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openHAB - a vendor and technology agnostic open source automation software for your home.
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openHAB Docker Containers

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Repository for building Docker containers for openHAB (Home Automation Server).
Comments, suggestions and contributions are welcome!

Docker Image

Image variants




  • amd64 for most desktop computer (e.g. x64, x86-64, x86_64)
  • armhf for ARMv7 devices 32 Bit (e.g. most RaspberryPi 1/2/3)
  • arm64 for ARMv8 devices 64 Bit (not RaspberryPi 3)


  • debian for debian stretch
  • alpine for alpine 3.8

The alpine images are substantially smaller than the debian images but may be less compatible because OpenJDK is used (see Prerequisites for known disadvantages).

If you are unsure about what your needs are, you probably want to use openhab/openhab:2.3.0-amd64-debian.

Prebuilt Docker Images can be found here: Docker Images


Important: To be able to use UPnP for discovery the container needs to be started with --net=host.

Important: In the container openHAB runs with user "openhab" (id 9001) by default. See user configuration section below!

The following will run openHAB in demo mode on the host machine:

docker run --name openhab --net=host openhab/openhab:2.3.0-amd64-debian

NOTE: Although this is the simplest method to getting openHAB up and running, but it is not the preferred method.
To properly run the container, please specify a host volume for the directories.

Starting with Docker named volumes (for beginners)

Following configuration uses Docker named data volumes. These volumes will survive, if you delete or upgrade your container.
It is a good starting point for beginners.
The volumes are created in the Docker volume directory.
You can use docker inspect openhab to locate the directories (e.g. /var/lib/docker/volumes) on your host system.
For more information visit Manage data in containers.

Running from command line

docker run \
        --name openhab \
        --net=host \
        -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro \
        -v /etc/timezone:/etc/timezone:ro \
        -v openhab_addons:/openhab/addons \
        -v openhab_conf:/openhab/conf \
        -v openhab_userdata:/openhab/userdata \
        -d \
        --restart=always \

Running from compose-file.yml

Create the following docker-compose.yml and start the container with docker-compose up -d

version: '2.2'

    image: "openhab/openhab:2.3.0-amd64-debian"
    restart: always
    network_mode: host
      - "/etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro"
      - "/etc/timezone:/etc/timezone:ro"
      - "openhab_addons:/openhab/addons"
      - "openhab_conf:/openhab/conf"
      - "openhab_userdata:/openhab/userdata"
      OPENHAB_HTTP_PORT: "8080"
      OPENHAB_HTTPS_PORT: "8443"

Running openHAB with libpcap support

You can run all openHAB images with libpcap support. This enables you to use the Amazon Dashbutton Binding in the Docker container.
For that feature to work correctly, you need to run the image as root user.
Create the following docker-compose.yml and start the container with docker-compose up -d

version: '2.2'

    container_name: openhab
    image: "openhab/openhab:2.3.0-amd64-debian"
    restart: always
    network_mode: host
      - NET_ADMIN
      - NET_RAW
      - "/etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro"
      - "/etc/timezone:/etc/timezone:ro"
      - "openhab_conf:/openhab/conf"
      - "openhab_userdata:/openhab/userdata"
      - "openhab_addons:/openhab/addons"
    # The command node is very important. It overrides
    # the "gosu openhab ./" command from Dockerfile and runs as root!
    command: "./ server"

If you could provide a method to run libpcap support in user mode please open a pull request.

Starting with Docker mounting a host directory (for advanced user)

You can mount a local host directory to store your configuration files.
If you followed the beginners guide, you do not need to read this section.
The following run command will create the folders and copy the initial configuration files for you.

docker run \
  --name openhab \
  --net=host \
  -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro \
  -v /etc/timezone:/etc/timezone:ro \
  -v /opt/openhab/addons:/openhab/addons \
  -v /opt/openhab/conf:/openhab/conf \
  -v /opt/openhab/userdata:/openhab/userdata \

Accessing the console

You can connect to a console of an already running openHAB container with following command:

  • docker ps - lists all your currently running container
  • docker exec -it openhab /openhab/runtime/bin/client - connect to openHAB container by name
  • docker exec -it openhab /openhab/runtime/bin/client -p habopen - connect to openHAB container by name and use habopen as password (not recommended because this makes the password visible in the command history and process list)
  • docker exec -it c4ad98f24423 /openhab/runtime/bin/client - connect to openHAB container by id
  • docker attach openhab - attach to openHAB container by name, input only works when starting the container with -it (or stdin_open: true and tty: true with docker compose)

The default password for the login is habopen.

Startup modes

Server mode

The container starts openHAB in server mode when no TTY is provided, example:

docker run --detach --name openhab openhab/openhab:2.3.0-amd64-debian

When the container runs in server mode you can also add a console logger so it prints logging to stdout so you can check the logging of a container named "openhab" with:

docker logs openhab

To add the console logger, edit userdata/etc/org.ops4j.pax.logging.cfg and then:

  • Update the appenderRefs line to: log4j2.rootLogger.appenderRefs = out, osgi, console
  • Add the following line: log4j2.rootLogger.appenderRef.console.ref = STDOUT

Regular mode

When a TTY is provided openHAB is started with an interactive console, e.g.:

docker run -it openhab/openhab:2.3.0-amd64-debian

Debug mode

The debug mode is started with the command:

docker run -it openhab/openhab:2.3.0-amd64-debian ./

Environment variables

  • LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
  • LANG=en_US.UTF-8
  • USER_ID=9001
  • GROUP_ID=9001
  • CRYPTO_POLICY=limited

User and group identifiers

Group id will default to the same value as the user id.
By default the openHAB user in the container is running with:

  • uid=9001(openhab) gid=9001(openhab) groups=9001(openhab)

Make sure that either

  • You create the same user with the same uid and gid on your docker host system
groupadd -g 9001 openhab
useradd -u 9001 -g openhab -r -s /sbin/nologin openhab
usermod -a -G openhab myownuser
  • Or run the docker container with your own user AND passing the userid to openHAB through env
docker run \
--user <myownuserid> \
-e USER_ID=<myownuserid>

Java cryptographic strength policy

Due to local laws and export restrictions the containers use Java with a limited cryptographic strength policy.
Some openHAB functionality (e.g. KM200 binding) may depend on unlimited strength which can be enabled by configuring the environment variable CRYPTO_POLICY=unlimited

Before enabling this make sure this is allowed by local laws and you agree with the applicable license and terms:


  • -it - starts openHAB with an interactive console (since openHAB 2.0.0)
  • -p 8080 - the HTTP port of the web interface
  • -p 8443 - the HTTPS port of the web interface
  • -p 8101 - the SSH port of the Console (since openHAB 2.0.0)
  • -p 5007 - the LSP port for validating rules (since openHAB 2.2.0)
  • -v /openhab/addons - custom openHAB addons
  • -v /openhab/conf - openHAB configs
  • -v /openhab/userdata - openHAB userdata directory
  • --device=/dev/ttyUSB0 - attach your devices like RFXCOM or Z-Wave Sticks to the container


Upgrading OH requires changes to the user mapped in userdata folder.
The container will perform these steps automatically when it detects that the userdata/etc/ is different from the version in userdata.dist/etc/ in the Docker image.
The steps performed are:

  • Create a userdata/backup folder if one does not exist.
  • Create a full backup of userdata as a dated tar file saved to userdata/backup. The userdata/backup folder is excluded from this backup.
  • Copy over the relevant files from userdata.dist/etc to userdata/etc.
  • Delete the contents of userdata/cache and userdata/tmp.

The steps performed are the same as those performed by running the upgrade script that comes with OH, except the backup is performed differently and the latest openHAB runtime is not downloaded.

Building the images

Checkout the GitHub repository, change to a directory with a Dockerfile and then run these commands:

$ docker build -t openhab/openhab .
$ docker run openhab/openhab

To be able to build images for other architectures (e.g. armhf/arm64 on amd64) QEMU User Emulation first needs to be registered with:

$ docker run --rm --privileged multiarch/qemu-user-static:register --reset


Contribution guidelines


When not explicitly set, files are placed under .

Docker Pull Command