Developer Installation Guide

Supported Platforms

  • BCO Runtime
    • Ubuntu / Debian
  • BCO UIs
    • Ubuntu / Debian / Linux
    • Windows
    • Mac OS


  • Java JDK 11 (AZUL Zulu JDK recommended)
    • Download: in new window
    • Ubuntu Install Example
      • Add Key: sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 0xB1998361219BD9C9
      • Add Repo: sudo apt-add-repository 'deb stable main'
      • Update Index: sudo apt-get update
      • Install: sudo apt-get install zulu-11
      • Make Default: echo 'export JAVA_HOME="/usr/lib/jvm/zulu-11-amd64/"' >> ~/.bashrc && . ~/.bashrc
  • Git
    • sudo apt-get install git

Toolchain Setup

Define where to install the bco distribution via the BCO_DIST variable.

echo 'export BCO_DIST="$HOME/usr/bco"' >> ~/.bashrc

Add the bin folder to your global $PATH variable to support direct binary execution.

echo 'export PATH="$PATH:$BCO_DIST/bin"' >> ~/.bashrc

Reload your bash configuration

. ~/.bashrc

Make sure the $BCO_DIST folder exists.

mkdir -p $BCO_DIST

Make sure you have right permissions to $BCO_DIST

sudo chown -R $USER $BCO_DIST
chmod -R 750 $BCO_DIST

BCO Installation

After preparing the toolchain and middleware we need to prepare our workspace. Create a new development directory if it not already exist (e.g. ~/workspace/openbase) and change into these directory.

mkdir -p ~/workspace/openbase
cd ~/workspace/openbase

Openbase Developer Tool Installation

There exist different openbase tools which help to to simplify the installation and maintenance of bco. Therefore, before downloading bco we should install those tools via:

cd ~/workspace/openbase
git clone -b stable

Main Repository Download

Download the bco main repository into your development workspace.

cd ~/workspace/openbase
git clone -b stable


We recommend to checkout and install the dev branch in order to start the development of new components. Be aware to setup the snapshot repository before building the dev branch.

Download and Prepare BCO Submodules

BCO is based on the openbase Java Utility Library (JUL) and on the openbase Type Library. Both dependencies are linked as git sub-module in the lib folder. The ./ stored in the BCO repo root folder downloads the source-code of each dependency. Therefore, please execute

cd ~/workspace/openbase/bco

If the workspace is prepared, we can build bco by using the install script:

cd ~/workspace/openbase/bco


The initial installation can take a while, so grab a coffee and relax while the scripts do the work.

Now everything should be ready to start the development of new bco components and apps. We recommend to use IntelliJ as IDE for BCO. Open ~/workspace/openbase/bco in the IDE or just execute idea ~/workspace/openbase/bco in case IntelliJ is provided by your shell.


You can update bco including its dependencies by executing ./ Just make sure all local changes are committed and pushed before performing the update. After updating all components you can compile and install all changes via the ./ script. Therefore, a full update can be performed as followed:


Database Setup

A fresh and empty database is generated during the first start of BCO. This database is placed at ~/.config/bco/var/registry/db and only contains a root location and some system user accounts as well as the default admin account.


Please do not modify any database entries by hand as long as you exactly know what you are doing since manual modifications can lead into an inconsistent database.

Once bco is started you can add further units by adding them via the bco-registry-editor. User accounts can be created and passwords changed via bco-console.

In general bco takes care of all class and template database entries. Those will be updated during each startup of bco as long as an internet connection is provided. In case you want to backup your individual setup entries just create a local git repository in the database folder git init, link it to any git remote repository of your choice git remote add origin$YOUR_ACCOUNT/bco.registry.$YOUR_HOME_ID-db.git, and upload the db via git push --set-upstream origin main.

How to setup a Demo Database

Sometimes during development its useful to play around with an already complex environment setup. The following steps explain how to setup the bco demo database that already entails a bunch of devices and units.

mkdir -p ~/.config/bco/var/registry
cd ~/.config/bco/var/registry
git clone db

How to Restore a Backup

To restore an already existing bco setup, just place the related db directory within ~/.config/bco/var/registry.