Another Topic on Commercial Applications with Home Installations (Rough How-To?)

I believe the main reason a professional systems integrator wouldn’t employ Home Assistant is a lack of timely technical support.

Imagine your customers contact you with a problem that is due to a bug in a particular integration or possibly within Core itself. There’s no one in this volunteer-based project who is obligated to provide you with a timely resolution.

As a consequence, your customers may have to wait days, even weeks (one Issue I posted has been unaddressed for months), before someone volunteers their time to correct it. Meanwhile, your customers grow impatient and disgruntled with your apparent inability to promptly fix the problem. That’s not the path to building a successful business.

Pros choose suppliers that can support their products in a timely manner. There’s an escalation procedure available to address critical issues. The Home Assistant project isn’t currently equipped to do that.


Theres a GPIO issue that has been open for 3 years.


Like i said… there is a market for people who have an appetite to get a truly smart home experiencing what smart home actually is as opposed to the not so smart consumer offerings and multitude of interfaces there are out there today.

Every system has patching etc it is the difference between deploying opensource vs licenced software. In my experience, i get better support from good opensource projects than licensed options…

The fact is, that HA is one of the most powerful smarthome platforms available today.

As long as the risks are clearly identified and communicated, there is no reason why installers should not be doing this professionally…

Except Home Assistant has a built in time bomb for any unmaintained installation: The database will bloat to the point it fills the drive, or become so slow it will be considered failed. And if it is an SD card based install, by that time the database writes will have likely killed the SD anyway.

Until the database structure is fixed, it can never be used by non-enthusiasts.

Can you elaborate? What are the opensource vs licensed products on which you are basing your comparison?

I doubt that’s a metric that your customers even consider when choosing a systems integrator. They want someone to fulfill their requirements and to have whatever it is that you provide to work reliably.

I admire your business ethics but I doubt many people would accept the risk of acquiring a product whose repair might take days or weeks (or even never). I certainly wouldn’t buy any car or major appliance with that kind of risk.


From a systems integrator’s perspective, every service call during the initial warranty period is a loss of time and money. Every fix/patch/correction applied is billable time that you can’t collect (during the warranty period). It’s even more expensive if you have to make a site-visit to correct the problem. Basically, you want the product to work reliably so you can use your time to grow your customer base.

Outside of the warranty period, you can obviously bill for your time. However, if your customers need your services frequently (to fix problems) they’re not likely to remain satisfied customers. Dissatisfied customers can’t be used as references and that can impact growing your customer base.

Then you have never used top tier corporate support options on commercial offers. I had such an experience myself not long ago, with a bug in a closed source driver used by one of our very high tier clients. The driver manufacturer (very well known graphics chip manufacturer) offers premium support options, which obviously cost a lot of money. But for some clients, it is worth it. Within less than an hour we had a Teams conference up with one of the lead developers and two senior engineers. The bug got fixed in less than 24 hours after the call.

In open source it’s mostly luck. You’re completely dependent on the whim of some (often single person) developer and his mood of the day. More often than not, you’ll just get a shrug, ‘it’s open source, just fix it yourself’. Unless you have a team of developers who have the capacity to actually go ahead and fix these bugs themselves if needed (that’s what large corporations who use OSS typically do), you can’t base a business on that.

Of course commercial software support also varies a lot and you can get pretty crappy support. But unlike OSS projects, you can then take legal action against the supplier.

Ok mate, well lets simply agree to disagree and move on and continue the thread for those of us that do want to make a go of it as I believe that this is what the OP created the thread for… your points have been taken and noted for which we are all grateful…

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I am having the exact same argument/discussion with a corporate client, not related to HA at all… however we are going after a consumer market which is something completely different… I have lived in the corporate world for 20 years with my biggest project for which I was responsible, went live on the same day in something like 36 countries for a global tier 1 telco… i have also always had a sideline serving digital products directly to the consumer market… so again, each to their own, based on their experiences and if they feel they can pull it off… i believe that this thread was intended for those of us that do want to make a go of it, so points noted and taken, for which I, as I am sure are those who see this forum, am grateful…

I take it that you won’t be elaborating on your experiences concerning “opensource vs licensed products”?

Anyway, whatever those experiences may have been, the fact is that if you encounter a problem with any one of Home Assistant’s official integrations (or in Core), there’s no distinction between hobbyists and systems integrators and everyone gets into the same queue for technical support. As mentioned, the reply/fix time may vary from hours, days, weeks, to never. Anyone who wants to “make a go if it” needs to take this shortcoming into consideration.

It all boils down to the type of business you are. Using open source as a vital part of a commercial offer is always a liability. If you are able to technically and legally manage that liability, then great ! If you’re a single person company and you use large and complex unstable OSS code, then that liability could very well kill your business if things go bad.

It’s a strategic choice you have to make and you have to live with the potential consequences of that choice. Because in the end, as cliche as it sounds, you don’t pay for the open source code. There’s no obligation for anyone to fix anything for you, even if your entire business depends on it.

Also, I would definitely not be using Sonoff for commercial installations.

I’ve done 2 installations for others (who already had a commercial HA system), and they knew the risks. Also, they are quite tech savvy, so they were OK with that.

But I always make sure things keep working even if HA goes down.

Really the more I think about HA should adopt a commercial installers/certified support model. They come up with some kind of certification program you can pay for and get certified as an official HA installer/support technician. You already have a dedicated hardware that your selling which you could resell to a certified installer for cheaper and provide a longer warranty then allow them to resell it. Also come up with a cheaper global dashboard for the certified installer to use the nabucasa platform and allow them to have access to all their clients and provide support to them through remote access (also build in some form of block for remote video access to a clients system for privacy reasons). This could help push a portion of the industry towards homeassistant and away from control4 and other more expensive platforms. Still keep the software free just give people a way to make some money off it and a way to support their clients as a certified installer and give customers that are not tech savvy a way to have a more cost effective solution. This also could bring in more revenue for homeassistant development and even come up with more hardware partners for light switches and maybe a dedicated remote control for the certified installers to sell. Just having a commercial side of this software through certified installer channel could help it grow even more. Just my thoughts I love this platform and have been tinkering with it constantly and it’s really been rock solid for me since day 1.

I’ve been using it since late 2018. I can tell you that when something goes wrong with the Supervisor portion of Home Assistant, response time can vary from days to never. This is anathema to a professional installer; you minimally need acknowledgement of the problem and a schedule for a fix (because your paying clients aren’t going to accept ‘Real Soon Now’ excuses). However, the current reality is some reported Supervisor issues don’t even get a reply let alone a resolution.

FWIW, some users recently reported (6 days ago) the inability to update from one patch release to another (the operation is managed by Supervisor and it’s failing) and haven’t received a reply yet (I’m in the same situation). No professional installer would consider a supplier who doesn’t have the staff to even acknowledge a problem exists. The Supervisor piece of the Home Assistant project is understaffed and would require an overhaul before any consideration of a “commercial installers/certified support model”.

This is why I have my setup running in a vm with hypervisor level backups as well as the supervisor backups. If the vm fails I just do a vm restore to a earlier date or spin up a new vms and restore from one of the backups the supervisor took.

If you restore an instance with a previous version of Supervisor, it will upgrade itself at the first possible opportunity because there’s no control over Supervisor’s automatic upgrades (a long-standing request that’s never been implemented).

BTW, those afflicted with the mentioned bug continue to have functional systems but are blocked from upgrading. It’s fine as-is unless you need to install a patch release or, if they don’t fix the bug by May, when you want to install the May release.

Hmm I have not had any issues and I’m on supervisor-2022.04.0 HA core-2022.4.6

Is there some specific stop-gap solution to maybe block any update of Supervisor? Maybe some firewall rule to block some specific IP or domain? Would the (supervisor of the) HAOS complain? Would the HAOS setup stop working?

(Has this been discussed before?)

Yes; like I said, it’s long-standing request.

Another good reason for running ha in a vm is that you can easily do a checkpoint or spin up another vm of your ha server and test upgrades and integrations before applying to production systems.

That’s a good reason and I use a spare RPi3 for that purpose. My production server doesn’t get upgraded until I validate the upgrade on the test server (which is where I discovered the bug while attempting to perform an upgrade).