Domoticz as home automation software on a Rpi

Domoticz as home automation software on a Rpi

As described in my previous article the combination of a Rpi and a Rfxcom usb tranceiver is very versatile. But what about the software to control all the sensors, switches and scenes? For me Domoticz was the way to go.

Domoticz

What I really liked about Domoticz was its simplicity. You can download a SD-Card image for a Rpi which made it so much easier to get things up and running. I just downloaded the Rpi image, followed their detailed installation manual which explains for example how to set a static ip address. Then I plugged the Rfxcom in the free USB port, powered the Rpi and done. Note: The default username is pi with the password raspberry

I must emphasise that I was so happy with Domoticz and the ease of use, I didn’t try any other platforms yet. In the future I want to test other platforms as well.

Domoticz screenshot
Domoticz screenshot

Theming

One of the things I didn’t like about Domoticz was the looks. The screenshot below shows how my sensors look in their default theme. Theming is not very easy and can only be done with a custom css file. The HTML structure is fixed so it takes good css skills to get what you need.

There some themes out there but I decided to create my own: OsiDark Theme, which is an adaptive flat design theme. This is the best I could do with pure css:

Domoticz OsiDark theme
Domoticz OsiDark themeDomoticz OsiDark theme

If you like to use this theme you can follow the installation instructions on my Github page.

JSON Api

Beside easy installation Domoticz provides a JSON Api endpoint which allows you to create your own frontend.

Alternatives

Of course Domoticz isn’t the only software available. Below I wrote a brief description on other open source home automation solutions.

OpenHAB

OpenHAB runs on a Rpi so that was great. It also supports the Rfxcom tranceiver. But it did run in Java. I am quite unfamiliar with Java and didn’t want to run into problems which I was unable to solve. Therefore OpenHAB was off the list.

Home Assistant

Home Assistant is written in Python 3 and supports things like Arduino, Sonos and IFTTT.

Calaos

Home automation platform Calaos is a full stack solution. Providing server, touchscreen, web app, iOS and Android app and Linux based Calaos OS. Calaos is written in C++.

OpenMotics

OpenMotics is written in Python and also sells its own hardware.

HomeGenie

HomeGenie is an open source project written in C#.

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