Dumb down NVR

Why don’t you just install Samba and VPN?

@matt1 @JimT the problem for me it’s the other members of the family Wich are not used to it I already have wireguard setup with DNS resolution but that drop from time to time also it requires extra steps related to operate the house and also establish the connection again. I know I sound like a broken record but if you look at homeassitant homebridge etc I sometime question myself. I don’t want to to switch I love openhab and I want to see it work for me me no matter if I get flagged and people say but it’s not possible you have to do it this way.
Let’s leave it like it is until I get a working setup that works for me to publish my finding then we discuss

Why do you want to use myopenhab to watch your videos ?
Remote ? You don‘t really want to route your video streams through our for free service ?

Every now and again I wonder what people want to use openHAB for. I really often ask myself what this usecase has in common with home automation……


I just need to be able to go back in openhab see what happened all within the comfort of myopenhab.

I don’t have a need to stream high definition or anything all streams are set at 640x480 to record.
Also it’s not my intention to abuse the free service.

It’s in the name open home automation bus. I do understand the concept I work with knx and openhab concept is based on the same mentality I believe @Kai started this because he had knx in his house and wanted visualisation and some way to automate stuff in his house but then think about it why do we have an interface in the first place ? If the purpose of the project it’s to get all data in a common bus with predefined data points to be able to automate with them why the webui is used for visualization not just for administration and only admin work ?

I believe if that is the case then openhab should resemble something like nodered just an automation platform and not publish itself as a one stop shop for home related stuff.

Maybe I am tripping here and rambling stupid stuff I don’t understand. Then I apologize to the community and I will shut up. So if @hmerk you think this post has no valid points and it’s just a wish list please close the topic or rename etc.

I only posted this because lately I wanted more security related automation in the house so that is why I started this journey to see how far openhab would go related to security of the house see also my other post of an burglar alarm https://community.openhab.org/t/openhab-burglar-alarm-diy-not-a-real-one/148385

If that’s what you want, that’s fine, but I don’t understand why you then „ask“ for a file explorer?

If that is your core requirement, then simply go ahead and build it yourself (as you mentioned in your first post). Shouldn‘t be too complicated.
As a starter have a look here which already does the same thing based on camera images. With some changes it will be possible with video, too.

I wouldn‘t pursue this approach. Add a VPN-profile to your mobile phone so that everytime your app accesses an internal IP-address, it opens automatically a VPN connection first. This works at least for iPhones as I already have it implemented this for myself.

Me neither. I use VPN solution for many things I need to do remote. Just need myopenhab for getting notifications from my smarthome and switch on/off some basic stuff while not at home.

even for this I open a VPN connection first😂

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Tailscale is an overlay built on wireguard. It’s super easy to set up and in my experience really solid. And they recently added intents and fixed a bug so I can now have Tasker start and stop the wireguard connection when I’m off/on my home network. :partying_face:

That’s neither here nor there in relation to this file browser discussion. Just something to consider if your current setup is unreliable.

OH does not advertise itself as a one stop shop for all home related stuff. It advertises itself as a home automation platform. It does not claim to solve all problems for all people and it does not intend to do so (it would ultimately suck at most of them if it tried).

As a case in point, frankly, a file explorer is a pretty underwhelming approach to solve the problem of being able to review recordings from surveillance cameras. If OH is going to get in the NVR business, this approach wouldn’t even be an MVP I would think and it feels like a dead end.


I use zoneminder for the camera security stuff and VPN when away from home.
I don’t need a file explorer just ssh.
My set up is very basic but does the job.

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This IMHO stems from wanting to replace all phone apps with openhab and use it like a universal remote and universal app. Instead of looking at home automation as tasks that are fully automated and do not need intervention, people wish to create complex remotes with controls, graphs and widgets for everything.

You won’t get a free service to do any kind of video streaming even at low res. So this means you have to use VPN and ask users how to increase it reliability for you how others are achieving it.

I have never looked at using timelines in openhab UI, instead of asking about file explorers, perhaps look at ways a timeline feature could be used to fetch an indexed video or picture of the last visitors to your front door. But this still does not solve the root issue of a free server not passing on the video files and the need for a VPN. It also does not change that other projects that are dedicated NVR packages will always do a far better job. So we as a community of volunteer contributors need to prioritize what time we are willing to donate, and use that time in areas that move our own automated homes forward.

I will mark this as solved based on this following list:(@hmerk let me know if that is ok so then the topic can be closed before starting a :fire:)

*VPN for remote viewing of sensitive data and even for general remote access.

*Samba for file editing also using VPN and visual studio code notepad+++ vim nano etc or use your own implementation.(consensus here is to move towards Json based configuration)

*Openhab is not a NVR and will never be see because focus of openhab is automation of tasks and also there are ooensource alternatives frigate zoneminder viseron Shinobi etc.

*Myopenhab is a free service not meant for streaming.

*Security must be taken into consideration when dealing with private data so a file explorer is not an option especially because of openhab insecure architecture.

As nice as it might sound of having an file explorer as it turn out a feature like that has multiple implications Wich have to be taken into consideration before implementing it. Unless openhab implements a secure architecture for implementing user management firewall live patching of vulnerabilities this will never happen in the foreseeable future as general interest in the platform is towards an offline local usage geared towards automated tasks that doesn’t require user intervention.

I hope I resumed all your concerns clearly and I will use them as guidelines for now one.

Thank you all.

Not completely correct.
It is not just a demo, you can completely use it for free. It is just not meant for streaming.
You can also setup your own myopenhab instance and do whatever you like with it.

Just to respond to that - I wouldn’t have a problem with greenlighting such a feature as far as the UI is concerned (Home Assistant has, I believe, a “virtual file system” scheme for media that integrations can implement so that you can choose radio stations and the like). It’s just that it needs a lot of work, not only in the UI but also in the backend (core, API) to support it, so it would involve convincing people responsible for all those layers.

I also concur with the opinions raised above, it appears to be a case of “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” type of situation. openHAB is very versatile and can do a lot of things, but some specialized use cases are better served by specialized software that are designed specifically for them and will do the job better than any attempt at cramming the fonctionality into openHAB itself.
You could even include them in the Other Apps pane of the Main UI’s homepage, as for remote access with OH Cloud, that’s another story. I wish we could easily set up some basic reverse proxy within openHAB’s Jetty application server so these external tools can be accessible remotely with myopenHAB, just like e.g. HABPanel.

On the other hand I also recognize that basic stuff can still be implemented (see the HA virtual system above) if it appears it could do the job for most. For example I spent quite some time on the chart pages in the main UI because I wanted something better integrated (for instance the Analyzer dialog) and yet still powerful enough to make me not need to install Grafana.

This whole thing started when I was playing with ipcamera binding and I was like how can I make to review footage on the go and quickly I discovered openhab only offers one widget Wich also has it’s drawbacks. But after seing the comments I also quickly realized the drawbacks such an ideea has when the others starting mentioning them. But hey it is what it is still doesn’t stop me from liking openhab you never know what the future holds maybe a brilliant developer stumble upon this and thinks it’s a useful feature.

I am fully aware of all the others projects that do exactly what I need. The driving point here for this tread was when I said to her she needs another app for the cameras in this case hikvision and besides the other one for doorbell sonos etc or even worse convince her to go in her phone to setup VPN the conversation stops. She only accepted openhab because she can turn all the lights off without having to go trough all the other apps. So yeah I’m this case I am the hammer that see everything as a nail.

That would be nice. I don’t even know where to start here would be nice to have some working examples. Playing on the other side of the fence I saw that homeassistant used visual studio code inside the homeassistant interface and I believe they use docker to host and do some fancy symlink guess it’s the right word and found that really nice.

Overall this whole thing is on the sideline (I am trying to educate myself into opehab JavaScript and rule templates for the moment) and I am just using the hikconnect and just send the video to wife via WhatsApp.
But I do appreciate your time replying and all the wondefull work you put into the project for one like me to benefit.

It’s corrected sorry but I don’t remember where I read in the forum that it was called demo server years ago.
Thanks you

I just realize I might have used the wrong expression, as it could have derogatory undertones which certainly wasn’t my intention.

I saw that homeassistant used visual studio code inside the homeassistant interface

That’s because OH and HA have very different definitions of what their main product is; the main HA product is a OS based on containers (what would be openHABian with a Docker-based approach) which allows to mix technologies and add software relatively easily, the equivalent of our openHAB distribution being a Python daemon called “Home Assistant Core”. The main openHAB product is the distribution, and you can enhance it by installing software to openHABian.

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@stamate_viorel this is actually turning into quite an interesting discussion, so I am glad that you started it.

This is a neat idea.

I used to do this, until I discovered vscode over SSH (remote editing?). It’s far better than editing files over samba.

Ohhhh I didn’t know about this, how can I do it?

In runtime.cfg (in conf/services) you can add a series of lines to define one of the “other apps” tiles:

org.openhab.core.ui.tiles:frontail-link-name=openHAB Log Viewer
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