Install OpenHab on Windows or Ubuntu?

In order to experiment with OpenHab I’ve install it on Windows 10 desktop.
Long term, I’m looking to install on a dedicated NUC that I have but I’m wondering which OS would be best to install on the NUC that will host OpenHab?
It seems OpenHab is supported well on Ubuntu but I’m a novice on that OS. I do however know Windows well.
What OS is considered best for hosting OpenHab?

Take the step and go linux.
You’ll have a learning curve but there is loads of support.
There is more support for OH on linux than Windows the main reason being that openhabian, the dedicated OH image for raspberry pi is very popular. Openhabian is a debian linux, same as Ubuntu.
I moved from Windows to linux 2 years ago myself and I have never looked back.

Go for it

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Thanks for the advice.
As regards installing on a blank NUC, which version of Ubuntu would you recommend? I’m thinking probably a Desktop variant?
I expect the Ubuntu distribution will come in the form of a ‘bootable’ disk image that I can write onto a USB stick, boot from the USB stick on the NUC and then install onto the NUC’s SSD. Is that correct?

A desktop variant will be easier for you as a beginner:

Easy peasy

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Excellent…that will do nicely.
Thanks for your help.

I’ll second the advice and recommend Linux. By far the majority of users are running on Linux. Most of the examples will assume Linux.

And you can use openHABian on an Ubuntu That will handle almost everything for setting up openHAB and related services. openHABian is not just for RPis. I strongly recommend giving that a try. It will lessen the initial learning curve since it will do so much for you.

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Thanks for the advice.
Yes, I will definitely give Ubuntu a try as it does seem better supported on that OS.
Additionally, I guess a Ubuntu installation should prove more robust than Windows anyway.

I’m not sure how Openhabian handles updates to OpenHab.
Is this an automated or relatively seamless process?
I know the windows hosting option for updates looks quite manual and rather messy.

Hey @john_shaw,
Ubuntu and all other linux distributions (at least all I know) have something called “package manager”. Think of it like an app store. Instead of doing installations the “windows way” (downloading an exe file) you have just to invoce the package manager. The package manager of Ubuntu is apt.
There are the steps how to install openHAB via apt:
You can than run at any time the following command to update all the software (openHAB + os + other software):

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
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openhabian-config has menu options to change the version of OH, upgrade, backup and restore. That’s one of the reasons openHABian is suggested for new users and those new to Linux.

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That sounds just right for my experience level at this stage.
Think I’ll give this a try as a first step.

Sounds very easy, so just right at this stage for me. :+1:

Hi John.
I am thinking about a change from raspberrypi to nuc too. Which nuc you will choose?
Best regards,

Hi Markus,
Well, I’d probably choose this one but it’s quite new, so may have to wait a little while for it to become more available.

But I have a spare NUC that used to serve as a Kodi box. Intel NUC5PPYH Next Unit of Mini PC Computing Kit (Pentium N3700 1.6 GHz Processor, HD Graphics)

This one isn’t as capable but would suffice for ‘tinkering’ I think.

Thanks, John

I think I have tried most versions on most OS over the years and I just can’t go past WIN 10. I know its an unpopular opinion but the thing with windows is that it works, you can get heaps of software for it and it is easy to use. I persisted with ubuntu for nearly a year and it all nearly worked… there was always a problem, a file share issue, a remote desktop issue, HDD crash and restore issues. Oh and you can do anything on it… as long as you can remember the command line for it… WIN10 updates cause machines to restart when you don’t want it to but this has been my only gripe with it on my NUC.

What kind of “monster applications” are you planning with openHAB? I’m running a pi3 with about 1500 items & 150 devices. Works fine. A little delay when modifying stuff, but the daily use is without.

Wow…that’s a lot of things. I’ve got much less. Only about thirty things.
Things are lights (Hue), light switches, radiators, electric heaters, doorbells, motion sensors, thermostats, contact sensors.
Rules planned around turning lights on/off, heaters on/off and responding to contact sensors on doors and my postbox!
What sort of things do you have?
What sort of rules are you planning on building?

Similar as you: hue lights, radiators, motion detectors, doorbell, door/window contacts. Additionally some multimedia stuff like Harmony, Squeezebox and Kodi.

I use some general heating rules, lights by events or general macros to turn several devices on/off with a single switch.

With your number of devices i would suggest buying a pi3 and use openHABian. Buy something more powerful if you need it, you don’t need it now. It’s also much simpler than installing everything from scratch. Put the image on SD and off you go.

Will only a Debian based distro work with openhabian? I am thinking of trying Fedora, but perhaps that will give me more trouble in this regard?

I don’t have Squeezebox or Harmony but yes, do have four Kodi boxes and three Google Home minis.
I haven’t tried any media rules yet mind. I envisage alerts or sound from kodi box when a trigger happens and/or sound from Google Home minis, also initiated from a trigger.
I’ve so far got things in OPenHAB in a ‘test’ form on a Windows box but have just put Ubuntu onto a NUC and have now installed OpenHab on there. So, will now move over from Windows to the Ubuntu NUC.
I did try installing OpenHabian on the NUC and was able to configure OpenHabian as described in the installation guide but got ‘lost’ getting any further but also, I was not able to see whether it was working or not since none of UIs responded.