Home Assistant on ESXI 6.5 without Docker?

Can Home Assistant be installed on a Linux VM without Docker?
I have tried to get a stable install of Home Assistant running as a VM on my ESXI 6.5 server using directions found on the internet, which all seem to be a little different. The “official” directions for VMDK 9.5 result in an endless boot loop of Docker errors. I would prefer to use HA without docker as it just adds unnecessary complexity.
Is this possible?

Yes, you can install Debian and either use Docker natively (which may avoid all your issues with the VMDK) or if you’re fine with building Python from source every December use a Core install.


Thanks for the response Tinkerer, from what I can tell Debian 11 is the way to go but I’ll still end up having to install Docker. I tried using Docker with portainer once before but it left a bad taste in my mouth and was hoping to avoid it all together.

Portainer is … ugly

A little Docker Compose goes a long way.

I run most things using Docker now. It makes it so simple to update, roll back, backup, and restore.

If you are using a hypervisor like ESXI, why not use HAOS?
I have no experience with ESXI, but with Proxmox it works like a charm. And very easy to set up.

You can download the image file here:

That’s where they started, if you read the original post :wink:

Apologies. I didn’t realise “VMDK” was HAOS.


I ended up abandoning ESXI for Proxmox for all my virtual machines. I know it’s been 6 months but all my VM’s are stable and I’ve finally decided to give Home Assistant another go and you were right.

Thank you!

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Good to hear you got it to work!
Although it should’ve worked with ESXI as well in theory.