Brand new install...which method

So, as my SD card became corrupt (3rd one) im starting my install from ground up.
Stretch lite installed and updated etc onto a Pi3 (original)

The Pi will be primarily used to host HA and a plex server.

Which install would you experts recommend?
I was previously using the virtual env. method, but I am intrigued by Docker (as in zero knowledge as of writing this)
Pros and cons of each?

And finally, can I simply git clone my repo to the new and empty home assistant dir to restore everything?

I find Docker to be best for me, as it suits my needs.


I recently wrote a blog article on how to setup Home Assistant on an empty RPi3 using Docker. It’s in German only, but if you simple copy the commands from the grey boxes, you should have it running in less than 10 minutes.

Just discard the line where it says: “mkdir home-assistant” and git clone your repo to “home-assistant” directory instead.


Oh and by the way: You RPi3 is capable of booting from a USB stick. Since I switched from SD-Cards to USB sticks, no file system corruption has happened.

See (again German only):


  • “burn” Raspbian to an SD card and to an USB stick (using Etcher)
  • append line “program_usb_boot_mode=1” to config.txt on the DOS partitition of the SD-Card
  • boot RPi from SD-Card once, halt it afterwards
  • remove SD-Card, insert USB-Stick, start again and configure

This is very interesting and I am definitely going to try this. Thanks.

Is there any reason why I need to boot from an sd card initially?
Is it not possible to edit /boot/config.txt before attaching to pi?

RPi3 does not support any other boot media than SD card unless USB booting has been enabled. This is not applicabable to the new RPI3+ model which - to my knowledge - comes with USB (and PXE) boot enabled by default.

It is, but the Raspberry needs to complete a boot process with this parameter being present before it will support USB (or PXE) boot. The change is permanent, after enabling, the SD card is no longer required.

If I follow the guides to boot from usb, is it possible to boot from an SD card once again?

Yes, if present, SD card is used before USB or network boot.

thanks, ill give this a shot!

I made the switch to Docker, cloned my git repository and was up and running again in 20 minutes.

Have you noticed any substantial benefits using docker?