HA in NUC Debian or Ubuntu. Server or desktop?

Hello all!
I just bought an Intel NUC Kit NUC8i3BEH to move HA (from RPI 3b+) and to use it as NAS and Kodi player.
I am trying to figure out what is the best OS and way to proceed.
From what I read so far, on one hand there is Ubuntu and on the other hand there is Debian.
Also server version or desktop version? And finally docker or Proxmox?
I could try all the 8 possible combinations but I would like to have it up and running in 2019…
So please, feel free to advise me!!!

I have the same NUC. Been happy with this.


1 Like

I used this and has been working well since June for me (knock on wood…)

FWIW, I was (still am) a total UBUNTU NOOB, but was still able to get it up and running fairly easily in about an hour.


Bluetooth of NUC is visible in HA?

I’m not using Bluetooth from the NUC, so can’t comment on its availability.

I think ubuntu vs debian is more preference in the end for average user.
Unless you determine some specific requirement you will be happy with either.

Server vs PC versions also not true difference.
Server version do not install some utility applications like calculator or videoplayer and some other configuration but ultimatley same. If plan to use this PC for web browsing and other task you may use desktop version and congifigure according. Else Server is probably good enought. PC also require manually setup ssh since not in initial config I believe

1 Like

It’s a server, don’t install a desktop :wink: You’ll be wasting CPU power and RAM on that pretty UI.

Ubuntu vs Debian is a bit of Pepsi vs Coke. Ubuntu is derived from Debian though, they’re not very different.

Docker vs Proxmox… well, Proxmox would replace Debian. That’s handy if you want to run multiple operating systems. If you’re going to use Hass.io you’re doing to need Docker either way. Proxmox does add a layer of extra complexity though, so there are trade offs.

1 Like

@acme I have a guide HERE you are welcome to try.

It is not a server. He wants to run Kodi. He will need X, but won’t need any more than a very minimal desktop.

Ubuntu is the best base to run Kodi IMHO (as a member of Team Kodi). Kodi is packaged for ubuntu, but not for debian. I would choose one of the lighter desktop versions such as lubuntu.

By all means add home assistant to the mix and that will work via venv, or docker, or hassio (but not hassos).

1 Like

Ditto! This is what I think you should go for

What if I won’t use it for Kodi since I can run Kodi on another device. Would you recommend Ubuntu server in that case?

I would recommend PROXMOX (is debian) and hass.io as VM.


Proxmox for sure. I see some confusion here, Proxmox is a full OS based on Debian and designed to work as bare metal hypervisor.

So you install Proxmox, you make a VM for Hass.io (I used Debian for VM OS for hass.io) and you can make an LXC container for Kodi, you’ll need to pass your iGPU through, however. I think it should work?

Best part about Proxmox are full VM and CT scheduled backups. Set it up, set it to sync to some remote location for backup and never worry about your services breaking again or having to go through hell of setting them up again.

As for your NUC I’m pretty sure it can run hass.io, kodi and it will only use like 10% of it, you can throw some game server on top :smiley: Or other services.

1 Like

If it works :frowning:
I had a few goes at Proxmox and I’m not a novice user by any means. I recently got a larger SSD and setup my NUC7CJYH (Celeron 2 core I think. According to the spec it supports virtualization) with 8Gb RAM and a 2Tb SSD and after some scrolling text after I told it to install Proxmox, the screen went bank and stayed blank. Also tried converting Debian Buster to proxmox using script and that just threw up a bunce of errors as well. So I just went back to Debian+Docker+Hass.io and it works fine as before. Disappointed as I wanted to try Proxmox.
Anyway on a black friday special I got a nice shiny i7 so when it arrives I’ll take another run at Proxmox. Unfortunately they don’t give you a SHA checksum to check the download but I did grab it twice on different days and the checksum was the same on both days. So I shall reserve judgement on proxmox for now.

Ubuntu desktop and vanilla docker is what I’m running on my nuc. CPU and ram usage remain VERY low. I however do not run much on it(besides hassio of course.) Just a linux noob who wanted a desktop just in case.

+1 for going this direction. Ubuntu / Docker / HassIO. Everything covered.

1 Like

In case of what exactly? I am genuinely curious, because I don’t see any part of managing a server being easier with a desktop environment, but I am probably numb to it all after spending so much time in Linux over the years.

In case I wanted to run kodi, or use it as a pc.

1 Like

See? All I think about is running servers. :joy:

That thought had never crossed my mind.

Then you do not need an X server and you need to sift through the rest of the posts in the thread :slight_smile:

I would go for ubuntu server myself, or debian if you want proxmox.

Also should have said earlier, I wouldn’t run kodi on my home assistant box anyway. Home assistant needs stability. Kodi is stable software, but it is very complex and there are simply times when you need to reboot. Don’t mix it up with your home assistant.