Does openHABian offer more than a Command Line?

I am new to Programming, RPi, Linux, and Openhabian.

I have been playing with openhabian on Rpi 3B for past two day, enountering several obstacles along the way. At this point I am wondering if openhabian is right for me. I have several IO Pi Plus tophats that are need for additional inputs and output. With what I am seeing is openhabian is only a command line? Am I correct? Also anyone used IO Pi Plus while running openHabian is it even possible?

Any help would be appreciated

I like the look of the program and find it to more than likely suit my needs but I am starting to think this OS has lots of problems. It shouldnt take several unsuccessful hours to try and find the UUID and Secret. “sudo nano /var/lib/openhab2/openhabcloud/secret” does not work. I have searched forms and tried many different approaches none of them worked.

SSH password doesnt even work, and yes I know and wrote my passwords down. Setup for a flashed SD card shouldnt be this time consuming or difficult. For a program I am simply trying to test it isnt going well.

openHABian is a “a fully working Linux system with all recommended packages and openHAB recommendations”
It has it’s own discussion thread here: openHABian hassle-free openHAB Setup

It has been created by @ThomDietrich in order to make it simpler for people who want to run openHAB on single-board computers (like the Raspberry Pi) but don’t have experience on how to manage and configure a Linux operating system.

Since openHABian is Linux based (not another OS), there should be no problems with this solution. You can add stuff to openHABian as you would do if you were running the vanilla version of Raspbian. Configuring your individual solution can be a challenge but this is independent of openHAB and/or openHABian.

In most of the cases, the solution is found in the documentation. This is being constantly improved and it depends also on community contributions to the content of the docs.

My recommendation is to invest some time to learn the basic linux stuff and if you get stuck with a problem, ask questions in the openHABian thread.

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Do you mean with “More than a command line” that you would also like to run a desktop environment like Pixel on it?

Maybe @ThomDietrich knows if that is possible. A guide like the one below could make that happen:


Hey Court,
I’ve tried to give a comprehensive answer regarding your concerns. As it might actually be quite helpful to others as well, I’ve posted it over in the main openHABian thread:

Hi Curt, Thomas and all,

I was also personally curious on exploring openHAB via the pixel GUI, and thanks to the guides in the forum and this thread and to Thomas’s help, I can confirm that setting up the pixel desktop is very easy and it works well, through this command:

sudo apt install raspberrypi-ui-mods
sudo reboot

And after the reboot, connect via SSH and type

vncserver -randr 1280x800 (or any other resolution you want) 

and then it launches the vncserver and shows you the desktop IP address and session number to connect to (e.g. Then from your laptop just connect to that address using the vncserver client. I use realvnc. Works very well.

I would like to note that Thomas has a very good point in saying that the best way to experiencing Linux is thru command lines because then you really learn and enjoy. And your Raspi machine and openHABian setup should not be used as a standalone PC. So having the pixel desktop is not needed and not useful, once you learn some basics via command lines. It is best when it runs headless and has resources always available to run your smarthome.

Hope this helps.

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If you are like me and want to do something like run the Alexa Voice Service on your Pi with OH2 then you need a desktop GUI I believe.

Just ran these commands on openhabian.
and after reboot the vncserver command results with:

vncserver: command not found

Any ideas?

Also, IMO, the command line is great, but, editing files with nano is simply a PITA. (note: I grew up with vi…and it was PITA also. ) :wink:

Thus, my interest in using VNC.