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Linux vs Windows - through lens of support by HomeSeer

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  • Linux vs Windows - through lens of support by HomeSeer

    Hi Forum,
    So I wanted to get feedback from the Forum regarding this topic - I am not trying to cause any large-scale argument over Linux vs Windows here but rather to get some honest discussion about the pros and cons of Linux vs Windows implementations of HomeSeer mostly through what can we expect from support and HS development. I had used HomeSeer v1.6 on Windows a long time ago and I was glad to see it show back up when I was looking to update to a later version and also to replace a competitor that I had been using.

    Main items for discussion that I would like to get feedback from the forum:
    • What doesn't work on one platform vs the other that you are aware of? (not plugins - those Dev's seem to properly manage their software expectations)
    • What benefits do you like of one vs the other?
    Regarding Linux:
    • There doesn't seem to be any official list of required OR optional APT packages besides mono.
    • There is a lack of support for a DIY installation that supports the "terminal" function under the web interface like in the RPi version.
    • There is no clear set of routinely updated installation requirements or steps outlined
    • There seems to be no upgrade guidance for released versions - if it breaks you are SOL -
    • HS support implied in their email to me that they don't actually support the hardware HomeTroller devices that run on linux (since I was motivated to just buy one of those).
    Concern regarding HS Support experience:
    • HS Support would not provide any guidance or direction for any of the questions above when I asked them for some help. Beyond topics above:
      • not aware there were better forum posts than the one they use as their Linux installation instructions
      • no guidance for what plugin they used to make the terminal work like under RPi, etc.
      • no guidance for proper setup recommendations for running as a service
    • As an IT support professional, my professional opinion is that they didn't know or are outsourcing the Linux distribution and have little to no understanding of it themselves which resulted in telling me to "look it up on the forum". I really only wanted to make the terminal feature work but they essentially refused to answer that question and resulted in refunding my HS3 license (since I had demo'd the RPi but wanted more plugin support and bought HS3).
    • Frankly, I have a major problem paying $250 for a piece of software and then be told that I need to find my answers on a community forum. Sounds like OpenHab except I have to pay for it. I am willing to pay for something for better support/ease of installation and management. Hence why I would like to use HomeSeer.
    The reason I wanted to run Linux was to have a simple system running on a Intel NUC style device that was dedicated to this and run as a server routinely instead of having to run an un-secured Windows desktop OR screw around with running AlwaysUp to make the system run properly (lack of a HS native Windows Service is a whole separate post).

    Support said that I should get my answers on the forum... so here I am. Beat me up, agree, guide me - just trying to get some clarity.


    Links I found so far:
    https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/ho...u-18-04-server
    https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/ho...taller-package

  • #2
    I think it comes down to your preference and comfort level of knowledge mostly. Most plugins support both these days so that's not much of a problem. Support wise I think you'll find better Linux answers on the forum.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would like to run HomeSeer on a Linux device at some point, but I know little about Linux - other than how to spell it. In HomeSeer's defense, there are many flavors of Linux, and they cannot be an expert on all of them. Not even sure they can be an expert on any of them. HomeSeer is simply an application that you install within your flavor of a supported OS (Windows or Linux). If it doesn't work, is it HomeSeer or your implementation of an OS? Personally I would like to see some basic guides like how to run HomeSeer as a Windows service, but I don't really see that as a HomeSeer's problem if I don't know how to set that up. And it's not a normal situation to run any application as a service. This just happens to be an application that you want to run 24x7 to "keep the lights on".

      With that said, there are a lot of Linux users here that can, and do, offer help. I've gotten help with my Z-Net when I had issues, so I think you'll get the help you need too. If I knew more about Linux, I'd offer my help, but my help won't help much . Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        I have used Homeseer since the Homeseer 1.X days. I have used computers and have automated since the late 1970's.

        What doesn't work on one platform vs the other that you are aware of?

        Running Homeseer 3 / ASPX on an ARM 64 bit computer in Linux Ubuntu 18.04 server. ASPX works fine with Intel and AMD and ARM single core. This is a Mono Arm 64 bit issue rather than a Homeseer 3 issue.

        What benefits do you like of one vs the other?

        Linux server never stops running with or without updates.

        As John (Simplex Technologies) mentions above it is a choice today what OS you want to run Homeseer 3 in.

        It is your personal comfort level / knowledgebase relating to either Linux or Windows.
        - Pete

        Auto mator
        Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU - Mono 6.00
        Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.00

        X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

        Comment


        • #5
          If Voice announcements are important to you then you should be sure to research the voice options in Linux or think about a separate PC for running an instance of the speaker client with the voices you like. I am currently running a Windows copy of Homeseer but could see myself migrating to a more distributed setup with things like voice client and Way-To-Call hardware living on a separate Windows box while the main Homseer box moves to Linux.

          Comment


          • #6
            Over the years here have collected Microsoft SAPI fonts. I prefer them over the machine sounding Linux text to speech voices.

            So here running Oracle Virtual box Windows for just the speaker client (5 now) on the Homeseer 3 Pro computer which is primarily running Ubuntu 18.04 64.

            I also only run embedded Wintel touch clients on tabletop touchscreens. With the Homeseer Touch clients I also run Homeseer speaker.

            Today too interacting with MQTT and using a Mosquitto server for Alexa speech use. Turned the Amazon Alexa devices in to media players and TTS computers.

            Even though the two HS3 boxes are running on Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit Linux I have dependencies on Windows for SAPI speech here.
            - Pete

            Auto mator
            Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU - Mono 6.00
            Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.00

            X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NetworkGuy View Post
              I would like to run HomeSeer on a Linux device at some point, but I know little about Linux - other than how to spell it. In HomeSeer's defense, there are many flavors of Linux, and they cannot be an expert on all of them. Not even sure they can be an expert on any of them. HomeSeer is simply an application that you install within your flavor of a supported OS (Windows or Linux). If it doesn't work, is it HomeSeer or your implementation of an OS? Personally I would like to see some basic guides like how to run HomeSeer as a Windows service, but I don't really see that as a HomeSeer's problem if I don't know how to set that up. And it's not a normal situation to run any application as a service. This just happens to be an application that you want to run 24x7 to "keep the lights on".

              With that said, there are a lot of Linux users here that can, and do, offer help. I've gotten help with my Z-Net when I had issues, so I think you'll get the help you need too. If I knew more about Linux, I'd offer my help, but my help won't help much . Good luck!
              I would not have any issues if HomeSeer only officially supported HS3 on Debian and then only on Ubuntu and Raspbian which are both Debian releases. This keeps support much easier than supporting all of the different distribution packages.

              BTW, I'm running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on a Intel NUC8i3 and have had very few issues.

              I'm running zWolfpacks installer which now works very well with bot the Ubuntu and Raspbian releases making support on Linux much easier. If HS would make a few changes and use the installer that would really improve the overall support of HS3 on Linux.

              My personal views follow:

              I think HS should consider moving to the NUC platform for all builds using Linux and Windows. The Raspberry Pi would stay as it although it should use the same files as any Linux build. The features being controller by the serial number.

              The NUC8i3 is a good mid level platform for a customer that doesn't need or want to roll their own. But for those that want to roll their own it's also a great platform and if you need more power then upgrade to the Nuc8i5 or 8i7. Going with NUC's running Ubuntu creates a powerful platform that isn't burdened with Windows. However if a Windows 10 platform is wanted the exact same hardware can be used at a higher price due to the Windows license.

              With the new Raspberry Pi 4, likely coming late this year or early next year, could fill in the lower end of the spectrum and with the increased memory and performance the 5 plugin limit could be raised to maybe 7 to 10 but could also officially run HS3 Standard thus filling in everything below the NUC8i3.

              Both a NUC based or RPi 4 based system would be sold as a full package or software only and use the exact distribution package.
              Last edited by Timon; April 27th, 2019, 12:26 PM. Reason: Just a few additional comments
              HomeSeer Version: HS3 Standard Edition 3.0.0.531 | Mono JIT compiler version 5.20.1.19 (tarball Thu Apr 11 09:02:17 UTC 2019)
              Linux version: Linux auto 4.15.0-48-generic #51-Ubuntu SMP Wed Apr 3 08:28:49 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
              IP Address: 10.0.2.16 | Number of Devices: 417 | Number of Events: 667 | Available Threads: 399 | HSTouch Enabled: True

              Enabled Plug-Ins: AirplaySpeak: 3.0.0.13 | BLBackup: 2.0.61.0 | EasyTrigger: 3.0.0.65 | LiftMaster MyQ: 1.3.7006.42100
              mcsMQTT: 4.0.2.2 | PHLocation2: 3.0.0.53 | Pushover 3P: 0.0.0.45 | Z-Wave: 3.0.1.262

              Z-Net version: 1.0.23 using a HomeSeer SmartStick+: 6.04 (ZDK 6.81.3)

              Comment


              • #8
                I blew away their default build the first week I had the SEL because of old version of mono issues. I now run Ubuntu 18.04 and mono 5.20. No problems here since I made the switch. I'm very computer literate but was not a linux user before this system. I find it very stable and easy to maintain.
                HS3 SEL running Pro Edition 3.0.0.531 on Ubuntu 18.04, mono 5.20, 656 devices, 209 events.
                Plug-Ins: Chromecast, Device History, EasyTrigger, Ecobee, JowiHue, LutronCaseta, MeiUnifi, PHLocation2, Pushover 3P, SDJ-Health, Sonos, WeatherFlow, weatherXML
                Scripts: SparkMan's Lock Event, 5 of Jon00 scripts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just to reiterate,
                  My issue is not that I expect them to support Linux, I expect them to support the build of HS3. On the forum there are no less than 5 sets of instructions for a Linux setup on THE RECOMMENDED Ubuntu flavor.

                  On a new install, they are unclear about the proper location to install (un tar) HS3, the provided instructions are antequated and no mention of supported versions of Mono, and no recommended other packages to install. No guidance for running as a service and when I asked how they run & configure the RPi loads they either could or would not answer questions related to THEIR software.

                  For a product that is not free, relying on pointing people to the forum for answers is unacceptable. Either support it or don't offer it. At least fix the forum search so there is some hope in hell of finding answers that don't require reading hours of posts because the search only works with one or two word searches.

                  I am comfortable with Linux, but I didn't write HS3 and they are not providing guidance to the community.

                  Love the product and community support - but then charge way less...

                  Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Relatively new to Homeseer, and while relatively tech savvy I would agree. The Linux documentation is lacking and an official step by step guide for Debian\Ubuntu installs is sorely needed.

                    Comment

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