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

:laughing: good point

another vote for openhabian. We seem to be coming to a consensus


I started my first openHAB experience 2017 with openhabian.
The start with openhabian was very easy. Actually I am running a vm with Ubuntu server but also with openhabian. Before my start with openhabian I only used Mac and Windows. To every smart homie enthusiast I recommend openHAB with openhabian.
Since now nobody had problems and is very fascinated by openhabian.
Recommendation of platform: definitively openhabian!

For me it’s openhabian on pi all day.

Cheap hardware - under $50 to get a dedicated system
Easy as pi :wink: to install (disk image + etcher)
It’s as plug and play as such a complicated system as openhab can possibly get.
No need to explain java, vm, docker, or many other “confusing things”

The install script is awesome. If someone could make a similar “beginner script” for other platforms that would be pretty amazing I think. Beyond my abilities though.

Have any of you clicked the java Zulu install link in the mindset of a “new user” lately? I tried installing it on my Mac a couple of months ago - and failed miserably. The argument of “someone already owns windows/Mac/Linux” does not mean they are a power user able to navigate the complexity of what will quickly become a command line install.

Additionally I’m in the group of users who found OH after having tinkered a bit with the pi so I had 2 or 3 laying around.

As everyone else, I understand openhab is technology agnostic first and foremost so definitely a comment of “this runs on anything that runs java” plus links for “other install platforms” is great.

Keep it simple stupid.

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My recommendations:

  • If you first want to try openHAB and play around with it: use whatever PC/Notebook you currently have and use. The only requirement is Java.
  • For a (first) productive environment: use openHabian probably on a Raspberry Pi 3 (or higher)

I just looked at the docs again and there’s a note under the java links that says “please install java 8 as openhab has not been tested on 9 or 10”

But the Zulu download page only has java 11 available :man_facepalming:

I am trying to agree here very strongly enough with out totally losing all sense of decorum.
That link is scary and does not lead to anything a new user is going to find useful in any manner and almost ran me off before I even got out of the box.

A few days ago a user commented about not knowing how to program in JAVA in reference to maybe attempting trying out openHAB

What JAVA is and what it is needed for wrt openHAB needs to be explain in really simple language (not easy task I know) Then a way to test if it is already on your platform (JAVA was already on my Win 8.1 laptop) I went to Zulu site and managed to actually break a running openHAB attempting to use the ‘recommended’ JAVA

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good point
if going to recommended PI…
minimum required PI
because have read lots of problems with older versions and lots of nodes

May I chip in with a simple guide for hardware.

How much you want any system to do, will dictate the size / power of the thing

I started with Beaglebone Black to run OpenRemote, which in my test environment was fine.

(12 Velbus modules and a few HTTP relays)

But once deployed into a real life situation, they proved utterly useless.

The same experience with openHAB2.

On my test rig, the Beaglebone Black with Unbuntu 14 was acceptable, but not quick.

I tried the ODroid UX4 and found it to be much better, but with its own hiccups. (Namely the 4 small cores and 4 big cores)

So now, I opt for ODroid C2 units, which have to run 32 bit Java, but that doesn’t seem like a major issue.

Biggest deployment so far with a C2 has 64 Velbus modules and some Philips Hue devices, Velux windows etc.

(There is an old Samsung N150 notebook running openHAB2 in Ubuntu 16 with 86 Velbus modules, but the client doesn’t do much with the UI yet…)

All that said, I’ve just deployed a Gigabyte Blix for a client, running a headless Win7 with 3 instances of Jinx! to run 5500+ led pixels.

I’ll buy another Blix soon and try to load openHAB2 with Linux using the openHASpian manual script (which works really well on the C2s).

Nope Zulu Java 8 is also there for download. That’s what openHABian is fetching.

Installation guide

1- click the “Zulu” link in the table
2- click windows, Linux, or Mac platform
3- choose 10 or 11 for windows. Just 11 for Linux/Mac.

The other “download” link in the paragraph above shows 36 download links, 17 of which are some version of java 8.

If the discussion is a new user (not a power user) this does not seem ideal to me.

No, choose 8 as previously instructed on the openHAB docs page (the sentence right below the table). They’re all there, just 1 link for each architecture (just various 8uxxx versions - you should pick the latest, but picking an older one should work in fact as well).
Granted you have to read carefully and the OH docs could be a little bit more verbose in guiding you here, but in principle they’re alright.

Don’t complain or wait for others but use the link yourself at the docs page’s bottom to create a PR to enhance this.

Done: Pull request

The link in the table pointed to “get java” links that did not show version 8. I just made a pull request to change it to the Zulu download page with all 36 (17 version 8) links so the user can more easily find version 8 as recommended.

Just to add my view:
Although I have been working with computers and coding for over 20 years by now, I have never gotten to the point where I got comfortable with Linux.
So if there wouldn’t be a clear statement that OpenHAB works out of the box on Windows and there wouldn’t be a clear description on how to get started on Windows, I would have never gotten to this point with OpenHAB.
So recommending a Raspberry Pi or OpenHabian sounds like a really bad idea.
I believe OpenHAB should display that it is a cross platform system and although it might be good to suggest methods to scale up/make a dedicated system, the first steps should be equally easy regardless of the platform that you have available.

On a side note, now that my system is getting more mature, I’m actually looking at Intel Compute Stick-like or comparable solutions, exactly to stay away from Linux and a Raspberry Pi.

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Yup… Markus is right, 8 is there… you just got to dig a little. Maybe we coulld put a link to the exact file?

That’s the thing, there is no exact file… It also depends on your platform

Excellent work Garrett
Please add link to the PR in your post

At first I would have agreed with you but I believe with careful wording, we can emphasize the cross platforms capabilities and yet, for those that need guidance point them at the Pi for reasons discussed above.

I have no dog in this fight so to speak. I install openHAB on a Windows PC that at the time was unused. I’ve never owned or used a Pi

For fear of repeating what has already been said, I only can ask you, if you believe that Windows should be the recommended platform, please read discussion above, especially this post:

Edit to add:
I don’t necessarily disagree with you 100%, just at this time, and maybe forever, it is the best choice.

Edit to add again:

I have never meant to suggest that Windows would be the recommended platform, only that I would refrain from stating that a Raspberry Pi is the recommended platform, for the reasons I mentioned in my previous post.
If OpenHAB is intended to be a cross platform system, and subsequently it is said that a Raspberry Pi is best, that is contradicting the first statement and certainly won’t help for first time users. So wording is everything here.
I would envision a situation where it is clearly stated that you can use OpenHAB and start with OpenHAB on any platform. Subsequently multiple methods to scale up a system can be suggested.

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The title of the thread is: Should we recommend a platform.

The answer is YES we should

We should recommend that the new user starts using openHAB using the platform he/she is most familiar with.

Once hooked, the user will discover that it is better to move the deployment to a dedicated platform and although there is a majority of users running linux in one form or another it remains the choice of the user as to what OS is used.


I usually refrain from this type of reply and I know it is not desired generally, but in this case: