New toy in the house - Z83 mini pc

February 24, 2020 - Reading time: ~1 minute

The Raspberry pi running my home automation with OpenHAB is slowly aging and due for an update. After some searching around the internet I found this small unit with quite interesting specs for a substitute.

Compared with a new Raspberry Pi (4Gb Ram, new SD Card, enclosure, power adaptor etc) the prices are comparable, but the z83 has 64Gb emmc storage built in, 4Gb of RAM, a quad core Intel ATOM cpu. I found it on aliexpress for roughly 90€.

A few days later it arrived on my desk, I installed Ubuntu 18.04 Server LTS on it, no big issues so far, all went smooth. I decided to install hass.io on it to give it a try. The guide on their website for a manual docker install turned out to be running flawlessly.

Some things are completely different compared to FreeBSD which I prefer for a couple of years now (think since 9.x): In Ubuntu everything seams to work "magically", you just install stuff and everything else is done for you, like deamons, entries for systemd, systemd itself. Honestly I prefer the FreeBSD way, install it and do everything by yourself, but hey, be open for other ways of doing it.. ;-)

So hass.io is running in docker, some updates of itself went smooth so far, I can use it through the web interface. I will use homegear on the same machine to geht my homematic and 433 MHz stuff working, zigbee2mqtt will follow for my Xiaomi temperature and humidity sensors and whatever else I like to test.