What updates do I need?

Currently running RPi 3B+ with openHAB 2.5.0~S1621-1 (Build #1621). Things have been running smoothly for quite a while. Yesterday I thought I should see if there are any updates I need to download. After downloading all the latest updates and a reboot the only thing I could see from OH was the LOG files. No basic UI, no Paper UI. Luckily I had a backup from the last time I updated and everything worked. I did a restore and now I’m back up and running smoothly again.

My question… How do I know if I need to update the software? I have heard of OH 3 coming out but if I’m working fine what will it give me over what I currently run.


Actually, OH 2.5 is expected sometime this summer, delayed from this month. I am running a snapshot build to get the z-wave support I wanted.
I would wait until 2.5 is released or 2.5M2 (Milestone 2) to upgrade if things are working well for you.

2.5M1 came out in May and proposed monthly milestone releases but then some major changes happened. They have been integrating Eclipse Smart Home into OpenHab and also completely redesigned their software building environment.

They are working on fixing the critical bugs for a next release.

This is a complicated question with a complicated answer.

I’m going to limit this to just openHAB.

When should you upgrade? It depends.

Is there some new feature that you need?

OH has a rolling release. Once a version is created (e.g. 2.4 release, 2.5 M1) that version remains fixed. Theoretically important bug fixes can be back ported but that has never occurred. So 2.4 release has none of the changes that have been made since last December.

Obviously there are new features added and bugs fixed constantly. So if there is a new feature you need or bug fix you need then you have to upgrade to get it.

What is your willingness to accept bugs/untested code?

OH has three release tiers.

The Release tier has been the most thoroughly tested and it contains no known bugs at the time of release, or the bugs that are known are well documented with some sort of work around. Releases are usually made once every six months, though right now there are massive changes that have delayed the release.

The Testing tier, sometimes called Milestone, doesn’t receive and directed testing prior to release but there are no known bugs in it. Milestone releases are usually made every month but that hasn’t happened recently because of the previously mentioned massive changes. A milestone release could be considered a Beta release.

The Snapshot tier, is the bleeding edge of openHAB. It essentially contains all the changes that have been merged within the last 24 hours. This is the first time that most of these changes are seeing wide adoption (lots of OH users run the snapshot version). This is the riskiest tier and only recommended if there is a bug fix or feature your really really need or you are willing to be a tester and report and file issues on any problems you encounter.

Choose the release tier that matches your appetite for risk. Usually, the snapshot releases are reasonably safe to run, though they have been problematic for the past six months.

How much time are you willing to spend upgrading?

The flip side of the coin is that the longer you wait to upgrade, the more work it will require to move from your current version to a new version. So if you are on OH 2.3, it will take a whole lot more work to upgrade to OH 2.5 M1 than it will take to upgrade from Oh 2.5 M1 to M2. So the longer you wait, the more work you will have to do under pressure to get everything migrated to the new version.

How do I know when to upgrade?

It depends on how you installed and how much risk you want to assume. If you want only reasonably well tested versions, you should stick to the release version of OH and you will upgrade about once every six months. Watch the Announcements category on this forum and there will be an announcement made when a new release is made. There should also be a blog posting. Both will list or link to a list of all the breaking changes. Breaking changes mean you will have to do something to get your current version running on the new version.

If you want something stable, you should stick to the Testing branch and upgrade once a month. As with the releases, there should be an announcement in the forum, though I don’t think there will be a blog post.

If you want to help test OH then you should use the Snapshot branch and you should be upgrading at least once a week, perhaps more often. If you only installed the Snapshot to get a bug fix or new feature, then stick with that version until at least the next milestone release if you don’t want to help test.

If you installed via apt or are using openHABian, openHAB will get upgraded every time you run apt-get upgrade.


Thanks for the reply Rick.
The problem is, I have 3 remote temp sensors and 3 light switches. Most are esp8266 modules except for two which are TP-Link modules. I have everything setup via Paper UI with some text entries in the sitemap and items files. I guess with everything working, I don’t know if I should be worrying about updating and if so what to update. Pure newbie here and learning as I go, thanks to your help and others early on. I have learned the hard way to make backups before updating. That’s what saved me this time.

As time permits, I would like to dig into the rules and learn how to turn all the lights off at a specific time in the evening. Also drapery control is in the near future.

Thanks again


As I said, if you want to help test OH (which I wouldn’t recommend as a new user) stick with the snapshots. If you have features you need from the snapshots that aren’t available in the milestones or release use the snapshots. If you are running the snapshots, you should be upgrading at least once a week. There are changes to the snapshots every day so once a day is an option.

If you want something more recent but has received a bit more testing/ has no known bugs then use the milestones. This is still a testing version. Normally you would upgrade once a month.

If you want something stable and tested and don’t need anything from the more recent versions then stick with the releases. These should be upgraded every six months.

If you appear to be running smoothly, why? I am running a snapshot to get the z-wave support for my devices but things appear to be working.

The purpose of the SNAPSHOTS is for testing. If you are not upgrading frequently you are not testing the latest changes. If you are not reporting problems and filing issues as problems are discovered you are not testing the latest changes in a way that does the project over all any good.

In my case, the purpose of the snapshot was so I could move from Home Assistant to an OH version that supports my devices.

Would you rather I go back to the mess called Home Assistant?:angry:
I am not a Java fan anyway! If I am not welcome, I can leave.
I assume as a Foundation Member you are speaking authoritatively.

No one speaks authoritatively except the maintainers. Everything you see written as a post, unless otherwise indicated is strictly the opinion of the poster. To become a foundation member one needs only donate to the openHAB Foundation. You too can become a member of the foundation.

I am a moderator on this forum and in terms of the forum (e.g. flagged posts for spam, abuses of the terms of service, etc) I do speak authoritatively, but will almost never take unilateral action unless it’s something obvious.

I am also a member of the Architecture Counsel and I can speak authoritatively on how I would vote on an issue that came before the AC. I do not speak for the AC.

I am also one of the experts on the Rules DSL and how best to write Rules so I speak authoritatively from experience and only experience.

So, in short, unless stated otherwise, any posting from any user is that user’s opinion. Outside of the code itself where the maintainers retain authority, there is no authority.

But look at it from our perspective. We have new users who don’t know or understand OH running a version of the OH with changes made less than 24 hours ago. These users create a huge burden to the supporters on this forum because they are running untested OH and don’t know how to understand, let alone diagnose any problems they are having. When the snapshot doesn’t work for them, they get a bad impression of OH because it doesn’t work and they generate a lot of extra work for us on the forum.

If you are running the snapshot version of OH and not reporting problems or filing issues either because you are not willing to (free rider) or unable to (new user) it’s kind of like driving slowly in the passing lane on the highway. You are slowing everyone else down.

In my opinion, if you run the snapshot you have an obligation to keep up to date and report issues. But that’s just my own opinion. We can’t and wont stop anyone from running what ever version of OH they want to. We still get people posting threads about OH 1.8 which hasn’t been touched for two+ years now and we do our best to help if we can. We get new users who don’t know an Item from a Rule running yesterday’s snapshot and consequently having problems, and we do our best to help if we can.

But I cannot and will not recommend that new users run the snapshots unless there is a really good reason. And I do believe that if you run the snapshot or M1 version, you have an obligation to file issues and keep current. But I can’t force you to nor would I ever do so. My opinion carries as much weight as yours does on this matter.