Updated hardware and software recommendation for Z-wave network and OpenHAB


I tried OpenHAB 1 before on a Pi 2 and the Razberry board for Z-wave on my largish (20 something devices) network, and I had a horrible experience. The UI was not responsive, the Z-wave commands did not go through through a well known issue with flooding on exactly the combo of Pi 2 and Z-wave controller board that I had chosen. Something with the Z-wave binding on that platform. Anyway, I moved to a different controller to get things working, but OpenHAB kind of stuck with me. It introduces a nice way of thinking about things, and let me interact with devices outside of Z-wave.

Now, for primarily a Z-wave network - what setup would you recommend for a trouble free experience, with a good balance between low power consumption by the computer and good performance (not imposing strong limitations on number of Items). OH1 or OH2? What computer? Which controller stick/board?


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How did you install on the PI2 and what prerequisites were you running?
I am getting quite a smooth experience (even better after switching to jsr223 for rules).
Just for fun I ordered a Odroid C2 because it performs (in benchmarks) way better then the PI3 and is only a tiny amount more expensive (www.pollin.de) with the benefit of low power consumption.
But I yet have to try it out.
Also Odroid has the XU4 if you need lots of power.

I’d stick with OH 1 for now. OH 2’s core is pretty stable but there are still a lot of known and unknown bugs that may make trouble for you. However, as soon as the first non-beta release of OH 2 occurs plan on migrating.

Stay away from board computers that run off of SD cards. Lots of people have issues with corrupted SD cards because of the tremendous number of writes that OH generates. Therefore I’d recommend something like a NUC or some other non-SD based smallish system or plan on putting in some extra work to move much of the writes off of the SD card (several threads on this forum).

The Pi 3 by all accounts is very adequately powered for running OH, though so is the Pi 2. It is unfortunate that you ran into a bad combo of devices. It seems from forum postings most people are using the Aeotech 5th Gen USB Zwave controller. I have a 2nd Gen and am happy with it.

I personally run openHAB on an old laptop which I use as my home server.

I have OpenHAB2 running on any combination of the following with no problems and plenty of speed:


NUC, Pi2, Odroid C1, Odroid C1+, Odroid C2

USB Z-wave sticks S2 and gen 5 from Aeotec

The C2 is amazingly fast and power efficient for the price. The NUC is a full PC, so is the fastest, but costs more. Even the old Pi2 is snappy after everything is loaded though.

I too have had no issues with the pi2. im considering going to the pi3, just so i dont have to use the wifi and bluetooth dongles, as these are native on board. i use the aotech gen 5, and have had 0 issues.

I’ve found the wifi on the Pi 3 to be pretty poor. I ended up needing to use a wifi dongle anyway. Food for thought.

good to know, thanks rich

Just to add my 2 cents.

I started on a PI as well and quickly moved away for other reasons but I think that’s been beaten to death already so I digress.

I built a cheap ~$150 + hard drive intel celeron embedded micro-itx board. It uses about 20 watts with the cheapo power supply that was in the cheap case and spins a 3 TB 3.5" sata drive. It has TONS of power and is running many things in addition to OH. Samba (redirected folders for my desktops) ftp, splunk, unifi controller, recording real time 2 hd cameras as well as several other things. You could snag a super cheap SSD or a better power supply and you would lower your power consumption.

As for z-wave, I bought an aeon labs z-stick but never used it. I migrated from vera so I already had a vera lite. I reset it to factory, re-included all of the devices and connected to it using the mios binding. It is super responsive. It hasn’t given me any trouble as of yet. It has the benefit of an easy to use zwave setup interface and you can backup and restore the zwave network. The vera struggled with the logic and plugins but as a straight z-wave controller it works great letting OH do all of the logic.

Thanks so much for all the helpful replies to my query.

On my Pi 2, I was seeing lots of lag in the GUI and when sending out commands. Z-wave did not work, often, at all. 433 MHz commands (Tellstick binding) worked better, but often with a noticeable delay. Managing the Z-wave network using Habmin was not efficient and you had to wait a lot for information to be updated. Now, I realize that the number of devices may be a problem, and it has since then been increased to 40, so simply managing the network demands a certain level of commitment from the Pi.

The optimizations I put in place were the ones suggested in this document.

Please tell me if there are other things one should think about when it comes to performance on the Pi.


I’m running OH1 on a RPi3 with the AeonLabs Gen5 Stick having no issues, everythings realy smooth.

But i’m getting UI problems as soon as i’m using habmin. The classic ui sometimes doesn’t respond anymore.
So i have to disable (delete jar and webfolder) habmin every time after configuring a new z-wave item, maybe this could help you to.

Try just running one or the other in the browser at a time without restarting, or run each of Habmin and your other UI in a different browser if you want them at the same time. For some reason, they seem to conflict with each other a bit when run under the same browser such as in two different tabs.

There are a couple of possible reasons for this. Firstly, OH only allows a certain number of concurrent connections, and HABmin will probably take a couple. Secondly, HABmin in OH1 has to poll the binding to see if anything has changed. This has been known to cause problems on the original RPi’s and I dropped the polling period down to help.

Maybe a combination of these might be the issue, but in any case, if you don’t have a browser running with HABmin in it, then HABmin won’t do anything or use any resources - you shouldn’t have to delete it.

Thanks Jim & Chris for your hints.
I’ll try this next time! Maybe i wasn’t patient enough.

But as my configuration is stable, i don’t need HABmin regularly, so it’s not really a problem to me.
Just thought Fredrik could have the same issues.

Thank you for all your great input. I’ll have a look at the possible solutions that you indicate, and hope for the best!:slight_smile:


What software do you use for recording?
Does it integrate with OH?


I just have a cron script that kicks off an hour long ffmpeg encoding of the live streams. It restarts every hour. That way I get hour long live streams in manageable sized files. I can view the files via ftp or smb on my internal network only.

I am just testing OH1 for now with z-wave devices exclusively.
My config seems to be off-standard since I’m using a Solidrun ARM board with dual CPU and SSD storage. This cost me about 120 USD. The Zwave stick is the Homeseer stick Plus that I still have some problem with or it is the binding that may have bugs with it or with the connected devices??. I am also testing with my Macbook pro. It may look surprising but the Solidrun Hummingboard is as fast as the Mac…Unfortunately I am far from being sure that Openhab is the platform for Z-wave but there are so many bindings available that it provides an acceptable solution overall.
We have to remember that home automation systems operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The hardware and software used for this purpose must very reliable. Normally the reliability issues comes from the software most of the time so the software part should be chosen with great care if you do not wan to restart your system every second day…and after a while have no more trust in it…

Thats a max Socket issue and happens not because of your Hardware… Close a Browser Tab and it will work again :wink:

Cool! I definitely will look into the hummingboard. I have been considering linux containers and other options to separate my OH install from my cheap (although thus far reliable) mini-itx gear.

I highly recommend a cheap vera such as a lite for zwave control. Mine has been bulletproof leveraging Vera as the rules engine.