Home assistant and hass.io are very confusing

for example, posts like this: Add on store does not show in front-end state that home assistant doesn’t have “add-ons” that they only exist in hass.io, yet the very home page for installation of home assistant doesn’t mention hass.io at all (I’ve found countless threads and pull requests for removing instances of hass.io and replacing it with home assistant) and all this is getting very confusing.

For example, i started on the installation page, it’s all about home assistant:

but the very next page is about add-ons:

and has an image of hass.io . (even that link above shows in the thread as “Home Assistant Add-ons”.

hass.io links in the forums resolve to https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/ which links to installation instructions for home assistant (not hass.io) BUT includes images for hass.io???

I get it that hass.io is “different” and that Home Assistant is a complete install on an existing OS, but the vagueness of no clear lines between the two and the blurring of what defines them as being different is infuriating to someone trying to learn.

I started on the installation page but somehow quickly wound up installing the native synology dockerised hass.io (from: Hass.io on Synology DSM (native package) )

And I read somewhere (can’t find the specific link now) that Home Assistant can’t or shouldn’t be run from docker, or that it was specifically not supported, yet, here’s a native package.

I only went down the synology route because I wanted to just “give it a go” at first and see how it all works, but I’m coming out with a huge headache and days of frustration because AFAIK I don’t have command line access to the docker (I probably do, but I have just never understood docker), things aren’t appearing in any configuration files, I’m too scared to create entries in the event I blow things out of the water. I tried the synology package because I wanted it to be harmless.

I don’t readily have another computer to put it on, all my pi’s are a bit old and the one pi3 I do have is spoken for. I’m thinking of just creating a stand alone linux VM (still on the synology box) and starting again, but that does mean resetting all my devices and really starting again…

My point (at the end of this rant, and I do appologise for it) is just that there seems to be a push to remove hass.io from the documentation and create a blurred space that is confusing AF. I’m not saying there should be two forums, not at all, I just want a better delineation between the two.

again, sorry if my ranting/venting is out of place, it’s just been so frustrating getting my head around it.

Hassio is home assistant no?

The very first link you posted leads to 3-year old topic. A lot has changed since then and that topic’s terminology is outdated. Even the screenshot in the documentation is outdated (look closely, it refers to version 0.96).

That ship sailed last January (when hass.io was renamed to Home Assistant). Any references you may find to it in the official docs is an oversight.

If you find the current situation confusing, prepare yourself for yet another name change. There’s another renaming in the works.

What would that be?

Home assistant One
Home assistant Zero
Home assistant No sugar
Diet Home assistant

sorry could resist

Further info here


Best suggestion has been to allow for community input. At least this way if the name becomes a mouthful like Home Assistant All-in-one, anyone who dislikes it can be told “Yep, but that’s what the community chose.”

They’re not doing themselves a favour with all these renames—even I am confused.

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Arguably, there’s only been one name change that created an inordinate amount of confusion and that’s when they renamed hass.io to Home Assistant. By recycling the Home Assistant name, they invalidated years of user familiarity and reams of documentation (official docs and numerous other resources).

Changing the original Home Assistant name to Home Assistant Core wasn’t a big stretch. Even the very recent renaming of Home Assistant Core on Docker to Home Assistant Container is a welcome improvement. But scrapping hass.io and making it Home Assistant was a mistep.

Guess I’ve to make a cheat sheet real soon now …
I wonder how my old Hassbian install (venv) would be called now?
Or what I should look for if I wanted a new, upgradable HA as a container on Raspbian? (I do need the OS possibilities …)

Home Assistant Container. Use docker-compose to configure it (and any other containers you wish to install) and Portainer to manage them.

The alternative is Home Assistant Supervised. However the only Linux distro they officially support is Debian. Even though Ubuntu is based on Debian, they will only support Debian. Raspberry Pi OS (new name of Raspbian) is also based on Debian but I don’t know where they stand on that.

Lots of stuff to find out and test … Thanks for the info!
I’ll probably give that a shot. Would “HA Container” have the installable addons?

No. Add-Ons are curated applications installed as Docker containers.They are customized to work seamlessly with Home Assistant, specifically via an included app called Supervisor (yet another docker container).

You can install the same apps as standard Docker containers, with Home Assistant Container, but they will require slightly more configuration effort.

If you definitely want to use Add-Ons then you must install Home Assistant (as a disk image for RPI 3, which uses Home Assistant OS), or Home Assistant Supervised on Debian.

Hmmm … had HassOS/HASSIO and scrapped it, mainly because I couldn’t for the life of me find out how to integrate all my scripts and stuff I could easily install on Hassbian. Went back to that, even though I can’t upgrade anymore. I did like the idea of addons and the supervisor, though, but it was too closed a system.

I do understand the view of the devs, though. Really open always means almost un-supportable. But we have a great community, and some docs. Maybe there should only be two flavours: “HA-in-a-box” (ready-made system w/ OS, full support) and “HA-for-the-geeks” (all open, no official support, you-have-to-know-what-you-do).

Hassbian w/ venv was quite performant and worked extremely well while allowing all customizations on OS level. I’m actually wary of running a lot of docker containers on a poor little Pi. (Not even being a Docker-supported platform I heard.)

I need more machines for testing … more money to buy them … more time … :rofl:

If you install the ssh addon you can access the hass-core system directly.

Well, there is. Just pull the code from: GitHub - home-assistant/core: 🏡 Open source home automation that puts local control and privacy first. and run it.

Using Docker adds very little overhead, it is more or less the same as VENV.

Ok, I didn’t realise that. So… it’s all just “Home Assistant”? (for now at least).

For example, is there any different to the Home Assistant that’s installed fully on a device (whether it be Raspi or fully fledged linux or windows box)? I realise there’s no difference between a full install in linux and a VM (since the second is just a virtualisation of a normal install).

What was once referred to HASS.IO is just plain and simple HA?

And since I’m thinking they are now one and the same, there is no difference, that would mean anything that can be normally done in HA, I can do in this dockerised version of it?

I am sure I read somewhere it shouldn’t be “Docker-ised”, is that (still) the case? I really couldn’t find it again when I looked for it again today. I think my main problem here is just not being able to fully conceptualise and understand the connections between containers.

I’m only very early in the setup of this (only a couple of days in with very few devices), most of them are still sitting around waiting to be flashed. Plus I’ve made a mess of it, I think I might spin out a complete new VM and see how we go from there. Try and clean it up a bit.

I’m probably touching a few nerves here, but what about HASS OS, posts on it are relatively recent (like this: Home Assistant Supervised (previously known as Hass.io) on Synology DSM as native package (not supported or working atm) ). Yes the thread started almost a year ago, but it still quite active, even today.

I’m pretty sure I have read that HassOS does have limitations. Is it something to stay away from?

I know a raspi is not optimal (because SD storage essentially), but is there an optimal setup? I would expect any linux distro would be ok and preferable over windows, which is no problem by me.

Anyway, thanks for yours and other people’s posts on it. I have just been frustrated by the fact it’s not as straight forward as I was expecting. I do have a specific config question but I will ask a question specifically about it. Thanks again for your reply

YAY! I’ll go get my boots! :smiley:

I’ve tried to explain it in this doc: home-assistant.github.io/source/_faq/ha-vs-hassio.markdown at 29b4ac4c9a9cea95ce2b2fbda8235ecb28aeb413 · fredrike/home-assistant.github.io · GitHub, not sure if my changes adds to the confusion though.

It is active (I’m the developer of it). It is however not official supported and should have been renamed to HomeAssistant (not HomeAssistan-core) on Synology DSM.

Hang on, now I’m confused again…

If add-ons are only “curated applications installed as docker containers” and these are installed only using “HA Supervisor” which in itself is a docker container…

Is there anything that is known as Home Assistant with add-ons that has nothing to do with docker? By the sounds of it, Add-on ARE docker containers.

so if I do spin up a complete install of HA outside of docker (I assume that is what is called “core”), then anything else that’s installed from within HA is already a container?

One of my initial questions was about whether add-ons existed within HA and was told that hassio IS HA, but if add-ons are only docker containers, then…

/seriously confused.


Ok, I have just read your cheat sheet, it’s kind of making a little sense.

From that though:

The text can be summarizes as this:

  1. Home Assistant Core is a Python program that provide the ability to track, control and automate your devices
  2. Home Assistant contains Home Assistant Core (1.) and a Supervisor that manage the Core and install Addons trough Docker, among other things
  3. Hassos is an operation system just like Ubuntu that comes with Home Assistant (2.) installed

“Home Assistant” itself is a “package” of “Home Assistant Core” and Docker Add-on’s including “Supervisor”

Is the docker environment completely managed by the supervisor?

It really does seem like they arsed up the naming convention on this. To have a product HA and rename it HA-C and another one called HAIO and rename it to HA… seems crazy to me. The information on the internet dates very quickly but hangs around forever, to have a product that changes so much (in what is included or not included, how it is installed, managed, configured etc) it makes sifting through that information very messy and unnecessarily difficult.

I thank everyone for their patience.

You could say “core” if you install HA using python virtualenv ( that’s how I roll ) if you use “core” there are no containers inside of HA… But your Home Assistant Core could still connect to another application that is running in docker some where. For example maybe you have HA “core” installed on a NAS and Mosquitto mqtt installed with docker on a RPI – That could work or mosquitto could be a “bare-metal” install on a computer somewhere or even in the cloud.

The supervisor is basically a docker manager, made specific for Home Assistant with tailored integration to the HA UI. ( portainer could be an example of a generic docker manager )

God yet another thread in the same sphere.

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