Buying a device to run Home Assistant (April 2022 edition)

Home Assistant is a home automation platform with a focus on privacy and local control. It can function fully without an internet connection. Home Assistant is easy in day-to-day use, and we’ve been spending a lot of time streamlining this experience.

Due to the global chip shortage and supply chain issues, it’s currently very difficult to get a device that runs Home Assistant. We’re fixing that by creating Home Assistant Yellow, a device with Home Assistant pre-installed. Bad news: Home Assistant Yellow is not ready yet and won’t be shipping until later this year.

There is currently a big wave of people interested in running Home Assistant (thanks Insteon) and so I thought it would be a good time to list the best options as of April 2022 to get a device that runs Home Assistant.

Home Assistant comes in different flavors. As a new user, you want to use our operating system. It is what powers Home Assistant Yellow and turns the device into a user-friendly home automation hub that is easy to maintain.

The best device that runs Home Assistant that is in stock is the ODROID-N2+ Home Assistant Bundle from Ameridroid. This bundle contains the ODROID-N2+ which is what also powers our Home Assistant Blue. It comes with Home Assistant pre-installed so it’s ready to go. It’s in stock today.

The ODROID-N2+ can also be bought from other stores or directly from the manufacturer, Hardkernel. These configurations will not come with Home Assistant pre-installed and require following the Home Assistant installation guide.

If you don’t want to start using Home Assistant right now, we recommend our Home Assistant Yellow. It is our own take on the best hardware to run Home Assistant. It supports Zigbee, will support Matter and with its M.2 slot, it’s future proof.

By far the most popular way that people run Home Assistant is on a Raspberry Pi 4. Due to supply chain issues there is a huge shortage of Raspberry Pis and every time they are in stock they sell out quickly. Your best bet to get one is to use rpilocator.com, a website that tracks Raspberry Pi stock across all approved resellers.

If you follow them on Twitter, you can enable a notification whenever they tweet a new stock alert by clicking the bell icon on their profile. Note about Adafruit: you will need to configure two-factor authentication on your account before you can purchase a Raspberry Pi (it’s to keep bots out).

We get commissions for purchases made through some links in this post.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2022/04/16/device-to-run-home-assistant/
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Another option: use an old computer.

I have been running Home Assistant Supervised on an old laptop (circa 2010). I got it for free; it was slated to become another bit of e-waste. The sole purchase was an inexpensive SSD.

It’s been working fine for over two years now. Whenever it fails I have an identical spare unit (also saved from the e-waste bin).

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And an (old) laptop even comes with a build in ups.

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Just get a nuc, you can run more stuff on it with proxmox. Overpowered Is never an issue. (If cost don’t matter that much)

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They don’t really like supporting the Supervised version so I’m not surprised they didn’t mention it in the post. I’ve been using it for a few years though on a linux server I have, with some minor issues. Definitely a cheaper option for those of us who have extra hardware laying around the house.

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I’ve been running Home Assistant in a docker container on my Synology NAS for 2+ years now, no issues. Having a home NAS is very useful for other purposes anyway (backup, file sharing, camera recordings, etc).

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I have been running HA with docker, a few days ago I moved to an old laptop with supervise mode, It would be nice if the UEFI requirement disappear, but I don’t have any problem with supervise mode so far any old laptop (some years) offer more power than small boards.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: What version is the best to install the Home Assistant on Windows

Personally I use a Lenovo Think Centre Tiny M72e.

I don’t usually buy from eBay as they don’t have a presence here, but I just took a look and the more powerful M73 is available for US$50. Add an ssd, say 250GB and a power supply, you are away. I would probably aim a little higher and go for 8GB ram and try to find one that bundles a power adaptor, but the who thing is going to cost bugger all.

Better still go to a ex-lease refurbisher, they have usually done some refurbishing and provide a warranty.

It doesn’t need to be the lenovo, any PC will work, but most people want something small form factor.

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About two years ago I migrated my Home Assistant stuff from a Raspberry Pi 3 to an Intel NUC i3.
The difference is absolutely amazing. An HA restart takes 15-seconds, a Node Red deploy takes maybe 5-seconds. With a 2Tb SSD I never have to worry about the history database filling up. Best of all I don’t have any more MicroSD card failures.

I am also running HA OS bare-metal on a NUC, but if I were to start from scratch right now I reckon a better choice would be a refurbished corporate SFF, for one main reason: the fan.

Both NUCs and laptops use dinky, non-standard fans that I don’t think are meant for years of 24/7 usage and already on 2 separate NUCs I’ve had fan failures.

While on (at least some) laptops fans are relatively reasonable to replace, extracting the motherboard from an all-aluminum (and thus not flexible) NUC was a major PITA for me, whereas on any OptiPlex or whatever you have thousands of machines and many resellers that can get you any part you want. The power draw difference between a NUC and a SFF machine is not too big from what I’ve seen, but easy, cheap repairability is a huge plus imo.

Just for HA a fanless SBC is a good choice, but if tempted to add other self-hosted stuff, the power and flexibility of a refurbished SFF with various ports, slots & stuff can’t be beat.

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HP T630 Thin Client, fanless, noiseless… That is my choice. Unfortunatelly it uses only M2 SATA, not NVMe, but has DDR4 memory on the other hand. It has plenty USB ports as well for any adapters. For less than a 100USD you can find some bundle with WiFi/Bluetooth card as well. Just make sure to get it with an original power adapter.

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Energy consumption is another very important factor to consider for a device that is on 24/7. Based on this criterium alone, an old laptop or desktop would be a no-go for me. But in the end that is a personal choice.

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Hm… Can you help me out doing the math? My closed Thinkpad 460s (where I run my HA) connected via ethernet draws about 8W (the fan is off all the time). That’s like 70kWh, roughly 12€/year. RPi 4 draws 4-5 wats, so it’s about a half. I don’t know man - if you don’t live under 1$/day, it’s quite unlikely to make a difference, no? It’s literally a difference of having 2 fewer coffees (replace by your favorite beverage) in a year. If it’s emissions, 200 km in a fairly efficient car is something like 22 kg CO2, which is equivalent to that ~70kWh. E.g. a fridge eats at least 5-10 times more than that.

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I also went with this option in the end. For just 100$ (after a few days of monitoring a local second-hand online shop), I was able to get Thinkpad 460s with 8GB RAM, i5-4300U @ 1.9GHz (2.9 GHz boost), 256 GB SSD, “built-in” UPS, “physical terminal” (you can just open it and work directly without having to connect from elsewhere - even though that’s of course also trivially possible), can be used for other things or as a backup laptop when needed… I run HA in Qemu, so I have all the nice goodies of supervised installation.

Really, the only drawback I can think of is the size (but I suspect that’s not an issue for many).

Nice, that is very low power usage indeed! And the battery inside will act as a UPS. Actually sounds like a good solution.

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The only caveat I would make is that second hand laptops often have batteries that don’t have much life in them - it’s the first thing to go in a laptop. Replacements are often cheap though, and they’ll still give you some time to shut down gracefully.

Old Laptop !, as mentioned above build in ups + Bluetooth, keyboard and monitor, powerful cpu, and sufficient ram for the future, all powered by 1power-supply which have no problems to power 1 SSD + 2 mSata

Im currently running Hass on a Protectli Vault 2 Port Its been solid rig, should be for a good while.

There are many many similar boxes on Aliexpress.

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