Need Guidance to Better Understand Hub Differences

Hey Yo’s:

So, I’ve been Smart Housing for about a year and a half. I started with a Samsung Smartthings Hub v3, realized after 6 months what all the hub-bub r regarding local vs. cloud based systems, and switched to a Hubitat Elevation Hub which I’m still using today.

There are a number of reasons I’m interested in switching to a different local based hub, most of which I suspect most of you have experienced or heard about. That said, I’m now looking at openHAB and Home Assistant as my most likely choice.

I’ve looked at the two to see which would be best for my requirements, but I’m having trouble finding the distinction between the two. No amount of Google-Fu, researching, and reading will tell me what the nuanced differences are, but I’m hoping you guys can.

One of the key characteristics which may or may not be relevant, is that despite an honest effort, I am not and likely won’t ever be a coder. That part of my brain, the language centers, I think that’s where all the lead paint chips I ate as a kid have accumulated.

So pretty simple question, but might be a complicated answer:

What are the key differences which set openHAB apart from Home Assistant?


First of all welcome !
Surely there will be someone more into OH that will answer about the differences (I’ve never used OA).

What I can tell you about ‘coding’ is that OH require some basic “scripting” to say the least to implement the logic of automation via rules. (There is also an experimental UI to build the rules).
The level of this “coding” depends on your goals/skills.

I have to say there are a lot of things planned for future release (OH 3) aimed to simplify also the rules via GUI.

You can even setup openhab without “automation” at first. Building your sitemap with all the commands/switches/informations you need and command them by hand via the UI.

My two cents

Now that’s a question I guess noone will answer completely - there’s just too many.
OH and HA have different technical bases and architecture, different look 'n feel.
One main characteristics that I feel to be an advantage of OH is that it is way more stable and reliable.
HA code changes every week, often fixing issues but also often introducing new ones at the same time. For OH, even if you choose to run the latest snapshot, it is usually working well.

And this community makes a difference. Friendly, competent and helpful people.
Forgive me, but as a moderator I have to say that :wink: . But many will agree to that statement.

First, neither Home Assistant nor OpenHAB require special hubs. People sometimes use the other hubs with these packages. Others use usb controller sticks for Z-Wave and Zigbee. That is what I am doing.

I moved here earlier this summer after using Home Assistant. The basic differences usually stated are correct. HA has planned software releases every 2 or 3 weeks. The OpenHAB schedule is to have a stable release every 6 months but we are currently behind schedule here. HA is easier to configure and a few OH portions are still configured with text files. Both systems offer cloud services to integrate with services such as Alexa and other cloud based systems. The HA system is paid. Although the OH system is free, some people report performance issues. The OH cloud code is freely available to set up a private cloud server. The nonprofit foundation providing the OH service cannot charge a fee for its use. HA only has one software version tree. IH has 3. Stable Testing Unstable.

Somebody here has stated the the 3 most important things for a home automation system are stability, stability, and stability. I don’t think anyone has accused HA of being stable. Even with the short release schedule they many times have a patch release within 24 hours of a software release. They never fix all the bugs before the next release where they add new bugs and tend to reorganize configuration causing breaking changes. Their cloud service, if you choose to use it, is a paid service that currently employs 2 full time developers for HA.

Moving to the forum here from HA feels like moving from a bickering children forum to an adult one. The developers here are more than willing to help. The Eurospace engineer who develops the zwave and zigbee bindings was a big help when I had initial issues with my devices. The current OH release has been delayed to insure stability and reduced bugs. Between M1 and M2 in the current testing tree the developers merged in the Eclipse Smart Home project which is shutting down development. They also fully redesigned the software build system to modernize it. The original goal for testing releases was to release once a month. Since 2,5M2 and 2,5M3 were released a month apart we appear to be getting back on schedule.

In m opinion although OpenHAB is more complex and flexible it is a good choice for non coders who are willing to spend the time to learn and ask good questions here to resolve issues. For those who want a stable functioning system OpenHAB is the obvious choice. Those who want to continuously change their configuration as a hobby are free to use Home Assistant.

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