23-28 August 2019
Europe/Athens timezone


23 Aug 2019, 12:00
Technical Use of GNOME Technologies Outside of the Desktop


Nathan Willis


Home-automation enthusiasts have a lot of free-software options — at least for controlling lights, appliances, thermostats, and other such embedded devices. Even FOSS media centers (like Kodi) and smartphones get in on the action. But, ironically, the one piece of computing equipment that remains woefully isolated from the rest of the connected house is the Linux desktop. This talk will describe my personal effort to change that, using a suite of home-spun integrations for the Home Assistant platform. The DIY approach uses the MQTT message system to exchange updates between a GNOME desktop and a Home Assistant server, so that events like session state, application notifications, and system status can be used in Home Assistant "scenes" and automation scenarios.The session will cover the set of events I included in my "desktop automation schema" and its rationale, plus how those events fit into common home-automation recipes like presence detection, daily timers, reminders, and event triggers. It will also cover the wishlist I developed along the way, for events I could not get functional on the GNOME side and for third-party projects that could be more accommodating.We will look at both the good and the bad, recommending areas where GNOME (or general Linux plumbing) could provide easier interfaces and offering starting points for others interested in taking the effort in new directions. We will end by discussing the privacy and security implications and defining an approach that safeguards users while still offering useful functionality.

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