OH3 pages textual configuration

Hi folks,
I really like the new openhab 3 main-ui but I also want to keep all my configruation in filebased form in the “conf” directory for backup and other personal reasons.
Is there a way to configure the new main-ui’s pages and not only sitemaps in a filebased way?
e.g. to add separators or set a fix cardOrder

  label: Home Page
  - component: oh-locations-tab
        - separator: Ground Floor
        - GF_Living
        - GF_Corridor
        - GF_Kitchen
        - GF_Toilet
        - gGF
        - separator: First Floor
        - FF_Bed
        - FF_Bath
        - FF_Corridor
        - FF_Office
        - FF_Daughter
        - gFF
        - FF_Son
        - separator: Basement
        - gC
        - separator: Outside
        - Garden

Where to place the files?

 |-html <- here?
 |-sitemaps <- or here?

I could not find any examples for this, so it would be nice if someone could help me out.

Thanks in advance!

Not that I am aware of.

I am not sure because I don’t use filebased MainUI pages, but everything should go into the jsondb database files (which are textfiles by the way).
The default page “Overview” (the only one I have) can be found in


  "overview": {
    "class": "org.openhab.core.ui.components.RootUIComponent",
    "value": {
      "uid": "overview",
      "timestamp": "Nov 26, 2020, 2:19:13 PM",
      "component": "oh-layout-page",
      "config": {
        "label": "Overview"
      "slots": {
        "default": []

I assumed they meant text files that could be edited without needing to stop OH first.

Valid point.

Well, so much for “textual configuration will still be supported!”

You could configure the Paper UI via text files?? I never knew!

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No, nobody said that MainUI could be configured like items or things in plain text files. This was never possible with PaperUI too.

Textual config is possible like it was in oh2!

There was no real textual config for PaperUI, just options for inbox behavior and some more, which are still valid in oh3, only syntax changed from org.eclipse… to org.openhab…

That was my point. Not being able to configure the UI through text was not a change from OH2 to OH3.

It was implied it might have been a move away from text configuration but that is not the case.

I will give my vote for additional support to configure the “pages” in text files. I can accept when new users prefer the UI way, but I am also belong to the group of users which have the whole openHAB system in text-files. So with the look back to the switch from openHAB 2.5.10 to openHAB 3.0.0 it was really easy to get the system in a complete new installation up.
The last two days I edited my item files to integrated the semantic structure and I works good.
Also editing in Visual Studio Code with the openHAB extension makes me a lot of fun.

So, summary: When I will spent time into pages, I have the wish to back them easy with copying the openhab-conf folder to another location up.


The paperUI did not have the kind of visualization the new main UI is offering.
And I did not know that if something was not possible in OH2 that this will never be possible even with a new major version and a new concept.

So nothing changed for new introduced UIs (from OH1 to OH2 and now to OH3) they cannot be configured via textual configuration. So the only solution is using sitemaps which are not nearly as nice as the new UI

Ok, misunderstood your comment😉

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What‘s the point configuring the Pages of the new UI with textfiles ?
You would not get the benefit of syntax check and autocompletion.

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This must be not correct. When I edit my file with Visual Studio Code and the openHAB extension (and I also use the openHAB Alignment Tool Extension) I got checks about my Syntax, it got the actual values of items and sometimes groups, if defined, I get different colors for the parts of an item definition and it is very easy to make bulk changes (like today when I reorganize my whole group structure).

Like above said, I can accept when new users will use the UI, but I had learned to love the supposed old configuration over text files.

Yes, because somebody wrote this extension. I don‘t see the new feature implemented in the near future, cause the possibilities framework7 is giving are too huge…

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Nobody is taking this away.

Hopefully. But as the topic starter requested, something is now missing from the list of supported configuration items.

openHAB2 is still an option too. There are no plans for it to automatically stop working.

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Well, what’s the point of configuring using GUI?

You don’t get the benefits of:

  • preferred editing environment
  • version controlled configuration
  • universal, “Lowest Common Denominator” format (plain text)
  • not having to touch mouse
  • etc.

By all accounts, your work on the new GUI is remarkable, Hans. And thank you for that by the way. My understanding is you put quite some effort into that for quite a long time. So I am not replying about your work specifically which seems wonderful.

Rather I try and push back (in a general way) on this “GUI first” mentality that I am afraid to become prevalent in the project.

I realize my influence is limited as I am at best an occasional forum contributor here, much less any code. But forums are for discussion. All I can do is voice my opinion.