Advice for someone starting from scratch?

I’m starting from scratch (not the first time - life gets in the way, home automation goes on a back burner, time goes by, and by the time I get back to it, I’ve forgotten where I left off and most of what I knew. Plus things have changed in HA…) so this time I’m dedicating a full weekend to laying a solid foundation. My goals for these 2 days include:
• Install latest on my Raspberry Pi 3
• Flash Tasmota on a bunch of Tuya smartplugs and strips (are EtekCity smartplugs Tuya?) as well as a couple of Shelly 1’s.
• Get a Broadlink RM Pro+ setup to control my home theater system and 3 ceiling fans
• Get a Nortek Z-Wave/Zigbee controller setup to control my Kwikset (Z-wave) smart lock
• Get presence detection setup for controlling the smart lock automatically
• Setup a few Wyze cams and several Wyze motion and contact sensors
• Get Node-RED setup and get a few simple automations created so I can build on that knowledge going forward

My questions are:

  1. In between installing and adding all my devices, what are the essential add-ons I should install? In any particular order?
  2. Are there any particular pitfalls I should watch out for?
  3. How should I separate/arrange my configuration?
  4. How should I backup my configuration?
  5. Any other advice, in general?

The first two add-on’s to install IMO would be SSH server and SAMBA share. Also, make sure you are using a really good SD card and power supply. Some SD cards have a higher write endurance than others, and a marginal power supply will cause no end of stability problems.

Even better use an ssd storage device on usb.

Does an SSD result in a noticeable performance increase as it does with a normal PC? Or are you recommending it based solely on reliability?

Mainly reliability, but there may be performance increases, I am not sure.

Hassio does not currently support an SSD on a Pi. While an SSD is more robust, a good SD card is pretty reliable. A high endurance card, like those aimed at Dashcam or video surveliance is even better.

You can install Raspbian to an SSD, and deploy via generic install.

Looking over the community add-ons, here’s what makes sense to me. After installing, I’ll install the following add-ons in the following order:

  1. Cloud 9 IDE - so I can edit my configuration
  2. MQTT Server & Web Client - because MQTT
  3. TasmoAdmin - because I’m going to have lots of Tasmotized devices
  4. Nginx Proxy Manager - so I can access everything remotely (or should I go with the WireGuard add-on?)
  5. Log Viewer - ‘cause I’m probably going to need it, right?
  6. Node-RED
  7. MotionEye

Am I missing anything critical and/or super useful?
Is there anything that’s going to make it easier to deal with my Zwave smart lock and/or my Broadlink RM Pro?

Samba & Portainer also great to have.

If you would like to use an SSD via USB and install Raspbian, then follow these instructions. (using Raspbian instead of Ubunutu.)

These are instructions I have put together recently and shared around on the forums to make it easy as possible for people to do on basically any machine.

Open this file in Notepad++ and you will get all the links to download the items mentioned.

It is easy to achieve. Boot from SD and have root on ssd, or as someone else has said, install raspbian and run hassio on top.

I plan on avoiding Docker like the plague, so hopefully, I don’t need Portainer.

Just so you understand is an OS installation running docker with two containers.
A supervisor container and Home Assistant container.

I don’t use it, so I can’t explain it past that… but just wanted you to know :slight_smile:
(queue “knowledge is power”) - cheesy, I know.

DeadEnd doesn’t care. HassOS is what doesn’t support it :wink:


No. HassOS is an OS. Hassio is a couple of docker containers.

I must be confused then (I know it happens often).
I thought was the SD card image used for PI’s.

Or maybe my explanation wasn’t clear.
I’ll just let someone else explain it.

The Google Drive Backup add-on is awesome and life saving.

So you’ll be running venv then and manually downloading and integrating all the software you wish to use?

I’ll concede the fact. However, when you take the first look at the docs for getting started, and HassOS are pretty tightly linked. So the typical entry point is to use HassOS, which typically gets you going faster and with less effort. Hence my spend the extra nickel on a good SD card.

Of course, there are exceptions that prove the rule.

HassOS is the SDCard image for Pi’s. Also HassOS comes in VMDK form to use any number of Virtualization technologies/hypervisors. is the set of 2 docker images that run together (supervisor and home assistant). runs on HassOS or any docker host.

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Exactly what I did, can’t recommend this enough.