Touch screen display - dumb question

This might sound like a dumb question and myself I’m starting to doubt my brightness, however, after hours of Google I still have no glue, how I get some kind of user interface to a touch screen tablet PC running windows.

First try was HabPanel by the way of Window 10 HabPanel App - no way to get this installed and people here just put me on the way to use Main UI. Good idea, since in the HabPanel Windows 10 git project, there wasn’t much going on in the recent years.

Did that, created a page. So, how can I get this page on a tablet PC full-screen and automatically when windows starts? What is the application maintaining this page - the Web Browser? Probably… I have heard the Kiosk Mode in Goggle - is that it?

Isn’t there a single documentation or example where all this starts at the beginning down to end? I liked what I see in HabPanel but I do not understand how I can design a page in OH3. The MainUI, well yeah, the fist thing you read: “… if it’s going to be professional you need custom widgets…” - sorry, is this a playground or really something you can get on an use?

Some direction is greatly appreciated.



Not really because it isn’t really an openHAB issue. MainUI, HABPanel, even BasicUI are all just web pages. How that web page is displayed is largely up to you and the program you use to display the web page.

Start with the UI sections of the Getting Started Tutorial. Those parts of the tutorial do provide a walk-through for creating pages, putting widgets on pages, installing widgets from the marketplace, and creating your own custom widgets. The main section of docs have the reverence guide.

Home automation in general is an exercise in development. Everyone’s home automation is bespoke and, despite the best efforts to hide it behind configuration, creating your home automation is a development activity with more in common with programing than it does with creating a PowerPoint slide deck.

So yes, it’s going to take some learning, trial and error, experimentation, and refactoring to build your bespoke home automation.

Thank you very much - so I’m afraid OpenHab is not the thing for me. I need something rock-solid to visualize a KNX installation and to provide a very specific way of dimming in/out. Since it’s not for Home Automation but for a birds refugee, there is not much room for playing around. Maybe I was just a blinded by all the videos around in youtube.

HabPanel seemed to me as way more than I requested, but I simply stumble creating my first page. Using Main UI I got it going, besides I have no access to the KNX bus via the Weinzierl module. But from there, what is the URL to use on the tablet PC to access the page I’ve just created in full-screen mode? Understood, not OpenHab’s business but would still be good to know.

Two days and almost no progress and still no idea on how to fix the KNX access.

But thanks to you for taking the time to answer!

The URL is the same. It’s a feature of the web browser. On a Mac using Brave there’s an option under “View” to “Enter Full Screen”. You just need to figure out what that is on your browser on your OS.

I got you - but all the UI is esoteric, if I can’t reach out to the KNX bus. And after reading more and more, I understand there are some serious shortcomings in OpenHab with regard to support KNX and especially the serial interface mode of the BAOS 838 module.
Thank you - Christian.

I’ve been reading through it further and from what I understand, HabPanel should still be a viable option, just uses a different approach. I’m riding this issue because for my personal taste, I find the HabPanel widget way more appealing compared to what is offered by the Main UI.

Having said that, I’ll try to make the questions a grisp as possible:

  1. How can I create a HabPanel-based UI with OH3 - I just have “Pages” within the settings and while adding one, I’m unable to select something “HabPanel-ish”.

  2. There are a view app(lications) out there for different platforms serving HabPanel UI’s. However, I’ve also read, that HabPanel may also be served by a browser. I haven’t found a distinct tutorial down to very last where the UI is presented on a tablet PC… so, can I use HabPanels in a browser and in that concept, is the touch screen fully supported?

  3. I got many advices here to abandon HabPanel and go for the Main UI. I’m somewhat reluctant because of the reason mentioned above. And I got it running with the Main UI and have to say - not a big deal and intuitive. Is there any possibility to get a very similar look-and-feel (like the HabPanel) with the Main UI?

  4. And, is it really better to abandon HabPanel for the Main UI and what are the reasons (besides consolidation issues)?

Thank you guys and have a great day!

Habpanel is an additional userinterface delivered with openhab. You first need to switch to habpanel and create your pages from there. Within mainui you can only create pages for main ui, within habpanel you can only create pages for habpanel.

It’s vice versa: the main way how habpanel is delivered is via webbrowser. All other “apps” people maybe build are on top and just showing the webpage in kiosk mode (that’s what is now told in two different topics by different people to your).

If you like the look and feel of habpanel go with it.

Main UI has a different default design, therefore if you want to stick closer to out of the box functionality you will not get 100% the same look and feel (however mainui is fully customable and with some html and css you can theoretically design any look and feel).

The reason (at least from my perspective) why mainui is recommended is, because 1) it’s build into openhab & you do not have two switch between user interfaces for admin/config vs dashboard and 2) mainui is newer, we’ll receive more updates, you will have more people in the community sharing their work and are willing to help you. Habpanel is older and theoretically could be deprecated or at least get no new features (even that’s just my personal view and I’m not aware of any official decision)

Just as an (extrem) example have a look here how people customizing mainui to get a different look and feel.

As already mentioned building custom widgets and creating custom code is optional.
You can build pages within mainui via GUI without any technical skills, but if you want to customize the look and feel than it’s more about creating your own widgets.

Servus Matthias,
I see… will probably get there with the Main UI as well. And yes, I’d certainly rather go with something that is well-maintained.
Thanks for the insight!

In addition to what @Matze0211 said, make sure you install HABPanel. It’s a wholly separate UI and it’s not installed by default.

Once installed (in MainUI go to Settings → User Interfaces) you can switch to it by clicking on the little square icon in the upper right corner of your MainUI Overview Page (first page you see when you bring up MainUI. You will see HABPanel listed there.

Yes, even in those apps, they are just displaying a web page. Whether it’s on a tablet or a Windows PC or a phone, it’s all just a web page. All the touch and scrolling and such is implemented by the browser, not by HABPanel.

Probably not. The two use very different underlying JavaScript frameworks with different “visual languages”. HABPanel looks like a Vue app because that’s what it uses. MainUI looks like F7 because that’s what it uses.

You can get something that works similarly, but probably not something that looks similar.

  • MainUI is an all-in-one UI. It supports admin as well as end users to include role based access (only two roles but it’s better than nothing), authentication, etc.

  • We don’t have that many maintainers who have the time, knowledge, and skill to maintain lots and lots of different UIs.

  • HABPanel has some very serious limitations such as an inability to reflow the widgets for different sized screens. If you want to use a phone, a tablet, and a laptop, you need to build three different HABPanels, one for each. MainUI is much better able to handle adjusting based on screen size.

  • This is personal opinion, but out of the box HABPanel looks kind of dated and it takes a huge amount of work to create custom widgets. MainUI looks a bit more recent in it’s design language and it’s possible to create even pretty complex custom widgets without being an expert in Vue, JavaScript, and CSS.

  • I believe MainUI has already surpassed HABPanel in the number of custom widgets available on the marketplace and the number is growing. I can’t remember the last time someone published a custom widget for HABPanel.

  • MainUI’s overview page will build itself based on your semantic model. For many people, they never have to create any UI configuration at all. They just configure their Items and the UI builds itself.

Ultimately, I don’t think HABPanel is going anywhere. It’s not abandoned, per se. But I don’t think it’s undergoing much continued development though. But if you like HABPanel, I don’t think there is any danger that it’ll disappear anytime soon.

Thanks Rich, you just supported my decision to go with Main UI.

Does it really have to be Windows? Why not using an Android Tablet?
There you can use the official Android App | openHAB which is well maintained and gives you everything you might need as a OpenHAB Client.

Of course you still need to design your MainUI to interact. But still, there are some nice features like “Full Screen Mode” where you might need to craft a little more with windows.

Also I just saw the super cool feature: You can even control your things directly using the semantic model (no User Interface configuration needed):

So if you just want to turn some lights on an off this is super easy.

Servus Sebastian, yes, it has to be Windows because the hardware is already mounted within switch board and this is nothing to be changed. Since it’s bird refugee, the air is kept humid by the ait conditioning system and thus, a suitable hardware is required.
Cheers, Christian.

What version of Windows? Windows 11 has both the Windows Subsystem for Linux as well as a subsystem for Android letting you install and use Linux or Android apps on Windows without emulators.

In this case I’m not certain either would buy you much but just wanted to point out that if needing to run something Linux or Android came up it can be done.

Nope - Windows 10, anything beyond is not supported by the supplier!

Windows 10 does have WSL too but not Android.

So, I decided for HabPanel and it took less time than expected to get a fair dashboard. Also, since Thomas sugested to abandon the BAOS path, everything went well so far and I’m ready to get the control system installed. The UI runs on the mentioned device - I’ve downloaded the most recent Chrome version and did not even use the Kiosk mode - I just start the browser and type in the URL.

However, not a big however actually, I’d like to change the background color of a Switch widget based on the state (ON/OFF) for a certain widget and not for all. I read some articles and you seem to have a significiant word here, ending up believing, that it requires a custom widget to do so. Please prove me wrong - I never intended to dive in that deep:-)

If so, is there a simple tutorial how to even approach that? I’m certainly not the luckiest guy with Google but if I don’t find anything within 30 min, I usually don’t find it in whatever amount of time I spent and yes, patience is not one my virtues. So in that sense, is there a “Hello world” widget for HabPanel and/or is it possible to refine the actual widgets coming with HabPanel?

Ahh, and if anyone tells me how, I’m fine with posting whatever I developed based on the help of you folks here together with a little guideline beginning with the problem and caveats I’ve experienced on the way to the final solution.

Cheers, Christian.

Mea maxima culpa - sorry, I didn’t expect to find it where it actually belongs… as a template in HabPanel:-)