Your distro’s python version may fall behind the minimum supported for Home Assistant Core
Home Assistant generally only supports the current stable version of python and one minor version behind. For example if the current python version is 3.8.5, the oldest python version supported is the 3.7.X branch of python. However, your operating system’s distribution of python may not stay current enough and you may find that your current python version has been deprecated and soon may no longer be supported. Worse, your distribution’s python version may already be below the minimum supported version as is the case with Ubuntu LTS 18.04 which has python version 3.6.9 while the minimum required version for Home Assistant Core 0.114 is 3.7.1.
Python VENV alternatives
One way of avoiding this problem is to simply not use a python VENV. The below are alternatives to a using a python VENV.
- Docker – The Home Assistant Core in a docker container will always include the lastest supported python version. If your distribution has a supported version of docker, your distribution will continue to work.
- Home Assistant OS – (formerly referred to as Hassio) is an dedicated operating system image that can potentially replace your current distribution if your hardware supports it and you wish to dedicate that hardware exclusively to Home Assistant. Example: replacing Raspbian on your Raspberry PI 3.
Installing a new version of python without upgrading your distro
Python easily allows the installation of a second version without changing the version installed by distribution. This is commonly known as a “python altinstall”. Simply overwriting the version installed by the distribution is not recommended as scripts and other python programs installed by the distribution will be dependent on the older python version and will fail.
Obtaining a precompiled python altinstall
- Debian and Raspbian – Community member @pascallj has created a backport of Python 3.8 for Debian Buster based distributions. See Github and the community thread Home Assistant Core - Python 3.8 backport for Debian buster for more information.
- Ubuntu – The Dead Snakes PPA contains newer versions of python. The following page contains an example on how to install it.
Compiling and installing from source
Python can also be installed from source.
First installl all build dependencies needed by your distribution to compile python. The following page contains a good example on how to do this for Ubuntu/Debian distributions.
Obtain the newest stable release of python supported by Home Assistant Core. For the purposes of the example we are using version 3.8.5.
Move the tar archive to a suitable staging/compilation directory.
Extract the tar archive
tar xf Python-3.8.5.tar.xz
Enter the directory and run autoconfigure
cd Python-3.8.5 ./configure
If the configure script fails then there is most likely an issue with missing building dependencies.
By default python will install the compiled binaries and libraries into /usr/local. For the ease of upgrading between point releases and to avoid any possibility of interference with the existing python version installed I recommend altering the Makefile to allow for a rootless install.
prefix in the line below in the Makefile by default points to /usr/local. Change it to point to your desired path.
# Install prefix for architecture-independent files prefix= /home/zwave/python38
Create the destination path if it does not exist.
mkdir -p /home/zwave/python38
In the example above the executable python binary will be found at
/home/zwave/python38/bin/python3.8 once the compilation and installation is complete.
If any errors occur there is most likely an issue with missing build dependencies.
If there are no errors in compilation install Python with the make command below. If you chose to install into /usr/local you must use
sudo or be root.
Setup the Home Assistant Core VENV to use the alternate python version
The only unique step that differs from the original python venv installation procedure is the step that sets up the Python venv. The key difference is that the explicit python version needs to be called e.g. ‘python3.7’ or ‘python3.8’ instead of ‘python3’ because python3 will remain symlinked to the distribution’s default python version
If you have an previous installation of Home Assistant Core using a python venv the old installation directory must be moved out of the way or deleted. Your configuration will be preserved in the hidden
$ mv homeassistant homeassistant.old
Test the installation of alternate python version.
If you installed from a source such as a PPA, the alternate python version may already be in your path.
$ python3.8 --version Python 3.8.5
If you compiled python yourself and did not install into /usr/local run your alternate python version by using the full path.
$ /home/zwave/python38/bin/python3.8 --version Python 3.8.5
Create the home assistant python venv using the alternate python version
/home/zwave/python38/bin/python3.8 -m venv homeassistant
Activate the python venv into your running shell.
Once you activated your python virtual environment the alternate python version becomes the default. While you are in the virtual envirornment and all other instructions in the official documentation are identical.
(homeassistant) $ python3 --version Python 3.8.5
Home Assistant can now be installed in the traditional manner.
python3 -m pip install homeassistant
Home Assistant can be started in the same way outside the python virtual environment as it always was because the alternate python version of the virtual environment is now embedded into the bang line of the homeassistant/bin/hass script.
$ cat homeassistant/bin/hass #!/home/zwave/homeassistant/bin/python3.8 # -*- coding: utf-8 -*- import re import sys from homeassistant.__main__ import main if __name__ == '__main__': sys.argv = re.sub(r'(-script\.pyw|\.exe)?$', '', sys.argv) sys.exit(main())