Should I even attempt? Newbie install of OpenHAB to control LCN

I just moved into a rental apartment that has LCN controlled lights, shutters, and underfloor heating. There is an existing LCN-PKU USB interface in the wiring closet.

I have past experience with Zwave automation and even back to X10 stuff. Since I’ve been renting the past few years, the extent has been wifi switches and Amazon Echo. I’m willing to put in some effort to get a working home automation system that lets me operate the lights and shutters in this apartment, but I don’t want it to become a full-time job. And I’d just as soon not spend hundreds of Euros on additional software (LCN-PCHK) in the hope that I can make it work.

It sounds like getting OpenHAB up and running on a Raspberry Pi is pretty easy with openHABian, but the LCN thing isn’t exactly plug-and-play. Can anyone give me a guess at how much effort I should expect to have to put in to make this work?

  • Platform information:
    • Hardware: Raspberry Pi 4
    • OS: openHABian
    • Java Runtime Environment: ?
    • openHAB version: 2.5
  • Issue of the topic: What is the LoE to get up and running?

I haven’t bought the Raspberry Pi or started on anything yet.


If you buying a pi DONT buy the 8gig one.

If you understand most things in the binding doc you should be good to go.

“Hey alexa open the blinds”

You might want to also investigate openHAB3. It will be released before the end of this year. Updates for version 2…5 are expected to stop sometime next year.

The same instructions should likely work for openHAB3 but with a much different user interface.

Thanks. I really don’t want to spend 50 hours on this to find out I have to buy a €1200 copy of LCN-Pro and €400 on a copy of LCN-PCHK to make it work. Assume I will have to find out who set the LCN stuff up and get a username and password from them for openHAB to be able to discover everything through the USB interface?

openHAB is open source. The source for that binding is here.

If they fork it they are free to test & propose changes,

I was saying I assume I need to get a username and password for the LCN installation from my landlord or his electrician so that the LCN binding for openHAB can discover the “things” - lights, rolladen, etc. Or is the username and password only needed if going through LCN-PCHK? If it’s plugged directly into the USB interface maybe it doesn’t need to authenticate?

And I’m hoping someone who’s reading this can affirm that having the Raspberry Pi running openHAB plugged directly into the LCN-PKU USB interface will allow it to discover and control things without needing to buy more LCN software licenses.

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Why not?

OpenHAB is built for the 32 bit kernal. Beginners predominantly use and are encoraged to use the most stable and supported version of openhabian on the pi. Zram is used to extend the life of the sd card and will only work with 64bit kernal over 4gig due to the way the memory is addressed.

I run oh3 m3 on 64bit with a rpi4 8gig and zram.
If you have already purchased one like I have go for your life. You probably wont use more than 2 gig of ram on a headless machine anyway.

I just trying to save op some pain. Like the usb drivers may only come in 32 bit

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Thanks. I got my rPi4 with 4GB today, which I want to use to for OH3, mosquitto and grafana. However, I am running all my rPis with SSDs, in order to avoid any SD card trouble.
So, I figured the rPi4/4 would be good for that.


The LCN binding of openHAB does only support connections via LCN-PCHK or LCN-PKE. Connecting LCN-PC/-PK/-PKU directly to OH is not supported (and won’t from my side for technical reasons).

Anyone know if the Raspeberry Pi version of LCN-PCHK (link below) will run on openHABian? So that I can still just plug the LCN-PKU into a USB port on the rPi?

Or is the better bet to have the company who set it up install an LCN-PKE? The PKE is about €300 and PCHK license €250, but with PCHK I hope to be able to do it without having the landlord’s electrician come out (and presumably come back when I move out to return things to the way they are now), so the cost to go PKE could be considerably higher.

Any difference in how well LCN is supported or functions between PCHK and PKE?

And I definitely don’t need to buy/run a copy of LCN-Pro? It sounds like the the username/password are configured in the PCHK software, and I imagine if dimmers act weird I can just toggle the dimmer output resolution setting.

There is an LCN-PCHK 3.22 for Raspberry Pi I found here:

I run LCN PCHK on the same raspi as OpenHAB since 2018. You need at least one license to connect LCN with OpenHAB. But then … works great for me.

I installed OpenHabian on my rPi 4, then LCN-PCHK and its license key, and I was off the the races in no time. Thankfully, the electrician that setup the LCN system left a cheat-sheet listing what lights and shutters are connected to the various relays, dimmers, etc on the LCN modules. So I am able to control those things right away.

Figuring out the heating controls, temperature and motion sensors and whatever other goodies are hiding behind this LCN system by trial and error from the discovered LCN-UPS modules will be a whole other adventure. But I guess that’s the price to pay since I’m not willing to shell out €1200 for a copy of LCN-PRO.

I’m guessing there is no way to get OpenHAB to discover the “active” channels on LCN modules. Does LCN-PCHK register/broadcast everything that is happening in the LCN bus? Is there a way I can turn on logging somewhere and look for messages that happen when I press a button on a panel or walk by a motion sensor to help me identify the specific module/channel being used?

Many thanks to all who contribute to OpenHAB and participate in the forum. It has given me the confidence to get much further, much more quickly than I expected.

Watched the 3 hour Virtual Meetup video yesterday. It took about 7 hours while I paused, backed up, experimented and rewatched. It was extremely helpful and among many other things it answered my question in the previous post about logging.

just get the copy of the pchk for Windows. You can connect it to the PCHK on the Pi and you can run the logger on this. Then you can see what is going on on your LCN bus.