openHAB2 Raspberry beginner’s walkthrough – Using Raspberry Pi 3 and openHAB2 to create a home automation controller for Z-Wave, WiFi LED, 433MHz plugs, Yahoo Weather and weather widget

Hi community.

I was starting my home automation project using openHAB2 on a Raspberry including Z-Wave devices a few week ago.
I consider myself a noob when it comes to Raspberry, Linux/Raspbian and specially coding.
So I was going to a lot of hrs, a lot of online forums and a lot of pain before I was able to get started and get some results with my home improvement project.
Since I wouldn’t have done the trick without help for the community, and I anyway documented a little bit of the process I decided to create “openHAB2 for Dummies” tutorial allowing more people to have fun with openHAB2 easier and with less brain-crushing moments.

I started to share 2 draft versions of a *.pdf document, but was asked by the community to transfer it to a Markdown document, so it can be included in the standard documentation on

So after a few more weeks I am able to present the a first draft online in

So now the walkthrough is available for community feedback in github.

Please keep on posting your comments.

And special thanks again to all those who helped me in my process!!


PS: I will try to transfer the rest of the chapters asap to provide you with a complete webbased walkthrouhg. And as some might observe, I was also able to include 433MHz plugs into the Project.


Are you aware of our beginners tutorial?
As you can see on that page contributions to it are highly welcome! So instead of creating a separate document, it would be great if you could contribute your valuable input and experience to that official tutorial, so that new users can easily benefit from it!


@caesar_1111 we’d love to see your input!
You can simply add your content in this dedicated github repository for openHAB documentation.

There are articles that require some serious work, e.g.:
Persistence or Actions.

Note that some of the docs are not yet imported from openhab1-addons wiki - they may cover some stuff as well :slight_smile:

Good luck!

Yes I am aware of that tutorial and used this one and a lot of the other tutorials on but see comment below

Since I have no rights to upload files to this repository and my tutorial containing a lot of pictures I can’t really transform the tutorial to this github repository without loosing a lot of its information. Please also consider I am still a dummy when it comes down to coding and working with things like github

So here a few more words about why I was writing the tutorial in the way I did
Since I had to really start from scratch having no experience at all, I found it very hard go go through all this online tutorials and raw pieces of information because there you might find an explanation of how things are done but not something close to complete step by step walkthourgh.
So my intention was to create a document with has the look and feel of raspberry maker tutorial like e.g. provided by which is giving you a beginning to end (well it never ends if you once started enjoying working with openHAB2 :slight_smile: documentation in one document.
I also was writing the tutorial out of the eyes of a noob, so I was putting in peaces of information a seasoned coder will never think of since it is as natural as breathing for the guy.

bottom line
I hope I can do at least some good to noobs like me trying to start with openHAB2 based home automation while seasoned user might laugh at this tutorial.



The Tutorial is hosted on GitHub, not the forum. You have full rights and ability to upload all the screenshots you need. I agree with Kai and Kubawolanin, it would be a much greater contribution to the community if it were added to the official docs rather than as a separate document, a PDF document to boot which is less typical and less userfriendly format.

All the things you site, except perhaps the format, are all things the currently incomplete Beginner’s Tutorial and installation docs are supposed to cover. We know that it is incomplete and needs work.

We are not arguing against the tutorial. It is great stuff. We just think it would be far more useful to the community overall if it were actually included in the official docs, not a forum posting with a link to a PDF document. In its current form, my fear is that your hard work will be largely overlooked and soon lost to the archives.

1 Like

Thats at least what is telling me when I am using the File Upload button
But the error might be on my end of the screen since I never used github before and I am new in how it works.
So without the pictures being available, a crucial part in this tutorial will be missing.

True if you are a coding expert!
And here comes the big “looking at if from a noobs perspective” BUT:
A PDF is just “a”, meaning one simple file containing all the information you need. You can just put it on a tablet or similar device and put it next to your Raspberry /PC. You do not have the know anything about github and how to create a local copy of your github files on your machine / tablet.

And here comes the other, much greater BUT:

I absolutely agree on that point since only then this tutorial can be improved and will stay up to date!

So considering I can solve the issue with not being able to upload the files in github, or you can show me what I was doing worng I will try to transfer all the information into github.
And here I can also apply to the community thought:
If someone is out there, which more experience in how to work with github, and is able to spend some time in transferring the file to github I am more than happy to share the original MS-Word or Open Office File with this person.
Since my vacation is now over I would not be able to spend the same amount of time I was doing while creating the tutorial (5+hrs a day)


1 Like

I am about as noob as one can get. I really appreciate your tutorial. Concise, easy to follow steps and to the point. I read the online tutorial over and over and there is so much information I get lost in it.

just make sure you download the 2nd Draft

since I just uploaded a newer version.

Please also feel free to send back any error you can find in the tutorial, since the tutorial being 75 pages strong, I know there are still a lot errors staring at me, I am just to blind to see then;)

1 Like

You need to create a PR and push the images through git I suppose. I’m not the greatest with github myself. @ThomDietrich, any advice?

But you don’t have to do that with a web page either? And with a web page it is easier to copy and paste commands, and it is easier to navigate, bookmark your place where you left off, and it is always (mostly) up to date.

I do not see how a web page requires a “coding expert” to use. And frankly, if one is so much a noob as to be challenged by a web page version of instructions they are going to be very challenged when they get to the end of the PDF and want to do something more.

That’s the one I have, thank you!

@caesar_1111 Hello Ceasar, I just went through parts of your experience, probably with the same background and experienced a lot of the things you described to be very difficult.
I do believe, that all beginners guides are to be seen as an extension to what you are explaining in the document. The struggle of creating a basic setup and only making tiny tiny steps (while celebrating each success) was hard for me as well.

Thanks for your input and the motivation to give back help to the community that obviously helped you (and me) a lot already.

Best regards

1 Like

Something is missing. I just followed your steps and after the first reboot when you go to a web browser to get into open hab I get …


Problem accessing /start/index. Reason:

Not Found

Powered by Jetty://

Got this several times trying to reload the page, when I came back to it about 10 minutes later it started working. you will want to add in “let it sit for a little bit as things load and set completely started”

I can see this causing confusion with people very new to linux and how things will take time in the background.

Also you mention in Z wave adding devices “NOTE: some devices may come up as “unknown device”. You can still add the device and “cure” the information later.” but then do not reference where I can flip to in order to do this. you jump directly to “things,channels,Items” leaving the reader lost if they do have “unknown” items.


thks timgray for the input.
I will update this in the master document.
Since I was receiving a strong request to transfer the whole tutorial to a format which is similar to the ones on, I will collect all the input available an create new version of the document and try to provide it as an online documentation rather than a single PDF. Benefit will be that the entire community can contribute without being limited by the availability of the owner itself. But to achieve this, we have to use some kind of collaborative communications platform.
Since all this is already has been chosen within the openhab2 platform the future of this document will be:

  • the document provided on the code sharing platform GitHub.
  • the format of the the documentation be Markdown (Markdown is a lightweight markup language with plain text formatting syntax:
    Since the original version of this document was was written in Word it will take some time to transfer the information to the new format without loosing information.
    But please keep feeding feedback so I can provide a as good as possible version of the document before I upload it the community.


PS: Experts, please always bare in mind that this document is not supposed to be an expert compendium but rather a " I do know shit, but I want to at least something with a limited amount of effort" thing. So try to focus on the fun factor for noobs rather looking at the perfect solution for every imaginable problem.


Hi Caesar,

many thanks for your effort. I appreciate it.
Just one tiny question: have you seen “openhabian”? I strongly recommend it over Raspbian for beginners …

cheers, K/S


yes I did, and for two major reasons I decided for writing a Raspbian for beginners tutorial:
1st: I wanted to Focus on the GUI centric Approach since on Raspberry Pi 3 the Pixel GUI makes it really easier for beginners (at least my opinion)
2nd: I wanted to use a plain Installation of Raspbian, so even the beginner will get a Chance to have a closer look into Raspbian (again my way of approaching things)

So if you just want to use openHAB2 you can go for the openhabian Installation.
If you want to do some more things wit the Raspberry, like using with the 7" Display as the Interface to your home Automation Project, the bottom up Raspbian Approach is the way to go.

Remark: Since I was following my walkthrough multiple times Setting up my teastbed, I can tell you it is an easy thing to do. Just Keep to the mandatory parts and you will have the openHAB2 up and running within 20 minutes tops (inkl. flashing the SD Card)

1 Like

Thank you very much! I began to learn the openhab several weeks ago, and I’m seeking for such a passage for too long because after I read through the official document for twice, I’m still puzzled. I think it will be much useful for the beginners. :blush: