Confusing Documentation for x86 install

I’m trying to follow the install directions and they pretty much suck. First of all they suggest using RUFUS then explain that they have other instructions for Etcher, but then never explain how to use Etcher. Do I use Etcher to create the ubuntu boot media or Rufus? I finally just use Rufus and boot to USB, Try UBUNTU, then follow the remaining instructions to restore the Home Assistant OS, Everything works great. I shut down the PC, remove the USB drive and StartUp making sure the Secure Boot UEFI option is off. A bunch of text floods the screen and an ASCII image says Welcome to Home Assistant. There are no IP addresses configured but URLs to local Home Assistant pages of some sort. Then there’s a prompt.

So I go back to the instructions and it says “If you are using an old version of Windows…” What is going on here. I just followed the instructions to instal HAOS and it’s giving me advice for an old version of Windows? Ignoring that, it says "open your desktop browser and proceed to the url listed at port 8123…what browser? What desktop? It’s a command line interface. Did they forget a step like, “Load the desktop GUI” or open a browser using the unix command _____?

Is there no GUI interface for configuring Home Assistant? Is it all command line?

While I have heard some great things about Home Assistant, I can’t help but feel that there should be a “Managing Expectations” introduction that uses plain English to describe the experience better than it does now. I can handle a command line interface, but was seriously expecting a simple GUI for 90% of it. If such a thing doesn’t exist, it represents a bigger commitment than I was expecting. All to flip a couple lights on and off and maybe change the temperature. Maybe a little overkill for something this simple.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if I sound grumpy, that’s honestly just my writing style since I work in legal. Please don’t mistake my writing style for me being mean or disgruntled–it’s a force of habit. I’m genuinely excited to learn this. Thanks for any help.

Some of the docs do need quite a bit a clarification; however, the expectation is that you are more or comfortable doing this kind of platform installs.

Since HA itself doesn’t have a GUI, the implication is that you’ll use a browser on another machine.

HA itself, yes. But you’ll use it minimally perhaps for initial setup and some infrequent config changes later. You’ll be using a browser for your home automation frontend.

And that expectation will be fulfilled. Currently you can do most of the stuff through the web GUI (browser) and more is being added. You only need to use textual config or CLI for advanced tasks.

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Once you get to the prompt, that part is finished, so you can unplug the keyboard and screen. The front-end for HA runs in a web browser - so Chrome, Edge, etc whatever you normally use. You can access this from the HA machine, but normally you’d do it from another - your desktop or laptop for example, or even your phone or tablet. HA runs as a server, so you should only very rarely need to directly use the box it’s running on.

I can’t find an installation method that refers to both Rufus and Etcher on the same page. If you’re installing on Generic x86-64, this would be the normal reference - what is the link you’re using?

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Thanks for your reply. I logged in via my browser on another PC and I’m happy as a pig in slop. I’m quickly figuring out how to configure various devices and it’s running like I expected. The instructions, though, are rough. Is there any way that I could help with some additions to the basic documentation? Maybe a diagram or something? Thanks for your prompt reply. I appreciate the help. Such a simple thing to get hung up on.

The way I do it

with HARD DRIVE USB Adapter OLD way

with a USB SSD Adapter

I put the Image on the SSD with Etcher

take to SSD out of the adapter plug that into the Computer power up the computer

only with monitor plug wait to i see its IP address them go that that IPaddress in the browser on my main computer

Interesting. So Etcher manages the boot configuration on the SSD? When I created the UBUNTU USB using Rufus, it had to look online for a bootloader for Ubuntu. I am guessing that etcher skips that step? The instructions would really benefit from some clarification there. Thanks for your help.

yeap its get it booting up then the HA OS does some tricks to the hard drive SSD get working beater

This might help.
Etcher doesn’t skip anything. Etcher (or Rufus) simply flashes the binary file you give it. That can be the image file of any bootable OS; HAOS or Ubuntu.

Step 1: Flash the HAOS image to your boot device.
Step 2: Install the boot device.
Step 3: Boot the computer.

HAOS is basically a web server. You get into the UI with http://homeassistant.local:8123

I was using this reference URL: Generic x86-64 - Home Assistant Method 1 indicates the preferred method that boots into Ubuntu and uses Disks to restore the image. But method 2 uses Belena Etcher to install onto a disk directly using etcher (skipping the preferred Ubuntu step, I am guessing). A brief summary of what each method does and why they are different would help. I would have preferred to do Method 2 if I had understood the difference,

Also, I know this sounds stupid, but the documentation would really benefit from explaining that AFTER you get HAOS installed, you can use any other PC or device to login to the server to setup. As it stands right now, it seems like you could just type HA GUI or something on the CLI interface. Not only that but ha help tells you that you don’t need to use ha if you are in the CLI. But typing any of the cli comments from the prompt without ha tells you that you need to use ha --command. So it’s a little confusing. I was hoping to setup wifi via cli since I have wifi6e and the pc I am using is on the other wing of the house from my router. Instead, I connected a 150 ft. ethernet cable to it thinking it would run the GUI on the server as well.

I’m using an OLD HP all-in-one that is particularly groovy looking thinking I’d run the GUI dedicated on it. Now that I am realizing that is not how it’s done, I’m reconsidering. Regardless, thanks for your help. I got her up and running.

Thanks for your reply. By flashing HAOS directly to the boot drive, you save the step of having to create a Ubuntu boot disk using Rufus, then flashing the HAOS image to the boot drive using DISKS…restore. Etcher allows you to install HAOS without the Ubuntu step if you have the boot drive installed in another PC and then transfer the boot drive. I suppose Rufus would do the same. The documentation only explains how to do it if the boot drive is installed–by loading Ubuntu from USB. But that’s not clear in the documentation. Still, thanks for your help. I got her up and running.

Just to add more - if you’re running HAOS directly on the machine (i.e. not running under a VM) then you can’t install a browser, as the OS has no GUI beyond the CLI.

If you’re up for it, you can instead run HAOS in a virtual machine on your all-in-one. Then you can run a ‘normal’ OS like Windows or Ubuntu, so a browser can be used for the HA GUI. Windows would not be a great choice though, because forced updates with restarts can result in HA not starting automatically. You would then need something like VirtualBox, and set up a VM for HAOS. Although auto-starting VirtualBox VMs requires more CLI commands and is not terribly friendly.

That’s an understatement.

Glad you got going! Sure, you can edit the docs. Check this forum post and the Github source.

To get your sanity back try this guide:

Jason, I’m stuck right where you were. But now I can’t get to the system/gui on another machines browser. How did you DO that? What URL… THANKS!!
Terry in Vermont
OKOK After lotsa seach no result I tried THIS:

Regards, Terry King
…In The Woods In Vermont and On The Nile in Egypt
The one who dies with the most Parts LOSES! WHAT DO YOU NEED??


Sorry, saw it in the red, you found already