Cheat Sheet

Linux Smart Homes For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Linux Smart Homes For Dummies

By Neil Cherry

Using Linux smart home technology, you can turn your lights on and off at will, play music when you want, and even run your own weather station. Of course, to implement these basic and more adventurous smart home projects, you need the hardware that makes the automation possible.

Linux Smart Home Automation Projects

You can use Linux smart home technology to automate any number of processes in your home from turning on lamps to building your own video recorder. The following table lists some of the projects you can do and the materials you need for each:

Project What You Need
Build personal video recorder MythTV software, a spare computer, a sound card, a video card,
an optical drive, and a video capture card
Stream music Twonky Media software, a D-Link DSM-320 or Netgear MP101, and
Have fun with a webcam CamStream software, a webcam such as Logite and a sound cardch
Orbit or QuickCam Pro 4000, a microphone, speakers,
Automate lamps in your home CM11A, a spare serial port, Heyu Software, and X10
Set sprinklers on a timer with X10 wirelessly CM17A, a spare serial port, X10 modules, an RR501 (in the CM18A
kit), and Bottlerocket software
Use MisterHouse and X10 MisterHouse software, a CM11A, and X10 modules

Adventurous Linux Smart Home Projects

You’ve used Linux smart home technology to regulate your home’s lights, sprinkler system, and video, and now you’re looking for more of a challenge. The projects in the following list require a bit more time and technology, but if you want to set up your own weather station, Linux smart home technology (and a few other pieces of hardware) can help you do that!

Project What You Need
Set up a weather station Oww weather station software, a weather station unit, a weather
vane, anemometer cups, a test cable, serial port adapter, and a
straight-through cable
Automate thermostat controls TXB16, TW523, CM11A, and either MisterHouse or Heyu
Set up wireless networking Wireless network card and a WAP (Wireless Access Point)
Set up routing Network card and at least two computers (one may be the

Must-Have Hardware for Linux Smart Home Projects

If you’re committed to using Linux smart home technologies to automate your house, you’re going to need some supplies. The following table lists hardware you may want, tells you what it’s used for and where to buy it. Grab your credit card and head to your favorite electronics vendor!

Device Use Buy It Here
Wireless network interface card Wireless network access Local consumer electronics outlet, online store, or auction
Video capture card or device Personal video recorder Local consumer electronics outlet, online store, or auction
CD/DVD burner (optical drive) Burning CDs and DVDs Local consumer electronics outlet or online store
Sound card (Most motherboards have a sound card built-in, so an
extra card is unnecessary.)
To play and record audio (music and movies) Local consumer electronics outlet or online store
Speakers and a microphone To play and record audio (music and movies) Local consumer electronics outlet or online store
D-Link DSM-320 or Netgear MP101 Play music Online stores or auctions
Logitech Orbit or Quickcam Pro 4000 Webcam and video conferencing Online stores or auctions
SPA-3000 Voice over IP Online stores or auctions
CM11A X10 PC serial interface controller Online stores or auctions
X10 modules Appliance and lamp control, local consumer electronics outlet, online store,
or auction site
CM18A kit Wireless control of X10 modules Online auctions
Wireless X10 modules (optional) RF control of X10 X10,, and online auctions