Developer's Guide

This guide is meant to help you setup a development environment based on the Eclipse IDE so that you can extend OpenSensorHub (OSH for short) with your own sensor drivers, web services and other components.

Don't forget to send us a Pull Request if you want to contribute your work back to this project. Other users may be interested by your modules and bug fixes!

Of course, contributing new modules to the community is optional as our license does not prevent proprietary and commercial derived work. However, keep in mind that if you modify the source files we provide, you must make it available publicly in source form.

This page provides instructions for three possible options, depending on your level of involvement:

Exploring the Code

If you just want to explore the code, you can browse the source online directly on Github. Alternatively, you can download it to your computer using the Download ZIP link on each GitHub repository or using the git program (see next section).

There are several repositories of interest in our main GitHub account:

Getting the Code

The git command is used to download the code from the Github repositories. For example, you can download the code for the core modules using the following command:

$ git clone --recursive

Note: You need to use the --recursive option on the osh-core repository because it contains submodules

Building from Source

This guide covers building from source using Gradle on the command line or by importing the Gradle projects into an Eclipse workspace. In both cases you will need a working JDK8 installation (both OpenJDK 8 and OracleJDK 8 should work).

Note: JDK8 is only needed for building. Once built, OpenSensorHub 1.3.x itself runs on Java 7 and up

Building with Gradle

The following instructions are for building using the Gradle Wrapper command gradlew (or gradlew.bat on Windows). This small executable is included in the repository and will automatically fetch the correct version of Gradle for you. If you want to use your own version of Gradle, use the gradle command instead, but please note that our build scripts need version 3.1 or later to get support for composite builds. If you want to install Gradle yourself we recommend downloading it directly from the Gradle Website as packages provided in Linux distributions may only include earlier versions.

Building only core modules

Use the following command to clone the osh-core repository:

$ git clone --recursive

You can then build the code using the gradle wrapper command gradlew:

$ cd osh-core
$ ./gradlew build

This command will build a JAR file for each module in the corresponding subfolder {module-name}/build/libs as well as a ZIP file containing all built module JARs in build/distributions.

You can optionally install the generated artifacts to your local Maven repository with:

$ ./gradlew install

Note 1: The first time you launch Gradle, the build process can take a while because Gradle fetches its own dependencies (i.e. Gradle plugins) as well as OpenSensorHub's dependencies. Later builds will go faster because these dependencies are cached locally.

Note 2: Some of the JUnit tests automatically run during the 'test' phase of the OSH build process need to instantiate a server on port 8888. These tests will fail if something else is running on this port.

Building core + add-on modules

Add-on modules are provided in the osh-addons repository. Simply clone the osh-core and osh-addons repositories with:

$ git clone --recursive
$ git clone --recursive

Add-on modules can be built individually depending which one you are interested in. To start with, you can build the simulated sensors since they don't require you to connect any hardware.

$ cd osh-addons
$ ./gradlew sensorhub-driver-fakegps:build
$ ./gradlew sensorhub-driver-fakeweather:build

This will build modules located in the sensors/simulated subfolder of the repo. The resulting JAR files will be located in the sensorhub-driver-fakegps/build/libs and sensorhub-driver-fakeweather/build/libs folders respectively.

You can also build all of them at once by running the following command in the osh-addons folder:

$ ./gradlew build

This will build ZIP files (one for stable modules, one for dev) containing all addons in the build/distributions folder.

Building ZIP distributions

The osh-addons repository also includes scripts to build installable OSH packages. These distributions are located in subfolders of the dist directory.

You can build an installable ZIP package for each distribution, by going to the corresponding subfolder and launching gradlew from there. The base distribution is in osh-base for example, so you can build it with the following commands:

$ cd osh-addons/dist/osh-base
$ ./gradlew build

The resulting package can be found in the osh-base/build/distributions folder. You just have to unzip it and run OpenSensorHub using the launch script (it will run with the provided example configuration file, including some simulated sensors, storage databases and an SOS service). Please see the Installation Guide for more details.

Building with Eclipse

You can build and run the code using the Eclipse IDE by importing the Gradle projects using Eclipse Buildship plugin.


Make sure you have the following Eclipse components installed:

  • Eclipse Neon or newer (the exact steps described here are for Neon)
  • Egit Plugin for Eclipse (included in "Eclipse IDE for Java Developers" release)
  • Buildship Plugin for Eclipse v2.0.0 or newer (Buildship is included in the "Eclipse IDE for Java Developers" release but you'll need to upgrade it unless you use Eclipse Oxygen or newer. See below for instructions)
Upgrade the Buildship plugin (not necessary with Eclipse Oxygen or newer)
  • Go to "Help > Install New Software" in the main menu
  • Add a new Update Site by clicking "Add..." at the top right
  • Set name to "Buildship Snapshots" and location to the following URL:
  • Select the newly created update site in the list
  • Select "Buildship: Eclipse Plug-ins for Gradle" in the tree
  • Click "Next" to start the upgrade process to v2.0.0
Import the source code in your Eclipse workspace

First clone OSH repositories in your worskpace (see the Getting the Code section):

$ git clone --recursive

Then import the repository as a Gradle project using the following steps:

  • In the Package Explorer, right click and select "Import" from the popup menu
  • Open the "Gradle" category, select "Existing Gradle Project" and click "Next"
  • Click "Next" on the wizard welcome page
  • Set the "Project root directory" by browsing to the location of your local clone of the repository
  • Click "Finish"
  • All projects should be imported successfully and visible in the Package Explorer. Everything should compile without error.

Note 1: Since OSH consists of many modules, each of which will become a separate Eclipse project, we recommend that you group projects into Working Sets.

Note 2: Everytime a change is made to the Gradle build scripts, the Eclipse project settings must be updated with the following steps:

  • Right click one of the OSH module project
  • Select "Gradle > Refresh Gradle Project..." from the context menu


If you want to contribute, we feel the best way is that you create your own fork on GitHub, work on it, and when you have something working and tested, send us a Pull Request. To set this up, please follow the steps below:

Fork one or more repository of the project

The first step is to fork a repo by clicking the Fork button on GitHub. This will clone the original code to your own GitHub account so you can then modify it and/or add to it as you wish. For this you'll need to have a GitHub account (it can be done in 30s using your email address) and log into it.

Forking the project this way will allow you to send us Pull Requests via GitHub which makes it much easier for us to incorporate your contribution to the master branch. In addition, it creates a community around the software and lets others see what contributors are up to even before a patch is submitted. This can help you get the proper guidance when necessary.

Clone your GitHub repository

Clone your new GitHub repository locally by following the steps in the Building from Source section except you'll be using your own fork URL (e.g.*) instead of the opensensorhub version.

Work on something new!

You can then start modifying the code and/or add new modules/features. We don't have coding guidelines yet but try to mimic the code that is already there. Don't forget to include Javadoc, especially on public parts of your APIs, and also inline comments explaining the different steps of your code.

Whether you're trying to fix bugs or adding a brand new functionality, don't hesitate to tell us early-on what you're planning to work on. We may be able to point you in the right direction or maybe to somebody who has similar needs than you.

You can start by reading the instructions to Create a New Module and Add a New Sensor Driver for instance.

Also see the Eclipse Tips section if you encounter problems while creating a new module.

Get the latest updates from us

While you're working on your stuff, don't forget to pull changes from the main repository once in a while. This will greatly help us merge your changes into the main branch when we receive your Pull Request. You can either do that from command line git or within Eclipse:

Using the git command

First add a new remote pointing to the opensensorhub master branch (you only have to do that the first time). For example, for the osh-core repository:

$ git remote add upstream

Then pull changes from the "upstream" remote:

$ git pull upstream master
$ git submodule update

Note 1: The submodule update command is only required in repositories that have submodules.

Note 2: You may have to manually merge with your working copy if you have made conflicting changes.

Using Eclipse

First add a new remote pointing to the opensensorhub master branch (you only have to do that the first time):

  • Open the "Git Repositories" view (Window -> Show view -> Other -> Git)
  • Open the "sensorhub" repository, right click on "Remotes" and select "Create Remote"
  • Enter "upstream" as the remote name, select "Configure fetch" and click "OK"
  • Click the "Change" button next to the URI text box
  • Enter as the URI and click "Finish"
  • Click "Save"

Then pull changes from the "upstream" remote:

  • Open the "Git Repositories" view (Window -> Show view -> Other -> Git)
  • Right click on the "osh-core" repository and select "Remote -> Fetch" in the popup menu
  • Select the "opensensorhub" remote in the "Configured remote repository" item and click "Finish"
  • Right click on the "Submodules" folder and select "Update Submodule" from the popup menu

You'll then eventually have to merge our changes with yours using the Egit merge command. Please see Git Documentation for more details

Note: Also don't forget to import new Eclipse projects that may have been added since your last update. For this, follow these steps:

  • Right click in your workspace and select "Import..." in the context menu
  • Select "Existing project into workspace" from the "General" section and click "Next"
  • Browse to the folder where you cloned our repo (usually called "osh-core" for the core software)
  • Select the missing projects in the list (all the projects that are not already in your workspace should already be selected) and click "Finish"

Push your changes to your own repo

You can push your changes to your own GitHub repo at any time, even if your code doesn't work yet. Remember this is your own sandbox so you won't mess up anybody else code base. We actually recommend that you do that often since it will provide you a good backup of your work, with full history.

You won't be able to push directly to the opensensorhub repos directly since you don't have write permissions (not until you become part of the team anyway).

Using the git command

To do this with git command line tool, first stage and commit your changes locally:

$ git commit -am "Your commit message"

and then push them to your remote GitHub repository:

$ git push

(Please see the git online documentation for more details and other ways to use git)

Using Eclipse

Within Eclipse, follow these steps:

To commit your changes locally:

  • Right click on one of the Eclipse project with a name starting with "sensorhub"
  • Select "Team -> Commit" from the popup menu
  • Enter a commit message and select files you want to commit
  • Click "Commit" (or "Commit and Push" if you want to commit locally and push to your remote repository in a single step)
  • If you have just pressed "Commit" you will see a arrow with a number on the right of the project names in the package explorer. This indicates that you have N local changes that need to be pushed to the remote repository (i.e. in git terms, your local repository is N commits ahead of your remote).

If you only want to push your last committed changes to your remote repository:

  • Right click on one of the Eclipse project with a name starting with "sensorhub"
  • Select "Team -> Push to Upstream" from the popup menu
  • Click OK

(Please see Egit online documentation for more advanced functionality)

Contribute your code

When you feel you're ready to contribute all or some of your changes to the community, please send us a Pull Request via GitHub.

So that we can better evaluate your contribution, please describe your improvements in as much details as you can. We'll do our best to process Pull Request as fast as possible.

Thanks in advance for your contribution!