Saturday, May 09, 2015

More on Wink Hub and open source home automation software

I own two Wink hubs.  One, using their cloud service, the other I kept offline for rooting and testing.  The night Quirky pushed the bad firmware, my online hub got it.  At the time I had no idea what happened.  I spent hours trying to get it functioning again.

The next day the announcement about the bricked firmware came out.  Once the instructions were posted on how to fix the hub yourself I followed them.  Apparently it worked.  The hub flashed and then stopped on blue.  After that I could get the hub online for short periods (blue light) and then it would go back to flashing purple.  I spent a good while addressing this, but I never was able to get it working reliably.

I pulled out the other hub, went through the whole thing again, apparently updated to the fixed firmware, and then had exact same problem.  It would connect to the home network for a while and then eventually go back to flashing purple.

So I've given up on Wink hub.

I went out and got a Hue bridge and some bulbs.  Since I already had GE Link light bulbs I needed something that would work with them.  So these days I have a mix of Hue bulbs and GE Link lights all controlled by the Hue bridge.

Home Assistant works with the Hue bridge.  I am still using Home-Assistant as my home automation software.  It meets all of my needs.  The developer and members of the group are continuing to add functionality to the software.  More device support, added features, etc.

I also spent plenty of time testing various other open source offerings.  Nothing has yet to best Home-Assistant.

Although there is not a downloadable application for Home Assistant, it does work with mobile devices and renders nicely.

Home Assistant source code on GitHub

Friday, May 08, 2015

Ubuntu - new setup of nginx, mysql, and php5 - permission denied when trying to view info.php

I followed the very helpful guide here:

I actually did the setup on Ubuntu 15.04 and they worked.  There is one part where you have to change the codename used.

The last step is to create a info.php file that displays all of the php5 information.
When attempting to view this file I would get error 404.  I googled and started trying to find the issue.  The log stated the file was not found.  Since this is new to me I wanted to make sure the correct location was being used for my files and that the permissions were set correctly.

I checked the permissions on the files in the html directory and they were correct.
So I created a test html file in the
directory.  A simple hello.html.  I tested and the page displayed.

So it appeared that my info.php file was both in the correct location and permissions were correct.

Next I checked what accounts the nginx server process was using, and the php5-fpm process.  I found that the server worker process was running as user nginx and the php5-fpm worker process was running as www-data.  It was my intention that both be running as www-data.

I check to see if nginx was a member of www-data:
$ id nginx
-output: uid=121(nginx) gid=133(nginx) groups=133(nginx)
No, nginx is not a member of www-data.

To resovle this issue I need to give the nginx account access to the php5-fpm.  To do this I needed to add the user nginx to the www-data group (www-data is the user and is a member of the group www-data).

To do this I ran usermod -a -G <groupname> username
$ sudo usermod -a -G www-data nginx

Next, confirm the user is in the group:
$ id nginx
-output: uid=121(nginx) gid=133(nginx) groups=133(nginx),33(www-data)

As another way to confirm one can run:
$ awk -F':' '/www-data/{print $4}' /etc/group

Now nginx is a member of www-data.  Next I restarted nginx server and php5-fpm
$ sudo service nginx restart
$ sudo service php5-fpm restart

This time browsing to http://localhost/info.php displayed my php info properly.

I hope this possibly helps someone.

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