openHab for general people and not developers

So it would seem that the rules are really what provides interesting smart home features. Is there a “rule store” (almost like an app store), where people can download useful rules written by others?

There are sample rules that you can check out, but they would not work the same on your system because you would most likely have different items (z-wave switches, sensors, hue lights, etc). Rules basically tie your items with times, sensors and actions. You can copy and paste the samples to use, but you would have to modify them to match your items and incorporate them in to your sitemap. If you have questions about a specific item that you have, search here, chances are that someone has a post on it.

Best of luck!

This is one of the goals with the new rules engine being worked on for OH2. Until that is done and for OH 1 you best bet is to do what @jsable recommends and find examples and modify as needed. However, I must warn you that you should spend some time understanding how OH’s various parts and configs work together so you can do the customization and debug problems.

However, keep in mind that even when OH2’s new rules engine is released, this sort of thing can only go so far in making rules easy for non-programmers to use. You can set a system up and make it the simplest drag and drop interface, but unless you limit your options to such an extent that it is no longer to possible to customize most of that your HA can do (btw, this is the approach of most commercial options) which would be antithetical to what OH is all about, it is still programming.

Right, however, an app platform would seem to have larger adoption won’t it? openHAB can retain its DIY nature, but at the same time, offer some kind of lower barrier for entry to regular users too. I’m wondering why openHAB does not support “apps” similar to SmartThings.

It is moving in that direction in OH2 with automatic discovery of Items, the new PaperUI, and reusable and sharable rules, but it takes a huge amount of work to achieve and even when it is done, unless OH is crippled to only allow a very limited set of use cases (like almost every other commercial offering), it will always be more complicated than the average joe non-programmer will be able to manage without learning them some programming concepts.

I have never seen a system that was successfully able both make a system easy to use for newcomers and provide the power, configuration, and options demanded by “power users”. Commercial options like Vera, Wink, and Smarthome have the newcomers market in mind and OH has the “power users” in mind so OH will always be more capable than those commercial options but it also will always be more complex and have a greater barrier to entry than those options.

Is there some forum post, or feature note I can read about the “shareable rules” aspect?

All i know is being able to share rules is one of @Kai’s goals with the new rules engine he is writing for OH2, but the existing rules engine will be the default one when OH2 is released.

This new rule engine is developed at Eclipse SmartHome and some initial developer documentation is available at
This all isn’t ready for prime time yet, but I hope to have it ready as an experimental feature in openHAB 2 in a few weeks from now.