Home Assistant Community

Hassio not suitable for offline environments (no local control, privacy second)?



I migrated my home assistant from a Debian based to hassio. My environment has no (physically no) access to the world wide web.

As home assistant puts local control and privacy first I had no issues with this setup (Debian based & offline environment) in the past.

Since I migrated to hassio life get’s rougher. Just three examples:

  • Local Time via custom (local) NTP seems not possible (hard coded google server in hassio), local time via RTC (on raspberry) is also not supported
  • Local TTS via picotts not possible (dependencies not available)
  • Local Cameras via motioneye (hassio add-on) are not possible

Specially the thing with the time is kind a showstopper on my raspberry pi which is missing a in build RTC and can’t recover the time when power cycled for example. Even though I actually added a RTC DS3231 to my setup hassio can’t utilize it.

And if times not right in home assistant many things will just not work like history or time based automatizations. In all the system just behaves really bad as most things in ha just depend on a proper time.

In all it looks like hassio does not put local control (and privacy?) first like home assistant does. Is this true?

If though it should be considered to at at least a warning to the download page of hassio that it doesn’t support (only) local control and relies on a permanent internet connection and google services (for NTP).

In the beginning hassio made things easier (getting the addons in like esphome, motioneye, influxdb, grafana, ice, …) in the end it properly wasn’t worth the time (without time things just don’t work!)… :sad:

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You can follow the Linux-based install and put Hass.io on Raspbian Lite. NTP should be able to be set there.
The Hass.io image used their own stripped down HassOs.

I ran Hass.io with no incoming Internet access to control some z-wave devices. It may have got NTP externally. I did not check.



Could these setup actually solve all of the mentioned problems (local time with ntp+rtc, local TTS, local camera)?

Would I be able to migrate (export/import) my actual setup from my existing hassio - or need I - once again to start from scratch?



Yes. You have full control over the host os.


No matter how you install home assistant the config directory is the same and can be used between all the different install methods.



This would actually mean I have a perfect synergy with the advances of hassio (easy addons for example) without the down sides of the walled garden (mandatory google home calling for example) but rather full control of the things I need?

Looks like this sues me perfectly! Still I don’t get why these things are like they are… For a FOSS these shouldn’t be like this…



I’m not too familiar with NTP servers but would it be possible to have a local NTP server for HassOS to connect to?

or Would it be possible to give it internet access to NTP only?



NTP is “Network Time Protocol” You could set up an NTP server that syncs with servers online. Some enterprises have NTP servers that sync their time off GPS.



You could try this https://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Raspberry-Pi-NTP.html

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The problem is that hassio has a hard coded ntp server which is even a one from google :frowning_face: (what an idea?)

NTP server is included in a lot’s of network device (for example your router properly servers time to your home network via ntp)



And the router likely gets its NTP settings from DHCP or manual configuration.

Netgear learned their lesson about hardcoding NTP servers.




hassio didn’t till now :sleepy:

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Yea! hassio uses a hard coded google ntp server which can’t be changed! What a fail :frowning:

If even netgear learend the lession hassio should be able to do so! I actually have no idea how hard it is to change hassio that the ntp time source would be changeable (with a config file for example) but I think it should be worth it.

Google dropped their idea of “don’t be evil” so it should be time to drop their NTP server…

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I fail to see the logical connection. Google provides public DNS servers too. In rder to drop “Don’t be evil” does not mean they adopted “Be evil”. There ARE other options :wink:



I guess the assumption is that the device needs to stay connected to the internet for:
A. Installation.
B. Updates.

Without internet access you get no weather, sun information (for automations utilizing position of sun), no updates, no add-ons, and without internet you can’t even install hassio.

Seems odd to me, since I don’t wear a tin foil hat, to NOT allow it to access the internet just for grabbing data it expects.

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Hardcoding does seem a little probablematic; I think google servers are even blocked in some regions of the world.

While I can’t offer a solution I can offer some suggestions:

  • add a feature request for hassOS to add NTP server settings, you could have it in the same section as the network settings. You may be able to do a feature request on github of the forum.

  • you CAN edit /etc/hosts in HassOS, it’s not hardcoded. I had edit mine in order to get my MQTT server working over mDNS on HassOS. You may be able to run a local NTP server and route the google server’s domain to your local server for example:	localhost	time.google.com being your local NTP server. This may seem like a hack it may well give you offline acces to HASSIO.

If this works then I’d be intested to know.

Seems odd to me, since I don’t wear a tin foil hat, to NOT allow it to access the internet just for grabbing data it expects.

As far as privacy/google being evil/etc. I don’t really have an issue with that, however:

My internet access does occasionally have issues, and not being able to reboot my HassIO box while the internet is down would be a nice issue to fix.

One of HA’s features is offline functionality, I think HassIO should also offer offline functionality, especially considering that complete OS updates can be done offline with a USB stick, it seems like it’s almost there. :slight_smile:


  • Did you ever thought of that there could be locations without internet?
  • Did you ever thought of that their are high security facilities without internet access?
  • Do you ever thought of using home assistant for access control and/or alarm system? Would be a smart move to don’t connect it to the Internet then!

And Installations and updates could easily taken in without exposing your whole network.
And the state of the sun and weather can be easily sourced locally (even better actually!)

But anyway. Their are still people (or lemmings?) using still cisco products, nest, google <service/product>… and their still alive - so what?

And their are people who think their just grabbing data from online services and nothing else…

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My hassio actually boots always without internet connection (because their is none!). But doesn’t have a proper time which makes quite everything unable to use proper.

This would be awesome… The infrastructure for this seems ready to roll… Just need to implement it?

BTW: I will try to edit my /etc/hosts and report back if hassio is able to eat the time from my local NTP :smile: s



Evil or not. I also avoid google services as most as possible because of privacy concerns. For sure dns and ntp from google is a no go. Google search only bubble free with third party (proxified) search engines like startpage.com. For the smartphone there is just the possibility of a vanilla android (aosp) without google services but with root and firewall.

Would be nice if hassio would offer a easy solution to not rely on google services too!

PS.: The other option google choose for a slogan was “do good” if I’m right? Sounds a little bit like a church slogan - I would say: not trust able at all! :smile:



Sure. I wouldn’t use home assistant there, but ok.

WTF? So you would be using home assistant in a high security facility? LMAO. Ok.

I use it for my home alarm system…and, gasp! It’s connected to the internet!

My whole network isn’t exposed by getting updates…

It just seems stupid to be using a product like HASSIO in a completely offline environment.

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They do. It’s called installing Hassio on Linux.

Beside the usage of the images it’s also possible to run Hass.io on a generic system without flashing an image.