Leaving PC based home automation looking for best Linux single board solution for openHAB2.X

I am leaving a Smarthome system been using for 12 years. want to jump into openHAB 2.x and I am looking for the best single board system to start with. I have used Arduino for automation of Christmas displays and have extensive experience in Windows, networking, Cisco, putty as well as industrial controllers PLC_X, Slick and such. I can hack around in Linux and make things work but I am looking for motivation to learn it in depth…
Can you give me a good reason to choose any given single board unit over the others other than that is what you know and like?
Thanks in advance

Unless someone does a full assessment of your requirements and then the analysis of options out there I suspect most people can only offer you a few pointers around their experience and opinions maybe on what they are used to.

The reasons I select one device over another might not be the right reasons for you so I can’t guarantee these are good reasons they might just be what I know and like :wink:

RPi 3 will certainly give you Linux experience especially if you opt for a core raspbian light headless OS. It is a well supported Debian based platform so has the LAMP stack and variants available to play with. Clearly the openHAB recommendation is to use openHABian which will work nicely I’m sure but it’s then doing some of the work for you that you might want to do to learn more about the OS platform.

I would opt to run from USB SSD and not SD cards otherwise you will likely spend more time trying to minimize SD card writes and worrying about stability than you will gain from just using the Pi as a stable server. Does add to your start cost a bit so again comes back to what are your priorities/preferences. Or you could look at that as an opportunity to learn more low level Linux stuff about RAM discs, backups and restores etc

openHAB itself wont teach you Linux in depth but hosting on a Linux based headless server will make sure you get your hands a bit dirty.

:+1: to everything Ray said.

I’ll add that openHABian can work on just about any Debian based Linux so if you want to focus on learning OH more than learning Linux I can’t recommend it enough.

I’m going to receive a Banana Pi Zero in the mail today (apparently it took the slow boat from China) and plan on testing out on that using openHABian over the coming weeks.

The RPI3 is probably the most common platform of any type OH users run on. The Pine64 is probably the second most common SBC people run on. But many users also run on NUCs, VMs (I run this way using Docker), old laptops (I used to run this way), etc. It is pretty flexible to hardware and with Benjy’s backup and restore scripts now shipping with the SNAPSHOT it is super easy to switch between platforms and OSes.

I’ve seen OrangePi and BeagleBones also mentioned a few times.

If you want to play it a little safe, I’d recommend sticking with the RPi3 as you will have the largest community on this forum to help should you run into something odd. But, as long as the SBC has enough resources and is stable, it should run happily on any of them.

Thanks a lot, I have a 4 terabyte Freenas setup I have been running for 4 or 5 years so I can work my way around disks and such in Linux, and I ran a fair amount of pentesting software on my work network. no expert but I can make it work.
I plan on starting small and working with a half dozen Zwave lights and Amazon Echo and voice control. I had Smart home home automation setup 10 years ago with X10 (UGLY) and about 25 devices and a voice conferencing system for voice recognition. I sort of drifted out of it after moving into town and having a lot of issues with Line noise on City electrical systems.
Looking to get back into it again now that voice has matured a lot and there are a number of home devices at affordable prices and OpenHAB seems to be the universal interface I was always looking for and the community is willing to share in true open source tradition.
The single board systems Arduino and PI are attractive because of the small footprint and low energy requirements, and running without Microsoft update cycles would be nice. I do run a PC for XBMC variants and Netflix on my big screen so I have a PC that could run it .
Just looking for advice before I invest in singleboards to find out they are limited and return to Linux Distro or Full PC system.
Thank you again for your input.

Just because it is Linux doesn’t mean you can ignore updates, and it doesn’t mean updates do not sometimes break things. Just say’n.

In particular, the update to Raspbian Stretch this time around broke Mosquitto, the MQTT broker most of us use. MS gets a bad rap. Noone does updates well.

I am fine doing updates and I understand they are the way things grow and improve.
I did computer security for 17 years so they are part of my being.I ordered a RPi3B today and will begin the process of learning the new systems and converting over.
Thanks for the assist. Looking forward to this new adventure…

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