ZWave-JS and Ubuntu

I am working a a big disadvantage. I am not only brand new to HA but I’m also brand new to Linux. I current have Ubuntu 20.04 running on an old Intel Core2 machine with 4 gigs of RAM. I’m trying to get ZWave working properly using an Aeotec ZStick Generation 5+ USB stick. Keep in min this machine is so old it has “legacy” BIOS, can’t boot from a USB stick for example and the boot menu is very limited.

Anyhow, the depreciated version of ZWave installs without any problems. The problem comes with ZWave JS. The default “ws://localhost:3000” won’t work (surprise, surprise). I have check the port in both USB and in serial and the ZStick is seen, needless to say since the legacy ZWave works with it. I’ve looked at many videos and posts, here and on the web, trying to get this thing going and have gotten nowhere.

One thing I have seen is an Aeotec video where the default path is replaced with a string, of what appears to me to be, a hex string. Where is that hex string from? When I set up HA on the machine it came directly from software linked by the browser. There is no “supervisor” option. The machine is so old that it won’t run a virtual box, so I’m stuck, big time.

Any help would be appreciated greatly.

You need to follow the instructions to install a Z-Wave JS Server. In your case, zwavejs2mqtt is the software to install, Option 3 with either a docker container or with the standalone PKG version. There’s also a snap package, since you’re using Ubuntu. All three installation methods are described in the linked z2m docs.

Unless I’m missing something very obvious, which can easily be the case, when I go to the HA integrations I don’t see “ZWaveJS2MQTT” at all. All that’s are listed are the legacy and JS flavors. I’ve looked at that list at least a half dozen times, top to bottom and bottom to top, looking for the MQTT flavor, but just don’t see it. Where/how is ZWaveJS2MQTT loaded and configured?

zwavejs2mqtt is not an integration, it is the software that runs the z-wave network. The integration is Z-Wave JS. Please check the integration docs.

To Run Z-Wave JS you will need a Supported Z-Wave dongle, a running Z-Wave JS server (using only one of the add-ons or installation methods described below), and the Z-Wave JS integration.

Once again, I feel like I don’t understand the language. I am running the depreciated ZWave with an Aeotec Zstick Gen5+ USB dongle/stick/whatever. It is working fine. I have looked, repeatedly, at the integration docs and can’t really decipher the points they are trying to make in terms of how to get ZWave-JS to “see” the ZStick. Those docs seem to point at how to configure various functions for devices once ZWave-JS is installed and running. Perhaps a short answer of where that, apparently, hex string comes from would help.

Perhaps you should take a look at the migration guide. The only difference is that you have to install zwavejs2mqtt by yourself.

Perhaps a short answer of where that, apparently, hex string comes from would help.

It’s probably the security key. You will need to configure zwavejs2mqtt using the legacy “network key”. This is irrelevant at this point, you don’t even have the software installed.

Why are you moving to zwavejsmqtt?

What version HA you currently using?

How many Zwave devices are you currently using?

Are you interested in learning Linux or just doing it because you have to to use HA? Regardless of your answer, Read this. It is all you need to know basically.

Have you considered docker? Since you currently know nothing, I’m thinking that may be easier path long term since you can use UI (portainer).

The basic question I am asking is why doesn’t ZWave-JS “see” the the ZStick on the address of “ws://localhost:3000”? The follow-up question is how do I determine what port or address, to use instead? I have listed both the serial config and the USB config. The information in them is no use to me. Just point me in the right direction.

I fooled with Linux for a short while about 20 years ago. I am not afraid to try it again and have been reading a bit as well as using it on the install I just did. I would rather use a “blue” from HA than host on a PC, Linux or Win with docker, but the “blue” is out of stock. I may spring for a Pi to run it, but would prefer to experiment a little first on the install I did for that specific purpose.

That is the address of the Z-Wave JS websocket server. It won’t be accessible until you install zwavejs2mqtt, which provides the websocket server.

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You also must stop the deprecated Zwave integration befor using zwavejsmqtt

You MUST backup associated files. Starting over may be easier if you only have a few Zwave devices

Zwavejsmqtt includes zwavejs and does not require mqtt.

I’d be happy to install zwavejs2mqtt IF I could find the install files. Every link I find leads to a docker install and I am not running a docker but a native install.

I know I have to stop the zwave integration before installing either zwavejs or zwavejs2mqtt. “Associated files” is kind of vague. There isn’t enough configuration to bother backing up since I haven’t actually configured anythin in HA. I can see the nodes on the zstick, but they exist on the zstick as well and should be discovered once any new installation, zwavejs or zwasjs2mqtt, is completed. If not I have no problem re-initialing every device to factory to be able to start fresh.

Besides Docker there are instructions for installing the PKG version, which is a “native for amd64 package”, or instructions for using Snap, which is included with Ubuntu.

Docker is the most common non-addon installation method though, and there’s nothing stopping you from using Docker in Ubuntu, besides learning Docker of course. Maybe that’s more than you want to take on at the moment, in that case you’re left with the other methods I linked to.

There is one thing stopping me from using docker in Ubuntu. It won’t run on a machine this old.

What’s the limitation with this machine that doesn’t allow Docker?

Thanks for the links by the way. I’ll have a go at it in the morning and hopefully get the ZStick running.

The machine is a Core 2 with legacy basic BIOS. PK5E mobo. I thought about updating the BIOS but saw conflicting information on the Asus site and don’t want to risk bricking the machine. It does do other duties that I don’t want to lose. Heck, it’s so old it won’t boot from USB or let me select between two hard drives to boot from in the BIOS.

You seem to be putting up roadblocks of your own making.

What does the BIOS or boot method have to do with installing Docker?

If you have a version of Ubuntu running already then I would think that Docker should run OK.

Have you actually tried to install Docker on the Ubuntu machine?

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Yes, both under Win0010 and under Ubuntu. Both install fine and bothe fail to start a VM with the same message. I did have HA running in a VM on my desktop, but there are other, more critical, applications running ther that are quite resource intensive, VMS software running 25 cameras, The added load of the VM and HA were pushing the processor into the 90% utilization range constantly. It is a newer machine, i7 6700K, with 32GB of RAM, but it was too hard on the CPU between those tasks.

VM =/= Docker

OK, I’ll try Docker. Learned something new, thanks!

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Recommend portainer for docker management
I use “docker create” or “docker run” command to start containers but portainer is good for version upgrades and minor changes.

Also recommend cockpit for Linux managment .it can be useful at times for beginners or those using windows pc since it gives terminal window and web accessable ui