember when this last happened), new will be bought.
I never actually counted, but now I feel I´m forced to :slight_smile:

5 x windows 10 pro´s. (these get regular hardware upgrades when needed)
3 x Rpi (linux), (two openHAB, one IHC Captain).
1 x Windows 7 (old mediaplayer)
1 x Windows server 2008 (WHS2011. Not really doing anything other than running a single domain for mail)
1 x QNAP NAS (I believe its Linux as well. Not really doing anything anymore… Dont know what I havn´t shut it down long time ago)

Hmm… No wonder why our house use alot of power… I should never have counted :grin:

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This one I second…
It seems that I have hit´d the limit of my Rpi3B+ now, specially after updating to openhab 2.4. I can no longer use Grafana for rendering more than 1 (sometimes 2) charts at a time. Then openhab will crash and restart.

I actually thought the limitations was way higher on the Rpi3B+. But a combination of openhab 2.4 and my requirements simply gave me problems which I never thought (or knew) I would get. I actually do not run that many bindings. But I have alot of channels and items.
I wonder if recommendations of InfluxDB and grafana is good, when also recommend an Rpi… It does no longer seem like a good combination… Perhaps it´s worth considering.

I´m hunting new hardware now and an easy way to port everything to this new hardware. Not what I wanted to do this early in the process.

Would be easier if there were some ready to buy solutions and an adapted Download Page:

One of the options could be “DIY Pi-Box” which links to a page with a complete set of items to buy (with working Links!), and how to flash an sd-card with openhabian. And how to connect the boy to the local network via wires or via wifi. openhabian should have an access point configured by default for this to work, of course,

Best would be of course if the foundation could sell pre-flashed SD-cards.


Now there’s a thought.

I’ll happily offer pre-flashed ODroid C2 eMMC cards.

Well Grafana is a memory heavyweight and OH is, too, so I wouldn’t recommend to run both on the same machine unless you really really know how to optimize both of them and their memory consumption. Running on separate Pis should do, though.
But Grafana is no recommendation for first time users anyway, and of course you can always build an application landscape or rules that will exceed any Pi’s or even any other computer’s capabilities. But that’s corner cases.
This thread is about a recommendation to the average beginner what to use to start with OH.

I dont agree on this…Rpi is recommened as well as influxdb persistens and grafana for charts, according to the docs. All mentioned in the openhabian (hassle-free) setup:

Precise… openhabian hassle-free… Look at the page jump to Optional Components… There you´ll se both influxdb and Granafa.
"openHABian comes with a number of additional routines to quickly install and set up home automation related software. "

We can argue all night wether this is misleading or not having resommended an Rpi first.
Point is, it´s part of the recommendation!

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Totally agree Kim as documentation is not just for new/first time users. We all have different approaches and requirements so one size does not fit everyone.

An example is how Kodi displays the information as clearly with Kodi one platform does not fit everyone’s needs. Openhab should not need to be anywhere as complex as this, but it could be just a few lines when recommending a few example systems… If you want a system that can handle this, we recommend this. If you want a cheap system you can use this, but it will be limited in these ways…


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