Install NUC image in laptop? Better performance than HA supervised?

Hello, so far I have HA supervised, in a i5 laptop (8gb RAM), using lubuntu 20.04 and docker.
I only use that laptop for Home Assistant, nothing else.
I’m about to buy a new SSD.

So, I would like to ask 2 questions:

  1. Is it possible to install the NUC image in a laptop? Do I need to do something different than just flash the image on the new SSD? (I have an external USB adapter for HD).

  2. As far as I understand I won’t be able to use anything else than Home Assistant, I mean, no Lubuntu or anything else (as I said I don’t really care)… Will the performance be better if I use the image instead Linux + Docker + Home assistant? Right now I feel HA a bit slow, specially on live cameras.

Thanks for your help!

  1. Maybe. It all depends on your hardware. I tried burning the image onto an SSD for two different computers. One install worked, one failed (network card was not recognised). For the failed pc running supervised instead of home assistant OS did work.

  2. If having access to run things not available as addons is important or for hardware compatibility you should go supervised. Try the image, if it works let us know if you notice any improvement. I suspect (guess) it won’t be much if noticeable at all. If the image does not work the recommended os for supervised installs is Debian.


I like your anwser, I will first try to burn the image, the NUC one I guess (not a raspberry image).
If not, I’ll install the fastest/lightest Debian flavour (xfce maybe?)

Yes to the NUC image.

I have no idea about Debian distros.

Better install a Debian without GUI. It makes no sense to have a GUI for running HA.

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Only if the OP will never run anything other than HA. I know they said that’s the plan now but they might change their mind later. Then having a desktop will come in handy.

I run a Kodi server on the same NUC I use for HA and the desktop is necessity for running that.

I don’t think the desktop hurts performance at all if that’s the concern and it follows the adage “better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”. :wink:

Yes and you can always add a desktop later.

As the man said, install debian server. If you want a desktop for some obscure reason, then that is what apt is for.

It can do, the Raspbian desktop has a memory leak. I realise this is not really relevant to Debian, just pointing out that the leaner you run a system the less likely you are to have issues.

Well It looks like when I use the NUC image it doesn’t even boot.
So for now I will go on with Linux + Docker + HA supervised.
At least its faster with a SSD

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Go Debian.

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I’d really like more Info about running the NUC image on a laptop. You mentioned it working on one of the two system you attempted it on. Can you list any specifics like make model? Not sure what will happen after I burn the image to the ssd and try to boot the laptop. Bootloader or what not.

Sorry, I’m travelling at the moment and don’t have the details. All I can remember is that it was an i5 CPU.

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The whole concept of the NUC is that it is a very small (constrained) set of hardware that allows for an image to be written targetted for that hardware. Generally for Windows :nauseated_face: . (anything that keeps the general windows bloat down makes for a lower required performance envelope and thus better performance out of the small sizes required for a NUC (I know that there are ‘some’ smaller PC’s) The point is it’s fairly easy to target such a platform (a bit like the Raspberry Pi in that it’s a monoculture environment (and why there were a LOT of miss-steps when the Pi4 came out that used a different boot and some different hardware).
It makes some sense why some laptop manufactures adopted the same sorts of harware to fit in a small thermal envelope environment (which is probably why Tom managed with one of his - But I’d say he was damned lucky ! :smiley: )
The benefits of a laptop are : -

  1. Built in UPS (but sometimes the battery is so old you’ll only get 2 or 3 minutes from it (I had one like that) )
  2. You have the hardware lying around, why not re-use it ?

The above is often enough for people to go that route but be prepared for it to fail and that you will HAVE to install Debian (going any other route is asking for trouble as over the last 4 years we have seen hardware/OS restictions for HA getting tighter and tighter (for officially supported systems).
This is mainly (I think anyway) so the Devs can restrict their testing of new releases to a smaller pool of harware/OS’s. Which makes a lot of sense and I can’t argue against it.

kanga_who (referenced above) does excellent guides and keeps them as up to date as possible.

Good Luck

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I do agree to use what you already have …

But I do wonder at the number of people here suggesting using a laptop for HA. Why use a PC which features a built-in screen and keyboard for a system that is designed to run headless. For those rare occasions the HA CLI is needed, use a SSL/Terminal add-on from the comfort of your regular PC.

The suggestion that the laptop battery acts as a UPS … also seems a little flawed.

  1. in a power cut most of your devices will be dead anyway. Yes there will be some use cases where a UPS does make sense.
  2. leaving the battery in a laptop (on constant trickle charge) is what kills laptop batteries. To promote laptop battery life you should pop the battery out while the laptop is mains powered for any length of time.

To use a laptop battery as UPS you will probably be buying a new battery every 4-6 months, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Maybe just me, but I have had issues with heat in my laptop (before I managed to unintentionally kill it by replacing the fan); so not keen to leave it closed up running 24/7.