Changing the Home Assistant Brand

Over the last few years, we have accumulated a wide range of projects under our umbrella. We started out as a Python application (called Home Assistant) and later added an operating system (HassOS) and management system (Hass.io Supervisor) to it, to allow users to easily manage their homes, but also to provide a system that is easy to keep up to date.

These different projects all come together in Hass.io. A system that is secure, easy to keep up to date and runs the most powerful home automation platform in the world. But having Hass.io and Home Assistant has been confusing for a lot of people, especially for newcomers to our great community.

The next step in making Home Assistant simpler is by making our naming simpler. It’s our goal to make private home automation accessible to everyone. And as part of that, people need to know how to refer to it.

Home Assistant is a home automation operating system for your home. And to make this message clear, we’re renaming Hass.io to Home Assistant, and Home Assistant to Home Assistant Core.

Note: this is only about renaming projects and does not impact any functionality of any of the projects.

If you run Home Assistant today in a Docker container or run it inside a Python virtual environment, you are running “Home Assistant Core”. Home Assistant Core will forever remain a standalone application like it is today. We promise.

This name change is a huge thing! Not just a big thing we all need to get used to, but even bigger for everything that needs to be renamed! It definitely takes a couple of weeks to get the main parts re-branded.

So bear with us while we do so.

Paulus


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2020/01/29/changing-the-home-assistant-brand/
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“Home Assistant Core will forever remain a standalone application like it is today. We promise.” - And what of what hass.io (which has been rebranded to Home Assistant)? Does this have the same promise?

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Since we’re on the topic, I remember home-assistant-polymer being confusing when I was first learning about the ecosystem. Polymer seems an internal factor not relevant to the repo name. I don’t know if there are plans to rename this to home-assistant-ui or home-assistant-frontend?

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I hope the name change helps but I doubt it. Only difference in the name is the addition of Core to Home Assistant and then Hassio being replaced by the ‘old’ Home Assistant name. What could possibly go wrong.
Hope I’m wrong.

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Good change. This has always been a source of confusion, and it wasn’t ideal that people were getting tripped up before they even had a chance to get started.

I do think this puts Hassio add-ons in a bit of a weird place though. Explaining that an add-on works in “Home Assistant” but not in “Home Assistant Core” is going to be kind of confusing.

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That was exactly what I thought, maybe it would have been better to call it Home Assistant and Home Assistant Plus or something like that.

That way we would know HA is without addons and HA+ is with addons. But yeah who knows, maybe this will already do the trick, though I have a bad feeling about that. It is already hard to explain the difference when running it in docker (because you can run both hassio and home assistant in docker)

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Hassio implies docker. You’ll get hung referring to hassio in docker (and now presumably home assistant in docker)

Yeah exactly. I try to explain it to people as best as I can, but even the HA users that use HA for months or some even years don’t always know the difference.

I myself actually started out with Home Assistant (lets just say core for the sake of simplicity) and people always talked about addons. I never understood it until I installed hassio myself (that was after almost 1,5 year of using core).

Having seen the percentage that use core I actually ask myself if it is feasible to keep that alive? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just continue hassio and merge the projects in to a single one? I mean hassio is what most people want (and expect). For me it was a real pain in the B to change from core to hassio and if I had known beforehand I would have gone hassio straight away.

I think the core version is better suited for advanced users (thus the title sounds a bit odd to my ears as core means: “the easiest and simplest” way to use HA, which isn’t the case)

But hey that is just me, I love HA regardless of its name. But I do think that “core” sounds like it is easier to setup and use than HA (hassio). The second problem will be the forum… there are so much forum posts which talk about HA or Hassio (usually mixed) and I don’t think changing hassio to the same name as the old Home Assistant will make things a lot better in terms of clarity.

Like the difference between the homekit component and the homekit controller. I have tried to explain the difference numerous times and even after a perfect explanation it is still confusing to most. I really wonder how this will turn out, as I think it will be pretty similar.

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I agree that the different names and installation mediums can get confusing.

In my opinion Home Assistant Core should be advertised as a more advanced installation while Home assistant/Hass.io (on docker or hassOS) as the main installation base. It has addons works great and people can easily get into it.

I think this just perpetuates the problem … if not compounds it. IMO it’d be better to name the prebaked OS images something like “Home Assistant Appliance”, and hass.io could be something like “Home Assistant Containers”… I think that the “Home Assistant” name is already well established to refer to what you’re now trying to rename “Core”, and it’s too late to change that. The confusion that I’ve seen has always been around “hass.io” vs. “hassOS” - and that was caused by the installation documentation for hass.io, which only talks about the option to install on a generic Linux host as a sortof addendum.

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Thanks, I Hate.io it!

I feel the community should have been consulted on this matter. After all, it’s the community that has to live with the terminology.

IMHO, renaming one or the other would’ve been prudent. As it stands, not only were both renamed, but one took the other’s name.

Fred: I’m no longer Fred, call me Bob.
Bob: So what’s my name now?
Fred: You’re Bob Junior.
Bob: But everyone knows me as Bob.
Fred: I’m Bob.

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So I’m running Hass.io on Ubuntu using the alternative install procedure (NOT to be called "hassio on docker per a previous thread), Am I now running Home Assistant on Ubuntu?

Also what will HASSOS be called if HASSIO is now Home Assistant?

Terry

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I think changing the brand after this many years is only going to add to the confusion. When someone now starts talking about “Home Assistant”, one will always wonder if they’re using the old or the new branding.

And we shall not mention the HassOS brand being preserved…

On a more positive note, I appreciate the promise of keeping Home Assistant (now known as Core) alive. As a power user, I value being able to have full control of how I run HA in docker alongside other applications. Sure, my life would probably be a thousand times easier if I were to use Home Assistant (former Hass.io) with all its add-ons, but where’s the challenge in that? :nerd_face:

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It is not being preserved. It is renamed to Home Assistant Operating System or simply Home Assistant OS.

We have a full naming scheme, and everything is named carefully to get a full picture in the end. Right now, this blog focusses on the main change.

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So …

  • Hass.io —> Home Assistant
  • Home Assistant (Venv) —> Home Assistant Core
  • Home Assistant (Docker) —> Home Assistant Core
  • HassOS —> Home Assistant OS

Have I got that right? If so, that is just as confusing.

Suggestions…

  • Hass.io —> Home Assistant Plus (+1 @jimz011)
  • Home Assistant (venv) —> Home Assistant VE (virtual environment)
  • Home Assistant (Docker) —> Home Assistant (as it is essentially the same as Home Assistant Plus, without the add-ons)
  • HassOS - Something completely different, it is an OS, change it to something like Nabu Casa OS, or similar.

Create a forum poll and ask the community for ideas, that would be great start.

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Won’t happen and no, we have not published the full list yet.

Let me clear it up this way:

Our project/org has tons of subprojects. The supervisor, the python packages, wheels, an operating system, cli’s, add-ons, dns servers, and I’m just getting started.

The only thing where it comes together is Home Assistant (used to be called Hass.io).
The idea is, if you run Home Assistant, you run the full project.

However, if you like to pick up the core, and run it differently? Sure, go ahead. Want the CLI on another machine to get to the machine running Home Assistant? Sure, go ahead.

In the end, we will have Home Assistant (the complete package) and our subprojects Home Assistant [subproject] available for anyone.

We realize this is a hard change, and especially the existing community need to get used to it.

The fact, however, is: If I flash a Pi and give my father his own home automation box, what I have said to him what it runs?: Home Assistant or Hass.io

For most people, they will say Home Assistant.

…/Frenck

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If your Father is having you do the work for him, it doesn’t matter what he thinks the name is, what matters is how the person doing the work on his machine understands things. My Father calls it “That thing that runs my lights”.

The current naming scheme is confusing, to me this change is a sideways step, it neither helps, nor hinders things, so it seems a pointless exercise if it is not going to help clear things up.

eg: You hear about Home Assistant today, you log on and look at the site. Wow, looks great, I want to run this! Which version should I run? What is Hass.io? what is a Virtual Environment install? I have a Synology NAS, maybe I can use that, but what version runs on that, oh, and I have a Pi3 laying about, which version can I run on that? I can run 3 or more versions on my Pi3? Wow, confusing…!

Move forward 1 month when the name changes have kicked in - the exact same situation appears to me will happen. The naming scheme looks, from what has been posted, to be just as confusing.

I respectfully disagree, I don’t think it clears things up at all.

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@frenck Very good explanation and example. Having only been in this for about a year I had the same problems learning the terms and how everything is referenced. I think this is a wonderful thing that will simply take some time to get used to. Onward to v1.0!!

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I respect that. Simply put, we cannot make everybody happy. Nevertheless, time will tell. :man_shrugging:

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