Community Highlights: 3rd edition

It’s time for the third installment of our revamped community highlights. We got some really great stuff again.

This time I (Paulus) am in charge of writing the community highlights. The reason for this is that the main item involves Frenck’s own work, and he felt weird promoting his own awesome, great, wonderful, enlighting and fabulous work on the revamped Visual Studio Code add-on.

Visual Studio Code add-on updated

Visual Studio Code is a free text editor by Microsoft that works inside your browser. It makes it very easy to manage your configuration.

The add-on used to be only available for x64 devices like intel NUC. With this update, it is now also available for ARM64 devices, including the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 (the 64-bit version).

It comes installed with all the extensions necessary for editing Home Assistant related files:

If this is the first time you hear about the Home Assistant Config Helper, it is genius. It will set-up a realtime connection from VS Code directly to your Home Assistant installation so it can offer auto-complete suggestions when editing your configuration. This is pre-configured and works out of the box with the VS Code add-on.

To install the add-on, search for Visual Studio Code in the add-on store.

VS Code add-on part 2

But there is more in the add-on! Home Assistant contains an add-on service registry where add-ons can make their services available for other add-ons without requiring any configuration. The VS Code add-on uses this feature to offer a built-in terminal that has pre-configured tools to connect to the MariaDB add-on and the MQTT add-on.

To try it out, open VS Code, click on the menu button top left -> view -> terminal.

MQTT command-line

This requires the Mosquitto add-on to be installed and an MQTT sensor (instructions).

To publish a message to an MQTT topic:

mosquitto_pub -t home/bedroom/temperature -m 23

Or watch all messages that go through your MQTT broker:

mosquitto_sub -t \#

SQL command-line

This requires the MariaDB add-on to be installed and the recorder configured to use it (instructions).

To query the available tables:

mysql -D homeassistant -e "SELECT entity_id, state, last_updated FROM states LIMIT 0, 10"

Beta time!

Today we are releasing the first beta of Home Assistant Core 0.106. It is packed with awesome features. For a sneak peek of what is coming, check the beta release notes.

I’m personally most excited about the extended safe mode. It will guarantee that the frontend will always load, no matter how broken your configuration is.

Navigation Arrow

On Reddit user /u/Jenova70 showed a super slick navigation arrow that indicates the traffic on his daily commute. Very slick! Instructions can be found in the comments.

I built a physical "navigation arrow" that is changing color based on the estimated time of arrival at work (Waze commute data :) ) from r/homeassistant

Thanks, Jean-Loïc Pouffier & cogneato for sending in this item! 👍

Got a tip for the next edition?

Have you seen (or made) something awesome, interesting, unique, amazing, inspirational, unusual or funny, using Home Assistant?

Click here to send us your Community Highlight suggestion.

Also, don’t forget to share your creations with us via Social Media:

See you next edition!


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2020/02/19/community-highlights/
3 Likes

I really want to use Visual Studio Code but still seeing “This add-on is not available on your system.”
I have RB Pi3b+, did I misunderstand something ? Why can’t I use it?

Thanks!

From what I can gather you’d need to be running 64-bit version of Home Assistant Operating System on your 64-bit Pi to be able to install this option…see release notes here for more detail.

I’m running the 32-bit OS on my Pi4 (based on it being “recommended” here ) and can’t install VS Code as an add-on. Guessing if I re-setup and change OS to the 64-bit version then I can install VS Code as per the original post.

aha, that make sense. Thanks.

1 Like

Just moved from Raspbian desktop to Manjaro XFCE on Rpi4 4GB with a 120GB SSD just to get VS code addon & so far it’s running good.

Any official stance on running 64-bit version of HA? Are there issues that one needs to be aware of?

Hold my beer…

ZHA native support for Texas Instruments based Zigbee sticks is what I’m most excited about!

I personally think that the 0.106 release notes should also high-light/promote the newly added ZHA support for Texas Instruments CC-series based Zigbee coordinator sticks because of their very inexpensive price has the potential of making it a disruptive technology in a positive way for the Home Assistant community.

Pull request #31621 by @sanyatuning adds native support for the same cheap CC2531 Zigbee sticks to Home Assistant, the same Zigbee sticks that the Zigbee2mqtt project has made popular among the community.

Right now the short comment about Texas Instruments CC support was hidden in the list of all changes in the 0.106 Beta release notes, and again I personally think that it was as such was not very informative about the impact that native support for inexpensive Texas Instruments CC based Zigbee coordinator sticks could potentially have.

Maybe it could be mentioned in a community highlight?

3 Likes

Damn it, I’m also running 32-bit on an Rpi and it won’t let me install it either.

What is the best way to move from 32-bit version of HA OS running on RPi4 to 64-bit ?

I’m stil on a 32-bit OS so haven’t done this but I think it’s just a case of taking a snapshot/backup of current setup and restoring it to a new instance with the 64-bit OS.

Once you’ve taken the backup, download the 64-bit Pi4 image, flash it to SD card (new or existing), let the system boot up. Once you have the UI up then enable Samba, copy your old snapshot/backup to the new instance, restore and you’re up and running with the 64-bit version of the OS with your existing config.

Thank you @Gav_in !
I have read somewhere that 64-bit is not stable and for example does not support GPIO if you are on RPi. But I am not able to find this information in sort of offical way.
On installation page https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/installation/ there is recommendatino for 32-bit and it does not say that 64-bit has any limitation.

1 Like