Raspberry Pi - SMS Garage Door Butler

Picture of Raspberry Pi - SMS Garage Door Butler

Most Raspberry Pi garage door remotes had open ports, or other features I wasn't too fond of. So I created my own that contains much more security, logging of who opens the garage, video capture, garage status and more.


  • 100% secure garage door operation, with access control lists. Only authorized family members can open.
  • Ability to monitor or control garage anywhere in the world from a controlled website, with no open router ports
  • Full video capture of who's coming into the garage, uploaded securely to your website for later perusal
  • Ability to remotely stop or kill the process in case of malfunction or abuse
  • Email notifications when a family member arrives or leaves the house
  • Cheap SMS solution (3/4 a cent per text), with no GSM card purchases or any cell contracts
  • Standard Linux code, easily setup on a new Pi, and quickly portable to other platforms like BeagleBone or whatever future Linux technology arrives. Basically, I wanted the ability to restore this system on a fresh device within 30 minutes or less
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Step 1: Requirements

Picture of Requirements

You will need:

  • A Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black setup with base configuration. I use Raspbian Wheezy
  • Wireless connectivity via a wireless dongle (or just plug in a network cable)
  • A camera (compatible webcam or PiCam)
  • A relay board. I use "SainSmart 5V 2-Channel Solid State Relay Board", because it defaults to LOW instead of HIGH
  • Enough wire to access your garage door opener, or just break apart a spare remote
  • A website with hosting. You can get a small amount of space on DropBox or Google Drive and use that, or you can create a random website from a cheap hosting service like, which will provide 100gb of space for only $11 PER YEAR. You won't need to keep these files anyhow, since they're just logs.
  • If using the PiCam, a little poster putty
mrwilder5 days ago

Got it wired up over the weekend but it only stays running for 5-10 minutes before it errors out. Works fine otherwise...

Any idea where the twilio setting is to make it not respond with a confirmation that it received a message?

JessicaB321 days ago

Believe you have a typo on Step 2.

It should be

mysql-server, not


AkiraFist (author)  JessicaB321 days ago

Good catch, Jessica, thank you! I just fixed the typo.

AkiraFist (author) 24 days ago

Jliberman, yes! You can use Amazon Simple Notification services:, or any other method you choose. Your Pi has an internet connection, so whatever API you can find, or internet JSON call you can use would work great.

Adafruit has a great example page here using SNS:

jliberman24 days ago
Could You use a different Texting provider? Such as WhatsApp or another compatible with the Pi?
AkiraFist (author) 25 days ago

Hi Scumm7, yes you need wireless or wired connectivity from the Raspberry Pi to communicate with Twilio.

Scumm725 days ago

So is it still using ethernet or Wifi to send the SMS message? I assume it must be, but I thought maybe I missed something.

wilgubeast26 days ago

This is awesome. Wish it had a garage livestream. What's happening in there all day? Is it like Toy Story, but for tools?