How to get openHAB announcements by email

Are you familiar with the Announcements category in the openHAB community? That’s where maintainers post about important stuff like:

  • New openHAB and openHABian releases
  • upgrades and maintenance
  • News about the openHAB Foundation

Luckily, you can receive an automated email when there’s a new post in Announcements. But first…

Why would I want to get more emails?

That’s an extremely valid question. Here are some extremely valid answers.

  • To hear about major issues that could compromise your system, such as the log4j2 vulnerability
  • To be notified about outages
  • To plan ahead when updates to require changes to your openHAB configuration (usually for Alexa and Google Assistant)
  • To learn about bug fixes and new features you might want to use

Note that announcement threads are not open for replies. When necessary, maintainers start separate threads for discussion in the community.

Okay, that sounds reasonable. What do I do?

Set your account preferences so that you’ll get an email whenever there’s a new post in Announcements. Unfortunately, this will also send a bunch of emails that you may not want. Don’t worry…we can manage the unwanted stuff with email filters in Gmail/Hotmail/Outlook/etc.

Receive emails from the openHAB community

  1. Go to your account preferences. The easiest way is to click your profile picture, click the “Profile” icon at the bottom-right of the popup menu, and then click “Preferences”.


  2. In your account preferences, go to the Tracking page.

  3. Under “Categories: Watched”, add Announcements.


    Thanks to @matt1 for sharing the tip that categories can be added to the watch list!

  4. Click the “Save Changes” button to save your changes.

  5. Go to the Emails page.

  6. Set “Email me when I am quoted, replied to, my @username is mentioned, or when there is new activity in my watched categories, tags or topics” to only when away.


  7. Click the “Save Changes” button to save your changes.

You’ll now receive emails when there are posts in the Announcement category. But as noted earlier, you’ll also get a bunch of emails you may not want:

  • when you’re quoted
  • when someone replies to you
  • when your username is mentioned
  • when there are new posts in any watched categories, tags, or topics

It would be better if the system had separate toggles for all of these items, but since it doesn’t…

Set up an email filter

Email subject lines from always follow the same format:

[openHAB] [category] post title

So, you can use the following criteria to filter unwanted emails:

  • Sender:
  • Content includes: [openHAB]
  • Content does not include: [Announcements]

This will identify all emails that are sent by the openHAB bot, unless they’re in the Announcements category.

Optional: I also exclude messages with [pm], so that I’ll still receive emails when someone sends me a personal message in the community. You can leave that out if you only want to see announcement emails.

I won’t provide step-by-step instructions for the email filter, since the process will be different for every email system. I use Gmail, and the search query looks like this:

If you also use Gmail, you can copy and paste this text into the Gmail search box to get started:

list:( -{[PM] [Announcements]}

Adjust the search text if you want to exclude other openHAB emails, then use the finalized query to create your email filter.

I hope this helps you stay up to date with what’s going on in the world of openHAB! Comments, questions, and alternatives are encouraged and appreciated.


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