FreeBSD jail

These instructions explain how to run Zigbee2MQTT in a FreeBSD jailopen in new window.

For the sake of simplicity this guide assumes running on TrueNAS COREopen in new window and installing Zigbee2MQTT in the Mosquitto MQTT jail to be used with Home Assistant. This setup only uses MQTT for interfacing between Zigbee and Home Assistant. The instructions should otherwise work on any FreeBSD machine.

Jail creation

First we have to create the jail that will run both Zigbee2MQTT and Mosquitto. We can do that by opening the TrueNAS Web UI, navigating to Plugins, selecting Community plugins and then Mosquitto MQTT.

To enter the jail's terminal, we can use the Web UI's Shell feature under Jails, or SSH into TrueNAS and then

sudo iocage console <jail-name>


Enter the following commands inside the jail's shell:

# Install Node.js and required dependencies:
# - It is recommended to install Node 16 from the official Node repository. Check on how to do this.
# - Older i386 hardware can work with []( e.g. Version 16.15.0 should work.
# - Selecting `npm` also installs `node`.
pkg install npm git gmake gcc

# Verify that the correct nodejs and npm (automatically installed with nodejs)
# version has been installed
node --version  # Should output V18.x, V20.x, V21.X
npm --version  # Should output 9.X or 10.X

# Create installation folder (/usr/local prefix is used for software not part of the base system)
mkdir -p /usr/local/opt/zigbee2mqtt
cd /usr/local/opt/zigbee2mqtt

# Clone Zigbee2MQTT repository
git clone --depth 1 .

# Install dependencies
npm ci

If everything went correctly the output of npm ci is similar to (the number of packages and seconds is probably different on your device):

node-pre-gyp info ok
added 383 packages in 111.613s

Note that the npm ci produces some warning which can be ignored.


Configuration is the same as on Linux.

Note that the configuration.yaml is at a different location:


Also note that if you need nano for editing the configuration, you'll have to install it first:

pkg install nano

Starting Zigbee2MQTT

Now that we have setup everything correctly we can start Zigbee2MQTT.

cd /usr/local/opt/zigbee2mqtt
npm start

When started successfully, you will see something like:

Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:01: Logging to directory: '/opt/zigbee2mqtt/data/log/2019-11-09.14-04-01'
Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:01: Starting Zigbee2MQTT version 1.6.0 (commit #720e393)
Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:01: Starting zigbee-herdsman...
Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:03: zigbee-herdsman started
Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:03: Coordinator firmware version: '{"type":"zStack30x","meta":{"transportrev":2,"product":2,"majorrel":2,"minorrel":7,"maintrel":2,"revision":20190425}}'
Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:03: Currently 0 devices are joined:
Zigbee2MQTT:warn  2019-11-09T13:04:03: `permit_join` set to  `true` in configuration.yaml.
Zigbee2MQTT:warn  2019-11-09T13:04:03: Allowing new devices to join.
Zigbee2MQTT:warn  2019-11-09T13:04:03: Set `permit_join` to `false` once you joined all devices.
Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:03: Zigbee: allowing new devices to join.
Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:03: Connecting to MQTT server at mqtt://localhost
Zigbee2MQTT:info  2019-11-09T13:04:03: Connected to MQTT server

Zigbee2MQTT can be stopped by pressing CTRL + C.

(Optional) Running as a daemon with rc

To run Zigbee2MQTT as a daemon (in background) and start it automatically on jail start we will create a service file for it.

# Create service file for Zigbee2MQTT (assuming `nano` is installed, `vi` can also be used)
nano /usr/local/etc/rc.d/zigbee2mqtt

Add the following to this file:


# PROVIDE: zigbee2mqtt
# KEYWORD: shutdown

. /etc/rc.subr


: ${zigbee2mqtt_enable:="NO"}

# daemon
command_args=" -c -f -P ${pidfile} ${node} ${script_js}"

load_rc_config $name
run_rc_command "$1"

Save the file and exit.

Make it executable:

chmod +x /usr/local/etc/rc.d/zigbee2mqtt

Verify that the configuration works:

# Start Zigbee2MQTT without enabling it
service zigbee2mqtt onestart

# Show status
service zigbee2mqtt onestatus

Output should look like:

root@zigbee2mqtt:/usr/local/opt/zigbee2mqtt # service zigbee2mqtt onestatus
zigbee2mqtt is running as pid 80246.

Now that everything works, we want the init system to start Zigbee2MQTT automatically when the jail starts. This can be done by executing:

service zigbee2mqtt enable

Done! 😃

Some tips that can be handy later:

# Stopping Zigbee2MQTT
service zigbee2mqtt stop

# Starting Zigbee2MQTT
service zigbee2mqtt start

(For later) Update Zigbee2MQTT to the latest version

To update Zigbee2MQTT to the latest version, execute:

# Run the update script from the Zigbee2MQTT directory
cd /opt/zigbee2mqtt