# Build System

The build system is based on Maven. A very common tool for Java development. Maven is a convention centric, declarative system that is extensible via additional plugins. That means if you stick 100% to Maven's idea of a Java project, your build system instruction file is not longer than 10 lines.

openHAB has a few extra requirements and we use about 10 additional plugins, ranging from OSGi specific ones (bnd) to publish and testing plugins.

This section talks about some common build system related topics and also some quirks that you will encounter.

# Adding Dependencies

Generally all dependencies should be OSGi-bundles and available on Maven Central.

# Embedding dependency

In most cases they should be referenced in the project POM with scope compile:


These dependencies are embedded in the resulting bundle automatically. If the embedded bundle's manifest is not properly exporting all needed packages, you can import them manually by adding


# External dependency

In two cases using an "external" (i.e. not embedded) dependency is required:

  1. Dependencies to other openHAB bundles (e.g. org.openhab.addons.bundles/org.openhab.binding.bluetooth/3.1.0-SNAPSHOT or org.openhab.addons.bundles/org.openhab.transform.map/3.1.0-SNAPSHOT).
  2. Bundles that are used by more than one binding (e.g. Netty-bundles like io.netty/netty-common/4.1.34.Final).

Dependencies on other openHAB bundles should always have the scope provided. To ensure that external dependencies are available at runtime they also need to be added to the feature.xml:

  <bundle dependency="true">mvn:org.openhab.addons.bundles/org.openhab.binding.bluetooth/${project.version}</bundle>
  <bundle dependency="true">mvn:com.github.foo/bar/2.0.0</bundle>

Using release versions is mandatory. If the version that is used in other openHAB bundles is incompatible with your library, check if you can use a different version of your library. In case this is not possible, please ask if an exception can be made and a different version can be bundled within your binding. Technically you just need to omit the exclusion-statement above. If you only depend on shared bundles you can also omit the exclusion statement and add a noEmbedDependencies.profile file in the root directory of your binding.

If the imported packages need to be exposed to other bundles, this has to be done manually by adding


to the POM. If version="1.0.0" is not set, the packages are exported with the same version as the main bundle. Optional parameters available for importing/exporting packages (e.g. foo.bar.*;resolution:="optional") are available, too. Packages can be excluded from import/export by prepending ! in front of the name (e.g. <bnd.importpackage>!foo.bar.*</bnd.importpackage> would prevent all packages starting with foo.bar from being imported). Using resolution:="optional is generally preferred over exclusion.

# Karaf Feature

Each bundle needs a feature.xml which is used for the bundle-installation in openHAB. A "fits-most-cases" feature.xml is automatically generated.

In some cases additional entries need to be added.

# Shared Dependencies (JNA, Netty, etc.)

Bundles that are shared by different openHAB bundles are excluded from embedding. The need to be added to the feature to make them available at runtime. Two cases need to be treated differently:

  1. Bundles that have a core feature are referenced by the feature (e.g. <feature>openhab-runtime-jna</feature> or <feature>openhab-transport-upnp</feature>).
  2. Bundles that do not have a core feature are added directly (e.g. <bundle dependency="true">mvn:commons-codec/commons-codec/1.10</bundle>).

# Multi-Bundle Features / Sub-Bundles

In some cases a binding consists of several bundles (e.g. mqtt). The feature.xml of the sub-bundle (e.g. mqtt.homie) needs to add all bundles from the parent-bundle to make sure that the feature verification succeeds:

<bundle start-level="80">mvn:org.openhab.addons.bundles/org.openhab.binding.mqtt/${project.version}</bundle>

To make sure that all sub-bundles are installed together with the main-bundle, the feature.xml of the bundles needs to be excluded from the aggregation. Therefore an exclusion needs to be added to features/openhab-addons/pom.xml (starting from l. 47):

<exclude name="**/org.openhab.binding.mqtt*/**/feature.xml"/>

An "aggregated" feature then needs to be created in features/openhab-addons/src/main/resources/footer.xml. The feature is named like the base-bundle and lists all sub-bundles.