Home Assistant on a Mac mini

Thanks for accepting me.
Today I use Amazon Alexa on a MacBook Pro and on 2 x Iphone.
It is working quite well but …

  • I had 3 time my Internet down, so no way to enter in my house. Luckily I had a second door that I could open with a key
  • I want to create complex scenario like :
    Put my awning down if the temperature is over 23 ° C and if it does not rain and if the wind is below 5 km/h (I have all the hardware)

I have a Mac mini (ex server) that I do not use anymore.

My questions :

  • Can you do complex scenarios with IF AND OR ELSE conditions ?
  • Can you give me a tutorial to install Home Assistant on my Mac mini ?

Thanks in advance


Sorry for my poor English

Yes very much so.

Here are a couple of forum search results:

There are probably more. Use the search function at the top of the forum.

For the complex scenario, you could use a trigger for an automation with multiple conditions.

For the Mac Mini, I would suggest installing Ubuntu Server 20.04 as the OS, then running the Docker version of Home Assistant.


just use the nuc image. runs out of the box. but no wifi or bluetooth.

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That was a 7 month old post.

i know. i added it to help others googling it :slight_smile:

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The NUC image doesn’t seem to boot out of the box for me. Seems to hang in the EFI menu on my mac mini.

I’m not giving up yet. If I figure it out, I’ll come back with more info,

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what year mini?
how did you copy the image til the internal disk? i took the disk out and used balenaetcher

i have 2 running. one 2012 and one 2010.

also make sure firmware is updated. catalina fully updated will update it (but install it on the internal disk)

Mine is a 2011 I think. I didn’t pull the drives out. I was trying to see if it would boot from USB, so I burned the image to an SSD, connected it via USB, and held down option at boot.

Honestly, I’ve not anything with it since.

wont boot if you use external usb

Use Virtualbox and set up a VM for HA, totally negates any Mac specific issues. You can follow any of the dozens of Youtube and other guides out there, up and running in no time and makes support so much simpler as you’ll be in the majority.

slow and actually more diffecult that just burning the image and boot… i been there
this is my 2012 mini running 4 cameraes in motioneye and adguard and other stuff…

That’s nice for you, doesn’t seem to be Meaulnes experience either so obviously is more difficult than really simple.

i thought it was difficult and tried boot loaders and other magic stuff. almost gave up and then i just wrote the image to the internal drive and it booted and has run ever since, so its just a question of doing it right.

if you think using a vm is easier then writing an image. its fine. your time is yours :slight_smile: its usable and i used it for 6 months. i just found it buggy and slow on my mini. i had 3 occasions where the image in virtualbox got corrupted. (solved by resizing the image luckily)

Fair enough, but installing it as a VM takes all of five minutes tops and is 100% reliable and fast for most people.

I’ve installed HA OS on my 2010 Mac Mini Server.

Before any further expense, I tested with Balena Etcher and my iMac 24 (M1) and Thunderbolt3 to Thunberbolt 2 to FireWire800. Booted the Mini in Target Disk. Installed the HA OS image as per instructions for generic x86

Perfect. No issue.

But I wanted to replace the 12 year old HDD with a new SSD.

For whatever reason, using the FireWire method, I could only ever format the SSD. Writing the HA OS took a long time (hours) and would ultimately fail.

Ordered a SATA dock with USB3 and a USB3 type B to USB-C cable.

Balena Etcher and the SSD on the dock finished the flash in a couple minutes and was flawless (much like the first step with the HDD).

HA OS doesn’t know of the Mini wifi, and the Bluetooth is recognised, but fails to load.

Solution: TP-Link USB dongles for Bluetooth 5 and wifi.

Both are discovered and function without additional apt or wget.

*** eth0 is the main network, wlan0 is used only for the VLAN reserved for Alexa. Although Alexa can be communicated with inter-vlan after discovery, the only way for her to discover devices (ie Nodered entities) is to be on the same vlan as the (faux)Hue Bridge. Hence my need for an additional network interface.

Also added the Sonoff Zigbee 3 via USB (to replace the deconz).

All of this is to migrate from an Rpi3+ to something bigger and faster, and coincidentally my unused Mac Mini 2010 Server accomplishes this quite nicely.

So, it can be done!

SSD 60$
TP-Link ACS-1300 25$
TP-Link BT5 15$
Sonoff Zigbee 28$

(all from Amazon.ca in CAD)

hi Lewis,

About to try this on an old mini - just wondering how it is going a few months down the track.


So much faster and more reliable than RPi3

The only additional thing I did was increase the RAM from 4GB to 8GB.

The Mac Mini had the orignal 4GB and I noticed that it was often hitting 80%.

I also had an old iMac with the same type of RAM, but at 8GB.

Since changing that, there is always headroom of 50%+ on RAM utilisation.

There has only been one instance where my August lock was non-responsive and it seemed to be that the BT dongle was not loaded, or crashed or whatever.

A hardware reboot solved that issue.


I’m also running HAOS on a 2010 Mac mini.
Do you know whether it’s possible to get the integrated Bluetooth adapter working? Or is it basically impossible?
I try to limit the amount of stuff sticking out of the Mac (as it’s a fine piece of hardware otherwise).

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards,

Remco Poelstra


I run HA on my 2010 Mac mini as well, on MacOS El Capitan, which is the latest MacOS version supported on this Mac Mini. It’s running in a Python 3.10 venv.
I run it like that, because I have other server type stuff running on it, like a webserver and mail server.