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gree-remote

This project aims to provide an open-source library for controlling Gree Smart Air Conditioners. The implementation is based on the reverse-engineered proprietary, JSON-based protocol used by these units. Also there are remote control app implementations for multiple platforms:

  • Qt/C++ for Windows/macOS
  • ObjectiveC/Cocoa for macOS
  • Java for Android
  • C# for DotNet Core
  • Python 3 (PythonCLI/gree.py)

You can find more implementations for other languages and frameworks:

Getting started

The first step is to clone this repository: git clone https://github.com/tomikaa87/gree-remote.git. Don't forget to checkout all the submodules using git submodule update --init --recursive.

Qt application:

  • Compile the CryptoPP using the provided build script in 3rdparty. This is only necessary for the native C++/Qt library, Android uses Java's crypto library.
  • Open GreeRemote.pro from the root of the checkout directory
  • Compile the project

Android application:

  • Open the project from GreeRemoteAndroid in Android Studio
  • Run the application on the selected device. Keep in mind that the Gree library must access the local network using WiFi, which is not available in the emulator. You must use a physical device.

Prerequisites

For the Qt library and application:

  • Qt 5.9.1
  • XCode 9 for macOS, Visual Studio (2017 is preferred) for Windows

For the Android application:

  • Android Sutdio 3

For the macOS application:

  • XCode 9

Remarks

This project is in a very early development stage. Currently only a basic device discovery and binding is implemented.

There is so much to do:

  • Implement device control with all the air conditioning unit features (mode, temperature etc.)
  • Implement querying device status
  • Create a basic view for a device model
  • Implement initial device setup (direct WiFi connection to a unit to set SSID and password of the home WiFi AP)
  • At a later phase, firmware update capability could be added
  • Command line options could be added to be able to use the app from a terminal

License

This project is licensed under the GPL License - see the LICENSE file for details

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the additional work to:

Protocol details

This information is based on the implementation of the official Gree Smart Android App and the network packets obtained via Wireshark. The current implementation is incomplete, for example it doesn't have the ability to update the firmware on the AC unit.

The communication protocol uses unicast and broadcast UDP messages sent to port 7000.

Message encryption and encoding

The protocol uses pack-type messages to deliver data from and to the device in a (somewhat) secure way. This message contains a field named pack, which encapsulates an another JSON object.

Packs created in the following way:

  • Encrypt the JSON with AES128/ECB with PKCS-7 padding using either the generic or the device-specific AES key
  • Encode the encrypted binary data using Base64

Decoding a pack is the same process, but in reverse order. The generic AES key is used for reading scan results and binding devices, the device-specific key is used for direct communication (requesting status, changing parameters etc.).

Device discovery (scanning)

In order to find all the devices on the network, a scan packet must be broadcasted. This package is a very simple JSON object:

{
  "t": "scan"
}

All connected devices will send a response JSON like this one:

{
  "t": "pack",
  "i": 1,
  "uid": 0,
  "cid": "<device's MAC address, e.g. 00123456789a>",
  "tcid": "",
  "pack": "<base64 encoded, encrypted data>"
}

This is a generic pack-type response which has a pack field that contains an embedded JSON object. The pack is encrypted with AES128/ECB and encoded in Base64. This response is encrypted using the "Generic AES key" which is the same for all devices.

Contents of pack should look like this:

{
  "t": "dev",
  "cid": "<MAC address>",
  "bc": "gree",
  "brand": "gree",
  "catalog": "gree",
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "mid": "10001",
  "model": "gree",
  "name": "<friendly name of the unit>",
  "series": "gree",
  "vender": "1",
  "ver": "V1.1.13",
  "lock": 0
}

You can obtain some basic information (e.g. device's friendly name, software version etc.) from this object.

Binding to a specific device

In order to communicate with a specific device and obtain the device's unique encryption key, you must bind to it using the following request JSON:

{
  "cid": "app",
  "i": 1,
  "pack": "<encrypted, encoded pack>",
  "t": "pack",
  "tcid": "<MAC address>",
  "uid": 0
}

pack must have the following content:

{
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "t": "bind",
  "uid": 0
}

If the binding request succeeds, you should have the following response:

{
  "t": "pack",
  "i": 1,
  "uid": 0,
  "cid": "<MAC address>",
  "tcid": "app",
  "pack": "<encrypted, encoded pack>"
}

The pack of this response should look like this:

{
  "t": "bindok",
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "key": "<unique AES key>",
  "r": 200
}

The AES key in the key field is used to send control packets to a specific device.

Reading status of a device

To get the status of the device, a generic pack type request must be sent to it:

{
  "cid": "app",
  "i": 0,
  "pack": "<encrypted, encoded pack>",
  "t": "pack",
  "tcid": "<MAC address>",
  "uid": 0
}

The pack of this request must contain a status request object:

{
  "cols": [
    "Pow", 
    "Mod", 
    "SetTem", 
    "WdSpd", 
    "Air", 
    "Blo", 
    "Health", 
    "SwhSlp", 
    "Lig", 
    "SwingLfRig", 
    "SwUpDn", 
    "Quiet", 
    "Tur", 
    "StHt", 
    "TemUn", 
    "HeatCoolType", 
    "TemRec", 
    "SvSt"
  ],
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "t": "status"
}

In this object you must define which parameters you are interested in. All of them has a numerical value. The official Gree Smart app uses these fields:

  • Pow: power state of the device

    • 0: off
    • 1: on
  • Mod: mode of operation

    • 0: auto
    • 1: cool
    • 2: dry
    • 3: fan
    • 4: heat
  • "SetTem" and "TemUn": set temperature and temperature unit

    • if TemUn = 0, SetTem is the set temperature in Celsius
    • if TemUn = 1, SetTem is the set temperature is Fahrenheit
  • WdSpd: fan speed

    • 0: auto
    • 1: low
    • 2: medium-low (not available on 3-speed units)
    • 3: medium
    • 4: medium-high (not available on 3-speed units)
    • 5: high
  • Air: controls the state of the fresh air valve (not available on all units)

    • 0: off
    • 1: on
  • Blo: "Blow" or "X-Fan", this function keeps the fan running for a while after shutting down. Only usable in Dry and Cool mode

  • Health: controls Health ("Cold plasma") mode, only for devices equipped with "anion generator", which absorbs dust and kills bacteria

    • 0: off
    • 1: on
  • SwhSlp: sleep mode, which gradually changes the temperature in Cool, Heat and Dry mode

    • 0: off
    • 1: on
  • Lig: turns all indicators and the display on the unit on or off

    • 0: off
    • 1: on
  • SwingLfRig: controls the swing mode of the horizontal air blades (available on limited number of devices, e.g. some Cooper & Hunter units - thanks to mvmn)

    • 0: default
    • 1: full swing
    • 2-6: fixed position from leftmost to rightmost
    • Full swing, like for SwUpDn is not supported
  • SwUpDn: controls the swing mode of the vertical air blades

    • 0: default
    • 1: swing in full range
    • 2: fixed in the upmost position (1/5)
    • 3: fixed in the middle-up position (2/5)
    • 4: fixed in the middle position (3/5)
    • 5: fixed in the middle-low position (4/5)
    • 6: fixed in the lowest position (5/5)
    • 7: swing in the downmost region (5/5)
    • 8: swing in the middle-low region (4/5)
    • 9: swing in the middle region (3/5)
    • 10: swing in the middle-up region (2/5)
    • 11: swing in the upmost region (1/5)
  • Quiet: controls the Quiet mode which slows down the fan to its most quiet speed. Not available in Dry and Fan mode.

    • 0: off
    • 1: on
  • Tur: sets fan speed to the maximum. Fan speed cannot be changed while active and only available in Dry and Cool mode.

    • 0: off
    • 1: on
  • StHt: maintain the room temperature steadily at 8°C and prevent the room from freezing by heating operation when nobody is at home for long in severe winter (from http://www.gree.ca/en/features)

  • HeatCoolType: unknown

  • TemRec: this bit is used to distinguish between two Fahrenheit values (see Setting the temperature using Fahrenheit section below)

  • SvSt: energy saving mode

    • 0: off
    • 1: on

If the status request succeeds, you should have the following object in the response pack:

{
  "t": "dat",
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "r": 200,
  "cols": [
    "Pow", 
    "Mod", 
    "SetTem", 
    "WdSpd", 
    "Air", 
    "Blo",
    "Health", 
    "SwhSlp", 
    "Lig", 
    "SwingLfRig", 
    "SwUpDn", 
    "Quiet", 
    "Tur", 
    "StHt", 
    "TemUn", 
    "HeatCoolType", 
    "TemRec", 
    "SvSt"
  ],
  "dat": [1, 1, 25, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]
}

In this object, cols defines the parameter names and dat defines the values for them.

Since the device won't send you a status update packet when you change a setting using the remote control or the app, you should poll the it periodically.

Controlling the device

In order to set a parameter of a device, you must send a command packet to it. It's a simple pack-type object with the following JSON encoded into it:

{
  "cid": "app",
  "i": 0,
  "pack": "<encrypted, encoded pack>",
  "t": "pack",
  "tcid": "<MAC address>",
  "uid": 0
}

pack:

{
  "opt": ["TemUn", "SetTem"],
  "p": [0, 27],
  "t": "cmd"
}

In this object, opt contains the names of the parameters you want to set and p contains the values for them. The type of the pack is cmd. If the request succeeds, you should have the following response pack:

{
  "t": "pack",
  "i": 0,
  "uid": 0,
  "cid": "<MAC address>",
  "tcid": "",
  "pack": "<encrypted, encoded pack>"
}

pack:

{
  "t": "res",
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "r": 200,
  "opt": ["TemUn", "SetTem"],
  "p": [0, 27],
  "val": [0, 27]
}

In this object, r is the response code (not sure if there are other values than 200 because the device won't send you anythin if the request fails]), opt contains the name of the parameters you set, p and val contains the values for them.

Some firmwares may return only one field p instead of both p and val. It is better to handle such cases.

Update: it seems that there are different variants of these Gree devices that properly respond to an invalid packet, probably the newer ones with updated firmware.

Setting the temperature using Fahrenheit

Two things I found were despite TemUn being set, the set temp is still in Celsius. Use the TemRec bit to distinguish between the two Fahrenheit temps

pack:

{
  "opt": ["TemUn", "SetTem","TemRec"],
  "p": [1, 27,0],
  "t": "cmd"
}

Getting the current temperature reading from the internal sensor

If the device is equipped with a temperature sensor, you can read it via the TemSen key. The value is in celsius and has an offset of +40 to avoid using negative values. For example if you get 65 from the device it means the current temperature is 65 - 40 = 25.

If you use the gree.py script, you can read the sensor like this:

python3 gree.py -c <device ip> -i <device id> -k <device key> get TemSen

TempRec TemSet Mapping for setting Fahrenheit

Units 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Fahrenheit 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86.
Celsius 20.0 20.5 21.1 21.6 22.2 22.7 23.3 23.8 24.4 25.0 25.5 26.1 26.6 27.2 27.7 28.3 28.8 29.4 30.0
TemSet 20 21 21 22 22 23 23 24 24 25 26 26 27 27 28 28 29 29 30
TemRec 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

Equations
TemSet = round((desired_temp_f - 32.0) * 5.0 / 9.0)
TemRec = (int) ((((desired_temp_f - 32.0) * 5.0 / 9.0) - TemSet) > 0)

Scheduling

There is a simple scheduler implementation which can turn on or off your device automatically. New scheduling item can be added via the following packet (thanks to oroce for the details):

{
  "cmd": [
    {
      "mac": [
        "<MAC address>"
      ],
      "opt": [
        "Pow"
      ],
      "p": [
        0
      ]
    }
  ],
  "enable": 0,
  "hr": 20,
  "id": 0,
  "min": 40,
  "name": "5363686564756c65",
  "sec": 0,
  "t": "setT",
  "tz": 1,
  "week": [
    0,
    0,
    1,
    0,
    0,
    1,
    0
  ]
}

In this object, cmd defines which device you want to address (mac), which parameters you want to set (opt) and which are the values for them (p). enable controls the state of this scheduling item, hr and min is the time, name is the name of the item encoded into ASCII bytes in hexadecimal format, tz is the time zone (probably an offset value) and week defines on which weekdays the device will execute the command, begining with Sunday.

Synchronizing the time on the device

In order to get the current time of the device's clock, you must send the following encrypted pack to it:

pack:

{
  "cols": ["time"],
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "t": "status"
}

And the device will send a response like that:

pack:

{
  "t": "dat",
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "r": 200,
  "cols": ["time"],
  "dat": ["2018-05-11 19:42:01"]
}

To set the time on the device, send the following pack:

pack:

{
  "opt": ["time"],
  "p": ["2018-05-11 19:29:38"],
  "sub": "<MAC address>",
  "t": "cmd"
}

And the device will send a response like that:

pack:

{
  "t": "res",
  "mac": "<MAC address>",
  "r": 200,
  "opt": ["time"],
  "p": ["2018-05-11 19:29:38"],
  "val": ["2018-05-11 19:29:38"]
}

Remarks

For the sake of simplicity, you can send device control messages to the broadcast address instead of the IP of the device, because the tcid field addresses the device properly. With this little trick you can omit storing IP addresses for specific devices.

Different units have different firmware versions. Some of them have weird limitations. One of these can be a WiFi password length limitation. WPA supports 63-character long passwords, but some units limit this to 31 characters. Please be aware of this issue when your units can't connect to your network.

The units talk home to China, what can I do?

The WiFi controller in these devices has the ability to be controlled through the cloud. To be able to do that, they periodically send "heartbeat" packets to Gree servers which are located in China. If you are concerned about your privacy and want to block this communication, you have a few ways to do that:

  • Block traffic in your firewall from your unit that is going outside from the local network. My units try to connect to 138.91.51.53 to port 5000 TCP. This method can cause some units to lock up and stop responding to local requests.
  • Use the dummy server made by emtek-at: