More Trouble Than It's Worth? - Install Home Assistant Operating System on Generic x86-x64 PC

I’m planning out my 5th Home Assistant instance after previously running natively on a Synology NAS, in Docker, on Synology, and now RasPi3. RasPi3 has been hands down the easiest to manage, restore, etc., so I recognize the value of having everything running on the Home Assistant Operating System.

After having an SD Card die in my RasPi3, I’m considering a move to something with an SSD and improved performance. Open to acquiring new hardware (Pi4, Blue, or NUC), however I’ve got several devices lying around that aren’t being used. In particular, I have an older desktop with Core i7-2600, 8GB RAM, SSD, on an mATX LGA1155 motherboard that I could convert into a rack server.

Has anyone had any luck installing the generic x86-x64 image to an older desktop or laptop device like this? Or is it more trouble than it’s worth?

The hardware should be fine and it’d be great to repurpose it if I can. Most installation instructions I’ve found are focused on a NUC, which I imagine I’d have to modify slightly to get this working on generic hardware…that is if it can work.

Long-term goal is to get better performance on something running Home Assistant Operating system. Short-term, I’d like to repurpose hardware I already own if I can. Any pointers, recommendations, or thoughts would be appreciated as I haven’t seen much information on this scenario as it seems most go to the Supervised route when they are in the generic category…I’d like it all on Home Assistant OS. Thanks!

I’d Install proxmox on your machine and run Home Assistant OS in a VM, this way you can also use the machine for other things (as it’s way overpowered for running only HA).

…you can also use the machine for other things (as it’s way overpowered for running only HA).

As Burningstone suggests your i7 8gb machine has more than enough. Both a VM or just Docker are good options.

I’ve been running the HA docker image on Debian 10.8. I use Nginx as a reverse proxy with Letsencrypt certs. I’ve found this highly reliable and easy to update both the HA docker image and the certs.

It’s an old Dell i3 mini tower from the mid 2010s with 6 gig RAM. I use this machine for many other services (e.g. Mosquitto) and it is more than powerful enough.

PS: one of those other services running in Docker is OZW :slight_smile: I’m going to stick with it for a while and then move to the Typescript based new ZWave integration (ZWave JS).

Thank you, @Burningstone …looking into Proxmox as an option. This would still give me the Supervisor and Add-on Store, right?

My only concern is the additional upkeep required for the host OS. The huge benefit of having the native device run Home Assistant OS is that I can focus the upkeep on the HA portion and have the device itself work as an appliance.

For those running Proxmox, what’s the upkeep like in comparison to Home Assistant OS?

Understand it’s WAY overpowered for HA, but I have no other needs for the device now. So just thinking creatively before I purchase anything else. Seems like Pi or Blue would be a minor upgrade in terms of performance, so it’s really between this or getting a NUC I think at this point.

@joelp - I recently switched from OZW to ZwaveJS2MQTT…night and day better experience, far more reliable, faster, and amazed the detail it provides. I understand that it uses the same ZwaveJS backend, so once the new official integration is ready, I’ll switch to that. Might be worth looking into as an interim step.

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Or you can just add an SSD or HDD to your RbPi3.


Yes, you would run Home Assistant OS then in a virtual machine.

Proxmox doesn’t require lots of maintenance. I had it once running for a year without updating (not recommended, I was just at the beginning there) and everything was still fine.

I think you maybe misunderstood me, with Proxmox you have multiple virtual machines, each with their own OS, so the VM for Home Assistant will have Home Assistant OS.

You don’t have now, but you’ll find some usecases in the future, I guarantee it. And then you are better off with Proxmox, because if you only have Home Assistant OS, you’ll have a hard time/will be impossible using it for anything else than Home Assistant.

I’m running HA in VM on free VMware ESX server on hardware similar to yours (also i7 processor). Additional advantage is that you can separate some of normally HA supervised addons to dedicated VM. Advantage is that you do not need to restart them when HA is restarted. Especially useful for integrations like Zwave or Zigbe (I use deconz), when rebuilding the network after restart could take quite some time. Another advantage is that when using networked UPS or UPS with sort of VMware support, you can gracefully shut down and power on again your instance on power failure (I’m using Cyberpower UPS with their VMware virtual appliance for this). So running HA as VM on platform that supports multiple other instances might have more more advantages than you initially could think of!

Welp, didn’t realize this older hardware only has legacy BIOS. So this would mean a full local install is NOT possible, right? UEFI is required from what I’m gathering.

I believe that’s correct.
I’ve thought about a native install at times, but my VirtualBox setup is running so well, it seems much more effort for almost no return. The machine is set to auto-run my HA virtual machine on reboot so I don’t even have to do that.

I have Dell Wyse Thin Client (Dell Wyse D90D7 - 909634-02L - AMD G-T48E 1.4 GHz - 2 GB RAM - 4 GB f) laying around.
The dev builds are available here, so I’d like to give this a try (I want a test environment to test everything out, I can check integrations, give feedback if needed)
I just need to know how to install it.
I know how to install a classic operating system (Ubuntu or Win10), but I never installed HA on such a machine.
What are the steps? I’ll be grateful for the instructions.

I bought a Dell optiplex 9020 MFF just for running Home Assistant. I understand it is possible to run multiple VM’s or docker containers. But I just want Home Assistant. This is an install on a business location, and I am looking to the most stable solution.
I think this might be related to your question, since it is also a x64 system.

What do you recommend installing, or what did you end up doing?

I ended up installing proxmox on the device per rec above. Had a little troubleshooting to figure out how to get Ethernet to recognize correctly since I’m a Linux N00b, but it’s exceptionally stable…especially after power/network outages and with the usb zwave device. For Ethernet, I had to change some config using the command line to recognize the onboard nic after install.

I also ended up virtualizing windows on it as well to use Blue Iris.

Only thing I have yet to figure out is remote access to it via my UniFi vpn. I believe I need to somehow place the vpn subnet on the approved list for access, but have not had the time needed fo figure it out. Tips/tricks here would be great if anyone knows!

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Thanks. I also have Blue Iris running, but on a dedicated dell optiplex (a small form factor pc, 12 cams, 950 MP/s).

I only want Home Assistant on this pc, and nothing else. Coming from an old HP Proliant with ESXi, I want something easier to rebuild. Our exchange and voip servers are moved to the cloud, and planning to migrate to windows virtual desktops.

I think I will try the following guide: Installing Home Assistant Supervised on Debian 10

I found some information in the Home Assistant Operating System repo: operating-system/Documentation/boards/generic-x86-64 at dev · home-assistant/operating-system · GitHub, but I’m not sure how to start with this?
Did anyone try installing HAOS directly to Wyse Thin Client?

best way to install HA on PC/Proxmox is running Debian 10 + Supervised version.

I understand that, but as I wrote, HAOS 6.0 will have a generic x64_x86 build, and I’d like to give this a try.
Not sure when OS 6.0 will be released, but I’d like to test the dev version on Wyse Thin Client.
Supervised install is always more advanced.
Ideally, the steps should be: download the image, flash it to SSD drive, plug the drive to Wyse Thin Client and your ready to go :slight_smile: