Is it time to automate your home with Linux?

In today's open source roundup: Twelve Linux-based home automation systems for less than $300. Plus: What do Linux users love about systemd? And LinuxCon and CloudOpen start tomorrow

Home automation is a hot market right now, and Linux is in the thick of it. Costs have come down and more home automation products are available than ever before as companies try to jump into the market. takes a look at twelve Linux-based home automation products that will cost you less than three hundred dollars.

According to

Home automation hubs have emerged as the tech startup product of choice in 2014, and most run on embedded Linux. The category has been re-energized with the dropping costs of wireless radios and embedded processors, as well as the ubiquity of readymade touchscreen interfaces in the form of Android and iOS devices. This slide show presentation covers 10 Linux-based and two Android-based home automation systems starting at under $300.


HIO Wallpad


Ivee Sleek

Nest Learning Thermostat

Ninja Block/Ninja Sphere







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Linux home automation systems
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I have to admit that home automation is one Linux product category that I've hardly paid any attention to over the years. It's not something I've really considered for myself in the past, but perhaps now it's time to really take a look at some of these products. Their costs have come down, and there seems to be a fairly wide variety of products available now.

I think part of my reluctance to consider home automation is mostly based on habits. I've lived most of my life without these Linux devices so I'd have to change how I do things and assimilate them into my usual habits in my home. That's probably not a big deal for other people, but for me it will take a certain amount of effort since I tend to be set in my ways.

The Ivee Sleek looks like it might be useful, particularly if you have a Nest or Connect. It lets you use voice activation for control of locks, lights, hubs and thermostats (among other things). I'm still not sure I'd actually use it all that much but I can see voice activation as something that could possibly be quite useful.

I'm glad to see Linux being used in so many of these devices. Development of these products seems to moving along at a very fast rate, and that bodes well for Linux users that have already decided to go the home automation route.

Note that ZDNet also has a roundup of six Linux home automation systems that you might want to check out for additional ideas and perspectives.

What do users love about systemd?

A redditor asks what users love about systemd.

According to Reddit:

There's been a lot of critical commentary on systemd from /r/Linux recently, with feedback along the lines that it solves problems for developers and distro maintainers and that's why it is getting adopted. But what about users? Don't we have reasons to want systemd?

So, what do you as a user love about systemd?

More at Reddit

I included an article in yesterday's roundup that was quite negative about systemd, so today I thought I'd include this thread on Reddit so you could see what users were saying about it. It's very interesting to see the positive side of systemd being discussed by real Linux users, given all of the controversy about it in so many articles and discussion threads across the web.

LinuxCon and CloudOpen start tomorrow has an overview of LinuxCon and CloudOpen which start tomorrow.

According to

The Linux Foundation's largest event of the year takes place this week in Chicago, starting with the co-located Linux Security Summit, Linux Kernel Summit and Xen Developer Summit today and tomorrow.

Then on Wednesday LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America start in full force with Executive Director Jim Zemlin's “State of Linux” keynote at 9 a.m. Central, to be followed by a panel discussion of Linux kernel developers that includes Linux Creator Linus Torvalds.

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Note that you can watch keynote videos on the Linux Foundation's YouTube channel later that day, or watch them live (requires login) on the Linux Foundation site.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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