I’m in the process of evaluating alternative solutions to the Wink (I really want the Central Scene functionality for the HomeSeer Switches!). After a brief foray into HomeAssistant (which doesn’t support it either), I decided to try OpenHAB 2. It’s early in that process, but so far it looks promising.
Unfortunately, ESXi has an issue or three with USB passthrough support.
|Hardware||SuperMicro SYS-5019S-ML, Xeon E3-1270v5, 64GB RAM|
|Hypervisor||ESXi 6.5 (standalone)|
|Guest OS||Scientific Linux 7.2|
|Z-Wave||Aeotec Z-Stick GEN 5|
The installation of OpenHAB 2 was relatively straightforward, and at first it seemed to work normally. Unfortunately, after only ten minutes or so, it would start reporting all my Z-Wave devices as down. At first I thought maybe I was having reception problems, or maybe the Z-Stick wasn’t working as well as I’d hoped – but at the same time, I was still able to send commands even if I couldn’t get status updates back.
I tinkered with this for quite some time before stumbling on the solution buried in a thread on the OpenHAB community forum.
ESXi 6.5 apparently introduced a new USB driver, and that’s the source of the problem. It just doesn’t play well with the Z-Stick. I hope they fix it, but in the mean time the solution is to switch back to the legacy drivers – which is easier than one would think.
Just do this:
Enable the SSH service on your VMware host and log in to the SSH console.
Execute the following command:
esxcli system module set -m=vmkusb -e=FALSE
Reboot your VMware host.
Edit your VM and re-add the Z-Stick.
And with that, your Z-Stick will work perfectly with OpenHAB (and probably others, like HomeAssistant).
The VMware knowledge base article describing this procedure can be found here.