Installation on Mac mini


Do you think it’s possible to install Homme Assistant on an old Mac mini ?

Apple Intel Mac-mini Core solo 1,5 GHz.
avec alimentation, câbles, câble DVI.
HDD 60Go
OsX 10.6.8 possibilité OsX 10.7

A quick search here suggests yes. Try it and let us know how you get on.

You maybe up against some challenges to get supported version of python running on those versions of MacOS (OSX). The alternative of running linux natively is also a bit of challenge on that model of Mac Mini, perhaps possible but may take some work ( .
If you have time on your hands … if not you might want to invest in a low cost Raspberry Pi and spend your time on Home Assistant configurations rather than shoe horning Linux.
Newer Mac Mini’s do run Linux nicely, if you can find someone that is getting rid of an older Mac Mini due to it not supporting the latest versions of MacOS. The 2012 units are currently falling off being at least 2 version of MacOS out of date. But they run Ubuntu 20 nicely. I even have one running with an external Nvidia GPU doing data science and graphics on my Home Assistant data.
Good hunting!

I know old thread, but its the first entry you find if you search for it and other sources dont really confirm it.

I just wanted to say that it works on Metal. No VMs. No Docker etc.

I used Mac Mini late 2012. HDD out, flash with BalenaEtcher, HDD/SSD back in and start.
So in therory it should work with Mac Minis from mid 2010

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Thanks for the report. I just did the same following your experience and it worked a charm.


So i just tried this today with a 2012 mac mini.
Pulled the ssd and flashed with the x86 build.
The mini showed up in my network but after 45 minutes, it never started up. Or at least navigating to http://:8123 never showed anything.

Is there a trick that i didn’t know about?

Oh nevermind.
I didn’t have it hooked up to a monitor the first time I tried it.
Upon hooking it up to a monitor, I didn’t see the wierd boot screen.
I just picked the first option (slot 1 I think) and hit enter. Booting up and installing as I type!

However, I still am not able to connect via homeassistant.local:8123.
The observer: homeassistant.local:4357 shows ‘Connected’ ‘Supported’ and ‘Healthy’
I’ll be doing some research as to why that is…

Edit: I’m dopey. I just didn’t wait long enough. Now I have my mac mini running HA (Hooray!) without that dang VirtualBox software.

I used this method as well and restored my backup from my Pi4. Works great! Quick question, does yours start up automatically after a power failure? Any way to setup the Mac mini 2012 to auto power on?

Updating the post to add that I figured this out. Need to either boot from macOS before you image or make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick and set it that way. Couldn’t set it from CLI in HA OS.

But the 2012 Mini is handling this great! Perfect machine considering the cost you can get them at now and the shortage of Raspberry Pi devices.

Im wanting to do the same with a Mac mini 2012 but dont know much about all of this. So what your saying is that if I remove the HDD from my mac mini and connect it to my IMAC via USB and use Balena Etcher to install the Home assistant that will work? What installation file do I use though?

Generic X86. Works great. Just boot the mini up into target disk mode or take the SSD out and use balena etcher on a usb to sata adapter

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What is generic x86? Where do I find that installation? Sorry for the dumb question. I tried looking for it but couldnt find it in any of the HA installation options?

EDIT- Ok I found what you mean now. Thanks heaps, Ill give that a try.

Glad to help. These 2012 minis are perfect for HASSOS. I run the base config besides an SSD upgrade and it’s very fast. Uses maybe 25% of the stock RAM with my setup and never stressed the proc. Over 150 devices currently.

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My Mac mini is an A1347 so late 2012, so that should be fine to use?

Yes. I use one myself

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Ok thanks, and does it need to have an SSD as Im sure mine is just a standard HD?

I would absolutely go with an SSD over a HDD. The 256 gig SATA ones are inexpensive now and tons better. Stay away from Silicon Power drives though. I’ve had nothing but issues with those. Crucial or Team Group off of Amazon have been fine. I prefer crucial personally.

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Ok no worries I’ll order one now, thanks for your help.

FYI, I ran a 2012 Mac Mini as my primary home automation device for 2 + years using Ubuntu 20 LTS as base OS. Under this OS, I never upgraded, just did the update to the LTS 20, the internal ethernet adapter would drop out every week or so. I just added a linux compatible USB ethernet adapter and it ran non-stop for years. Only stoppage was to do image backup, update kernel and reboot every couple months.

This might have improved in newer/other linux. That said, I have another non Mac Mini intel box that is running proxmox 7 and this box flakes with its ethernet adapter (as shown below) every now and then since a update to the 6.x kernel in proxmox.

So do have in your quiver a solid linux compatible USB ethernet adapter.

01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 15)

Good hunting!

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Glad you posted this. I haven’t run into any Ethernet issues with my 2012 mini in the past year. But I’ll have this in case I ever do. I’m just running the image though and not full Ubuntu. Although I do have a couple of these running Ubuntu for docker images.