Building an Open-Source Home Automation System

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5 Open Home Automation Solutions

The Internet of Things it not just a buzzword, it’s a quickly rising reality.

With an ever-expanding variety of devices on the market to help you automate, protect, and monitor your own home, it has never been simpler nor more tempting to have a go at home automation. Whether you’re trying to manipulate your HVAC(Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning) system from another location, add in a home entertainment, defend your home from robbery, fire, or other threats, lower your energy use, or just control a small number of lights, there are countless devices offered at your convenience.

While connected devices often contain personal components, a good first step in bringing open source into your home automation system is to ensure the device which ties your devices together-and presents you with an interface to them (the “hub”)-is open source. Happily, there are plenty of options offered, with alternatives to run on everything from your always-on personal computer to a Raspberry Pi.

Here are just a couple of our favs.


Calaos is designed as a full-stack home automation platform, including a server application, touchscreen display interface, web application, native mobile apps for iOS and Android, and a preconfigured Linux operating system to run underneath. English speaking readers should be advised that, while some English documentation is available, a portion of the instructional material along with support online forums are largely in French.

Calaos is licensed under version 3 of the GPL and you can view its source code on GitHub.


Domoticz is a home automation system with a fairly wide collection of supported devices, including weather stations to smoke detectors to remote controls, with a great number of additional alternative party integrations documented on the project’s site. It is designed with an HTML5 frontend, making it reachable from both PC web browsers and also most contemporary smartphones, and is light-weight, running on scores of low power devices similar to the Raspberry Pi.

Domoticz is written largely in C/C++ under the GPLv3, and its source code could be browsed on GitHub.

Home Assistant

Home Assistant is an open source home automation platform, and is designed to be effortlessly deployed on essentially any machine that could run Python 3, from a Raspberry Pi to a NAS device, and in addition comes with a Docker container to make implementing on other systems a simple process. It includes with many open source and commercial solutions, enabling you to link, like, IFTTT, weather information, or your Amazon Echo device, to controls from locks to lights to even a command line notifier.

Home Assistant is released under an MIT license, and its source code readily available for download from GitHub.


OpenHAB (mean Open Home Automation Bus) is on the list of most common home automation tools amongst open source hobbyists, with a sizeable user community and a lot of supported devices and integrations. Written in Java, openHAB is easily transportable across virtually all major systems and in addition runs correctly on the Raspberry Pi. Supporting many devices, openHAB is designed to be device-agnostic while making it easier for developers to add their own devices or plugins to the system. OpenHAB also ships iOS and Android applications for device control, as well as a design tools so that you can produce your own UI for your home system.

You can find openHAB’s source code on GitHub licensed under the Eclipse Public License.


OpenMotics is a home automation system with both hardware and software under open source licenses, designed at providing an intensive system for controlling devices instead of stitching together a variety of devices from different providers. Not like many of the other systems designed largely for simple retrofitting, OpenMotics makes a speciality of a conventional hardwired solution. To get more detail, see our full article from OpenMotics backend developer Frederick Ryckbosch.

The source code for OpenMotics is licensed under the GPLv2 and is available for download on GitHub.

These are not the only solutions, in fact. Loads of home automation fans opt for a diverse solution, or maybe even want to roll their own personal. Different potential choices to consider comprise LinuxMCE, PiDome, MisterHouse or smarthomatic. Other folks opt for personal smart home devices without including them into a single wide-ranging system.

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