Install Sfera

The installation of Sfera simply consists of downloading Sfera’s jar file and adding the needed configuration files and plugins.


Sfera requires Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 8. If you don’t have it already, download it from and install it on your platform. Make sure the JAVA_HOME environment variable is properly set.

Files structure

A sfera installation has the following file structure:


The config directory contains a YAML file for system configuration (sfera.yml), a directory for driver instances configuration (config/drivers) and one for apps (config/apps).
Each driver instance has a separate YAML configuration file (driver1.yml, driver2.yml), there can be several instances of the same driver type.
Apps have a single configuration file for type (com.example.app1.yml), since there cannot be more instances of the same app. More details on this in Configuration.

The plugins directory is where you drop your plugins jars containing drivers and/or apps.

In the scripts folder you can add events files containing your control logic; there can be subfolders to create different scopes (more on this in Scripts).

The logs directory is the default location for log files. See details in Configuration.

data is where the system, drivers and applications persist their data.

Run Sfera

From the installation directory sfera run the command:

java -jar sfera.jar

Type sys quit to interrupt Sfera.



systemd is an init system used in most Linux distributions to bootstrap the user space and manage all processes subsequently. On your Raspberry Pi, you might want to use this method.

Create a start-up script in your sfera installation directory:

cd <sfera_installation_dir>

and paste in the following content:



cd "$( dirname "$0" )"
mkdir -p $STDOUT_LOG_DIR
echo "=======================================" >> $STDOUT_LOG_PATH
echo "---------------------------------------" >> $STDOUT_LOG_PATH
cp sfera.jar .sfera.jar
java -jar .sfera.jar >> $STDOUT_LOG_PATH 2>&1

When this script is run it will:

  • create a log record in logs/out.log with the current date and time
  • make a copy of sfera’s jar and run the new copy. This is useful in case a new version of the jar is uploaded while sfera is running (e.g. using the WebApp file manager); the current version will continue running until restarted, which is when the new jar will be run.
  • redirect any eventual output (standard output and standard error) to logs/out.log

Make this script executable:

sudo chmod +x

Now create a new systemd service called sfera:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/sfera.service

and paste in this:




Make sure to replace /home/pi/sfera/ with the path of your start-up script previously created.

Enable the service:

sudo systemctl enable sfera.service

On reboot sfera will be automatically started and it will be restated any time the process quits.

You can use:

sudo systemctl start sfera
sudo systemctl stop sfera

to respectively start and stop sfera manually, and:

sudo systemctl status sfera

to check the service state.

In case you want to disable sfera’s service:

sudo systemctl disable sfera