Setting up openHAB on Odroid-C2


I am a long-time user of openHAB – started setting up a „Smart Home“ back in the times when there was still an openHAB 1.6. The reason I am using openHAB is because

  • it had and has a vital community
  • is vendor agnostic
  • and allows to set up an extremely powerful and flexible home automation with all data being in your own hands

You get all the comfort of remotely controlling your home using an app on your smartphone, without handing over all of your data to a commercial provider.

From a hardware perspective, I have quite some experience with the Odroids – I sell them with a ready to use software setup – and think that they will do fine with openHAB also.

I have recently migrated to openHAB 2 and would like to share the installation steps, or at least capture them as a documentation for myself.

Prepare the Odroid C2 image

The following steps are performed on any Linux PC which will NOT be the target for the installation. We just use it for preparing the microSD card for the Odroid.

Get and extract the image:

wget http://de.eu.odroid.in/ubuntu_16.04lts/ubuntu64-16.04.3-minimal-odroid-c2-20171005.img.xz
unxz ubuntu64-16.04.3-minimal-odroid-c2-20171005.img.xz

Then insert the SD card into a card reader. To find out its device identifier, you could to a

tail -f /var/log/syslog

and look for a line like this:

Jun 17 13:43:22 xmg705 kernel: [ 1232.504258] sd 6:0:0:1: [sde] 31116288 512-byte logical blocks: (15.9 GB/14.8 GiB)

This will tell you that – in my case – /dev/sde is the SD card. If you want to be really sure, you could also use

sudo gparted

or

sudo fdisk -l

to find the device. Next, we want to copy the image to the SD card:

sudo dd if=ubuntu64-16.04.3-minimal-odroid-c2-20171005.img of=/dev/sde bs=4M conv=fsync

Once that is done, you should increase the size of the partition to the maximum capacity of your SD card:

sudo gparted

Your device should now have a „boot“ and „root“ partition. Leave boot untouched and increase the size of „root“.

 

Odroid system setup

Insert the SD card into the Odroid C2 and boot. The system should be available and acquire an IP from your DHCP server. In a typical setup, you should be able to ping the Odroid using its standard host name „odroid64“. If that doesn’t work, check the administration UI of your router to figure out which IP, then connect to it using SSH:

ssh root@192.168.178.35

The standard root password is „odroid“ and you should change it to some other value.

Now, let’s make sure we are running on a most up to date system:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

By default, the host name will be „odroid64“. Let’s change it to „smarthome“ like this:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname smarthome
sed -i 's|odroid64|smarthome|g' /etc/hosts

Setting locale and date / time:

sudo locale-gen en_US.UTF-8
update-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8
sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
sudo apt-get install ntp

Installing additional packages, such as Java and Midnight Commander as file manager:

sudo apt-get install mc mcedit
sudo apt-get install curl
sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jre

The Odroid C2 comes with 2GB of memory and Gigabit Ethernet, which is far superior compared to the Rasperry Pi. Depending on the complexity of your future Smarthome setup, it might make sense to enable Swap space. In my case, I am setting up an additional 2GB swap – not as a dedicated partition but as a swap file:

sudo fallocate -l 2G /swapfile
sudo chmod 600 /swapfile
sudo mkswap /swapfile
sudo swapon /swapfile

Once you have created the swap file, add it to /etc/fstab so that it will still be there once you reboot your device (we can use mcedit for this, which we installed earlier on, just do a „mcedit /etc/fstab“):

/swapfile none swap sw 0 0

To not put too much burden on the SD card by enabling Swap, let’s tell the system to use Swap only when really required. This is done by a kernel parameter, scaling from 0 (no Swap) to 100 (always use Swap). 10 is a reasonable value for what we’re trying to achieve:

sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10

To make this a permanent setting, we need to add this line to /etc/sysctl.conf (use mcedit again)

vm.swappiness=10

Install openHAB 2

The following will add the openHAB „Stable“ repository to your package managers source list and install openHAB2:

wget -qO - 'https://bintray.com/user/downloadSubjectPublicKey?username=openhab' | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
echo 'deb https://dl.bintray.com/openhab/apt-repo2 stable main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openhab2.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openhab2

Setting up openHAB to run as a service:

sudo systemctl start openhab2.service
sudo systemctl status openhab2.service
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable openhab2.service

Once finished, navigate your browser to http://smarthome:8080 to start building your smart home. Check out https://www.openhab.org for documentation.

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