Setup RaspberryPi with Aeotec Z-Stick

Now that we have Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, Aeotec Z-Stick and Aeotec Z-Wave Home Energy Meters it is time to get them talking to each other. Pairing Aeotec Z-Stick and Aeotec Z-Wave Home Energy Meters is a no-brainer, just follow instructions in the box. Getting Raspberry Pi effectively communicating to Aeotec Z-Stick is a bit less trivial.

Raspberry Pi

For the purpose of this exercise we're going to Raspbian Jessie Lite Minimal image based on Debian Jessie (at the time of writing Version: February 2016). You can follow intractions on to get image etched on SD card of your choice since it varies by platform you use for this. Once your Pi is up and running you may want to jump into raspi-config since this is about as graphical as it is going to get on Jessie Lite distro.

sudo raspi-config

Inside this config tool you SHOULD reset default password to something more secure. In addition you can:

  • Make sure your SD card's space is available to you (option #1)
  • Change device hostname (available in Advanced section)
  • Enable SSH server for remote access (available in Advanced section)

If you enabled SSH server, it might be a good idea to change default port too. You can do it by changing Port value in sudo vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config and restarting the service sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart

Now that we have basics configured it is time to update apt-get and install some packages. First run:

sudo apt-get update

Once update is done, you'll need to install some basic tools:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev make

Node.js and npm do not come pre-installed, so you'll need to install them too

sudo apt-get install nodejs npm

We're going to need Git, PHP, MySQL and Nginx, so we may get that out of the way too

sudo apt-get install git nginx

To get PHP running we'll need FPM and CLI as well as some other helper

sudo apt-get install php5-fpm php5-cli libcurl3 php5-curl

MySQL installation triggers setup, so be preapred to create root password and set basic security

sudo apt-get install mysql-server php5-mysql

PHP setup bring Apache server with it, but we're not going to use it to save some space. Simply run sudo apt-get remove apache2.

Nginx Setup

We're not going to go in detail of setting Nginx as it is covered very well on the internet. Instead I'm just going to share my server config /etc/nginx/sites-available/default:

server {
    listen 80 default_server;
    server_name _;        
    root /home/pi/myhome/public;

    # Add index.php to the list if you are using PHP
    index index.html index.htm index.php;

    location / {
            try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

    location = /favicon.ico { access_log off; log_not_found off; }
    location = /robots.txt  { access_log off; log_not_found off; }

    access_log off;
    error_log  /var/log/nginx/myhome-error.log error;

    error_page 404 /index.php;

    location ~ \.php$ {
            fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
            fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
            fastcgi_index index.php;
            include fastcgi_params;

    location ~ /\.ht {
            deny all;

One thing to note about Raspberry Pi is that default fastcgi params (/etc/nginx/fastcgi_params) did not work for me. I've had to add

fastcgi_param  PATH_INFO          $fastcgi_path_info;
fastcgi_param  PATH_TRANSLATED    $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

towards the bottom of /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params to get Nginx to talk to PHP-FPM.

In order to avoid any user permission issues, I usually changed nginx user to pi. This can be done at the top of /etc/nginx/nginx.conf. We would do the same for PHP in a bit.

Now it is time to run

sudo /etc/init.d/nginx restart

for changes to take affect.


Again, there is plenty of tutorials on how to get PHP working with Nginx. I'll just mention that you will need to update cgi.fix_pathinfo in /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini. Find the line and set it to 0 if it is not already set:


Next we need to make sure that PHP-FPM is listening to the socket and we set pi as php user. Open /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf and search for 'listen'. In my case it was already set to

listen = /var/run/php5-fpm.sock

but you may need to update that. User and group settings are located at the top of the file, so set them to pi:

user = pi
group = pi

Time to restart

sudo /etc/init.d/php5-fpm restart


It is time to get Javascript out of the "box" and start talking to Z-Stick. I've created gihub repo to keep all relevant things in one place. Since this code will serve dual purpose, we're going to place it where Nginx is expecting it. Let's go to the home dir and clone it:

cd ~/
git clone

Now we can go inside cd myhome and install node dependencies:

npm install

In most cases, you do not need to use sudo, but if it does not work try to run it with sudo. At this point you can get a coffee or even a meal. Installing things on Pi is not fast. If you would like to know what are we installing, take a look at package.json in the root of the project.

Welcome back! Now that we have node and other dependencies we can start poking with Z-Stick.

Test Connection

We're going to use example code that you can find on github page of node-openzwave-shared library. Let's create test.js file and copy/paste entire example.

Inside test.js you'll need to update device name that can be found all the way at the bottom inside call to connect function.


Check /dev/ folder to find your device name (mine is /dev/ttyACM0).

cd /dev
ls -la

You may need to remove device and run ls a few times to find the one you need.

Once test.js is looking at correct device, we can run it from our project directory (cd ~/myhome)

node test.js

If everything goes well, you'll see ton of out. Example code does full scan of connected devices and it will list them on your screen. Congratulations, now you can talk to your devices.

What is next

Next we're going to look at setting up service to run our node monitor and getting the rest of web interface up.