Home Assistant Supervised installed on a desktop PC

I have a HP Compaq Elite 8300 desktop PC that I want to use for Home Assistant Supervised only. Is there a way to install Home Assistant on a “generic” PC without using a VM in a host OS like Windows or Linux?

I’ve tried flashing the Intel NUC image on a couple of different USB sticks, but the PC just freezes on a black screen when it boots on the USB stick. I got Proxmox running on the PC with Home Assistant Supervised running in a VM. But I feel I’m wasting resources on using Proxmox just for running a single VM…

That said, what would give the best performance and experience when running Home Assistant Supervised?

  1. Use Debian as host OS, and install Home Assistant Supervised as described in this guide.
  2. Use Proxmox as host OS and install Home Assistant Supervised in a VM.
  3. Use Windows as host OS and install Home Assistant Supervised in a VM.
  4. By means of <some_black_magic> run Home Assistant Supervised using the Intel NUC image.

Home Assistant Supervised

Either strip out the proxmox components (proxmox is debian) or just install debian 10 fresh and then follow the guide.

running bare metal will give you better performance but you’ll lose flexibilty and the other features that proxmox offers, snapshots etc. It all depends on what’s more important to you. Personally I run HA Supervised in proxmox VM

Thank you for the feedback. So the Intel NUC image is out?

I’ve considered the Debian approach. But the installation description on GitHub gave me second thoughts:

Conclusion: Expert. Maintaining a Debian 10 installation to a very specific set of requirements is hard.”

How finicky is running Home Assistant Supervised this way?

I think I’d say stability is more important than performance. To not have the system break every other day, and to get it up again somewhat quickly if it goes belly up.

What do you mean by this?

Yep, I never had any luck with it because it’s a VM image not an ISO so you have to convert it before you can run it on bare metal. You can use it with proxmox though and that’s what I first used, but you have no control of the OS though the HA team are providing that for you. Also the OS is based on a customised Alpine linux so it limits you. Also proxmox/HA interact weirdly when it comes to RAM usage so I ditched the HA OS and moved to the supervised install. I’m happy enough with it, the RAM issues weren’t sorted but I just give that VM 2G and leave it at that.

If you’re happy enough with Debian it’s easy enough to maintain, (apt-get update apt-get upgrade) - For it to be supported you are limited in the packages that you can install anyway.

Other than docker upgrade to 20 which borked everything it’s stable enough, having said that I take a HA snapshot (from the supervisor before every update be that HACS or HA) and every night I have proxmox backup the VM image - so to give you a concrete example when the docker 20 upgrade rolled out and I was unable to access HA and therefore the HA snapshot it was just a case of restoring the backup VM image that proxmox had taken a midnight. I was back up and running within 10 minutes.

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Proxmox is based on debian, their website provides you with instructions on how to take a vanilla debian install and turn it into proxmox so you could reverse these instructions and take a proxmox install back to debian if you were so inclined.

Thank you for the answer!

I ended up with wanting to use Proxmox, and installed Home Assistant using the qcow2 image. The RAM usage as seen in the Supervisor menu is way off. I assigned 6GB RAM to the HA VM, but it only detects 819MB and is currently using 103.1%(!) of available RAM.

2020-12-29 18_13_21-Supervisor - Home Assistant

Is this what you meant with Home Assistant OS vs Home Assistant Supervised? What can I do about this? According to this guide my installation method is “Home Assistant Supervised”. I admit I’m more than a little confused about the various HA installation methods and their pros and cons.

My current VM memory configuration in Proxmox:

image

I think you’re probably using Home Assistant OS. Home Assistant Surpervised is where you first create a Debian 10 VM and then import the Home Assistant docker image as per this guide https://community.home-assistant.io/t/installing-home-assistant-supervised-on-debian-10/200253
If you go to Configuration -> Info -> System Health in Home Assistant you’ll see what you have.

Yes and if you look at the VM summary in Proxmox your RAM usage will constantly increase until Proxmox reports that’s its using all of it and if you give it more it will report that it uses that too. Is there a reason you have given it 6G?

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You were right. I created another VM and installed Debian with Home Assistant Supervised, as described in the guide. Worked flawlessly.

I see now that Home Assistant reports memory usage correctly, and it corresponds with what I read from the Debian command line.

In regards to the 6GB, it was because I first assigned 4GB on my system with 8GB available. And I wanted to increase the assigned memory to see if the usage reported in Home Assistant changed. I’ve assigned the new VM 4GB, but it might be a little low. I think the next step is to upgrade the system memory.

Thanks again for all your help.

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And that’s the beauty of using proxmox, just being able to spin up a new VM, whether that be for recovery purposes, or for testing, or just because you want to change.

That’s what I did, in the end I bought 32G and gave HA 16G and in proxmox it was reporting that it was using all of it and I’m not doing anything particularly intensive so I dialled it back to 2G, proxmox reports that HA is using most of it but so far I haven’t run into problems and that was 6 months ago. (google proxmox home assistant memory leak - it looks like its a feature not a bug :smile:)

I’m not saying this to discourage you from buying extra RAM (it’s always better to be looking at it than for it) but HA probably doesn’t need it.

As far as maintenance is concerned, in the proxmox GUI click on your proxmox machine in the sidebar and then in the right hand window scroll down to Updates if any are listed just click the upgrade button at the top of the screen. That will keep your proxmox up to date (do this on your own timeframe). Because poxmox is debian based if any updates are listed then there’s a fair chance that your debian os will also need updated too, just get into the console of your HA VM and run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade. There are plenty references out there for debian system maintenance and best practice.

The other thing that I would do is set up automatic backups of your VM(s) in proxmox, I have mine set to back up daily at midnight and store them on a FreeNAS NFS share.

I’m really glad you got it working, trying to get your head around the initial what’s HA OS, what’s HA Supervised can be a bit confusing and daunting, but once you’ve gone virtual and had it up and running for a while, created a few different VMs or containers, you just really see the benefits and the flexibility that this method brings.

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