Setup your own openhab-cloud (myopenhab) server/instance

Because of the recent myopenhab outages I’ve decided it would be better in the long run if I ran my own instance of the openhab-cloud. I spent a couple of hours walking through the setup to get it working and recorded how I did it incase someone wants to do the same.


  • A server or VPS somewhere exposed to the Internet that you can dedicate to running openhab-cloud. I’m using Linux and have no experience in Windows.
  • A domain name you can use (subdomain is fine)
  • Some knowledge of the software or system if issues come up.

Step 1

Read the official docs. Don’t follow them just yet, just read them so you understand what’s going on.

Step 2: Setup a new instance/server.

You’ll need somewhere to run openhab-cloud. I suggest a cheap VPS, you can get one from AWS, Google, Linode, Digital Ocean or Scaleway (which is what I’m using for this demo). I’m running it on a $3/month VPS and it’s running just fine. I won’t go into the details here on how to setup a server.

I suggest Ubuntu 16.04 because that’s what I used so I know it works. If you’re running on x86 hardware I can’t guarantee everything will go smooth since Scaleway is ARM but I see no reason why it wouldn’t.

While your server is being setup, continue to step3.

Step 3: Valid domain name so we can set up SSL

You can get domains as cheap as $5/year now or you could simple use a subdomain of a domain you already own. I’ll be using a subdomain for this demo,

Once your server is setup and you have an ip go ahead and create a new DNS A record for your domain. Get this going since it takes some time to propagate. I can’t explain this since every service is a little different but there are ton of tutorials online so just search “new dns a record in _____” fill in your domain registers name.

Step 4: Nginx

I’m assuming you have a running server with a subdomain pointed at it. I’m assuming Ubuntu so all commands are based on that, if you’re using something else you’ll have to adapt.

Update the server

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Change the server hostname to what you defined the domain to be so I have mine as

sudo hostname

setup nginx (could use apache too but the instructions below are for nginx)

sudo apt-get nginx
rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

create a new dir for your domain name

vim /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Copy this basic config below, make sure to change the server_name part and root to the directory you created in the last step.

server {
    listen 80 default_server;
    listen [::]:80 default_server;
    server_name ;

    root /var/www/;
    index index.html index.htm;
    location ~ /.well-known {
    	allow all;

add an index.html file to the root so we can test everything is working.
restart nginx and make sure you can see the index.html page using curl


##Step 5: Letsencrypt

Instructions are here but I’ll go over everything

sudo apt-get install letsencrypt

Your webserver has to be up and running and the domain name has to work since it’s verified externally. If you can’t visit your index.html via your domain name you’ll have to wait to continue. Once you can visit and get your test page we can continue.

Change domain name and path

sudo letsencrypt certonly -a webroot --webroot-path=/var/www/ -d

Should see a success message, if not might be a permissions issue or check to make sure your path is correct.


  • If you lose your account credentials, you can recover through
    e-mails sent to
  • Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at
    /etc/letsencrypt/live/ Your cert
    will expire on 2017-06-07. To obtain a new version of the
    certificate in the future, simply run Let’s Encrypt again.

Follow the instructions to setup letsencrypt to auto renew, I’ll wait.

##Step 6: Setup SSL in nginx

Change the domain name and path.

vi /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
server {
    listen 80 default_server;
    listen [::]:80 default_server;
    return 301 https://$server_name$request_uri;

server {
    listen 443 ssl default_server;
    listen [::]:443 ssl default_server;
    server_name ;

    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;

    ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
    ssl_ecdh_curve secp384r1;
    ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:10m;
    ssl_session_tickets off;
    ssl_stapling on;
    ssl_stapling_verify on;
    resolver valid=300s;
    resolver_timeout 5s;

    add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=63072000; includeSubdomains";
    add_header X-Frame-Options DENY;
    add_header X-Content-Type-Options nosniff;

    root /var/www/;
    index index.html index.htm;
    location ~ /.well-known {
    	allow all;

Try out the domain, if you go to http it should redirect to https. Make sure you can still see the index.html file and it’s secure. You should not be able to see a non secure version.

##Step 7: Setup myopenhab

sudo apt-get install build-essential redis-server mongodb python git

clone repo (change to your root location)

cd /var/www/
git clone

install latest node and npm

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install nodejs

install npm packages

cd var/www/
npm install

Copy and edit config

cp config-development.json config.json

Open it up and change the first line, other settings are optional

Start the app make sure there are no errors.

sudo node app.js

starts up on port 3000, you can test if you use curl locally.

curl http://localhost:3000 and you shoul see an html openhab page.

More changes to nginx config to serve up static files and proxy to the node app

Change path locations as needed. Add this to the ssl/443 server block

    location /css {
        alias  /var/www/;
    location /js {
        alias /var/www/;
    location /img {
        alias /var/www/;
    location /bootstrap {
        alias /var/www/;
    location /font-icons {
        alias /var/www/;
    location /fonts {
        alias /var/www/;
    location /js-plugin {
        alias /var/www/;
    location /downloads {
        alias /var/www/;

    location / {
        proxy_pass http://localhost:3000;
        proxy_redirect off;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr ;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for ;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;

Go to the site and you should see the myopenhab signup/signup page. Just register like normal, add your uuid/secret keys from openhab to the settings page and then update the binding in the paper UI to point to your private server.

Next task, getting Alexa to work with a private server.

Patch Update
You probably want to apply this patch too so that other people can’t register on your instance.


Followed your guide… got my openhabcloud running in under 30 minutes!

Thanks… only thing i noticed is that when trying to access my dashboard it still refers to instead of my private url… I think i noticed a topic around this already… let’s see if we can fix this :slight_smile:

Could you explain this a little more, I don’t see this.

the link towards the dashboard “Click here to access your openhab’s dashboard” still points towards (lower left corner) whilst i would expect this to point to my private url.

Is my understanding correct?

Got it, fixed it in this patch if you’re interested.

1 Like

Fast fix! love it…!!

one other question… are you able to use Paper UI through the Dashboard? All other UI’s (including habpanel) seem to work just fine but Paper UI gives me " Cannot GET /paperui/index.html"

Will the openhab-cloud server work with Google’s cheapest version of their compute engines with only 0.6 GB RAM?

I’m not the developer so I’m not really sure what they’re doing here but I see no reason why it can’t be done. I created an issue for it.

I would assume so, mine is currently only using 174M ram and no cpu.

Hi Chris,

I spinned up a VM at

  • 4 dedicated ARM cores
  • 2GB RAM
  • 50GB SSD
  • 200Mb/s unmetered traffic

2,99 a month… more powerful and cheaper when compared to google

1 Like

awesome stuff!

I didn’t try it out yet, does this have by chance any impact on response times? I found that using the official alexa skill with myopenhab results in 5-10 seconds delay, until the job is executed.

It’s much faster on it’s own server (assuming you’re the only one using it)

How difficult is to handle the updates of the cloud?

Assuming no broken changes by the developers, pretty easy.

  • git pull
  • restart

Wouldn’t it be nice if the repo README contains a banner with the Travis CI or Cloudbees status?

1 Like

OK, Noob question here, using terminal, cd to openhab-cloud sub-d, run “git pull”, git tells me “already up to date”, although I don’t have either of the new config-x.json files, with the registration disable code. Am I missing something??

Thanks for your help!!!

PS Double NOOB, both git and ubuntu, although I understand how both work, and have "played’ with various Linux systems in the past.

You’re doing it right, that commit hasn’t been merged into master yet when it does the git pull will get it.

After I posting I looked around, and with my small understanding of GIT, I thought that was what was up, but wanted the “expert” answer. LOL


thanks for this great tutorial, but I’ve one question:

How can I start app.js as a service?




That works.