Installing HA on HA Yellow with separate CM

I’m looking at getting a Home Assistant Yellow and had 2 questions about the installation procedure:

  1. If I buy my CM4 separately (i.e., not preinstalled with the HA Yellow housing/motherboard), then presumably the Home Assistant software (OS, supervisor, core etc.) is not pre-loaded and I must install it. Can anyone point me to instructions to do this — and as a bonus, instructions that do not require a windows computer (I have a mac)?
  2. If I buy a CM4-Lite (i.e. no eMMC storage) but add a large NVMe drive, will the device behave just as if I had a giant eMMC? (E.g., can I allow much longer recorder settings without needing to manually relocate the database, etc.?)

Thank you!

Have you taken a look at the official HA Yellow Documentation?

Yes, using a M.2 NVME SSD drive installed on the HA Yellow, is a very reliable and performant solution.

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Thanks. Re documentation: ok I’m an idiot. I went to that site and jumped straight to the “Documentation” section which does not actually explain how to do this – that information is at the bottom of the “getting started” section. Right. I guess if you make it idiot-proof they’ll (I’ll) come up with a better idiot.

That said, one clarification: if I’m using a CM4 with no eMMC and and an NVMe, is there any reason I couldn’t just pull out the NVMe module and drop it in a usb enclosure then use the Raspberry Pi Imager on my Mac (as opposed to rpiboot), then re-install the NVMe and be good to go?


Yes, that’s exactly what I did. However, you must download the HA Yellow’s HAOS image from GitHub.

What is found in the RPi Imager for the Yellow is an image installer, designed to be used on an external USB drive. Booting off that USB drive then downloads the actual HAOS image for the Yellow, and installs it either on the eMMC (if found) or the NVME SSD.

Thanks! Sorry, I’m not 100% following. If it’s a CM4 lite wouldn’t it just boot off the NVMe meaning the RPi Imager image would be fine? Or does it not like downloading the HAOS image and installing it to the same drive it booted from?

Separately, any chance you could share a link to the HAOS image from GitHub that you reference? I did a search and it looks like the Home Assistant Yellow project is for the hardware itself and I wasn’t able to readily find a downloadable HA Yellow image on the Home Assistant OS project.

If you use the Raspberry Pi Imager to create a USB thumb drive, then you can then use that to load the image on to the NVME SSD that is installed on your HA Yellow, IIRC.

What is included by default (last time that I looked at this) in the list of Home Assistant images inside the Raspberry Pi Imager is a “HA Yellow Installer”. This is NOT the HAOS Yellow image. Thus, you cannot load the “Installer” on the NVME driver and then have it overwrite itself with the actual HAOS Yellow image on the same drive.

You can find the HAOS Yellow image here - Release Home Assistant OS 12.3 · home-assistant/operating-system · GitHub

If you download the proper HAOS Yellow image file, then you can use the Raspberry Pi Imaging tool on your Mac to image the NVME drive in a external USB enclosure by choosing the option to select your own image file.

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Thanks. Unfortunately this isn’t working for me…

I’m using a CM4 Lite with 8GB. I downloaded this image and installed it on my MVNe using the Raspberry Pi Imager (macOS version). (Note: I used the 64bit version; is that correct?)

I then installed the CM4 and the NVMe into the HA Yellow kit (with heat sink, etc.) and plugged it in. Now I’m getting a solid red light and a flickering green.

I think the green LED is triple-flashing but it’s extremely hard to tell because it is so fast. I’ve tried a slo-mo video on my iPhone and still can’t be sure if it’s single or double. (Sorry this forum doesn’t allow posting of video.)

If it is actually triple-flash then this table suggests I have a “generic failure to boot”. Any idea why this might be happening?


That was not the correct image. Please download the HAOS Image that is specific for the HA YELLOW. Use that image and things should behave much better.

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Thank you @ogiewon ! That did it!

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