Need Clarification about the Home Assistant Installation Documentation (Please explain the "Wifi setup only" step)

I’m reading over the Installation Steps for Home Assistant while awaiting the arrival of my RPi3 and there is one thing that stuck out to & confused me (likely due to me just being a novice to the whole platform). Under the INSTALLING HASS.IO section, step 3 states

  1. WiFi setup only: Format a USB-Stick with name CONFIG and copy one of the examples to the file network/hassos-wifi .

My plan is to have my RPi3 (HASS.IO hub) directly connected to my router/modem and connecting all other smart devices via wifi. So, am I correct is assuming that I need to configure this step?

Also, to be sure, when configuring this step is there a specific way I need to configure it so that I can

  1. Access the installation (and devices)/dashboard via local ip when in-home
  2. Access the installation (and devices)/dashboard via public ip when when away from home

Is the documentation basically stating the Wifi setup step as optional because some people choose to make their entire smart home completed wired to their server/hub?

If you want to connect to your Pi3 to Wifi only (not wired) you need to do step 3.

If you have your Pi3 wired to your router/modem, you can skip step 3.

This is for the connection of the Pi3 only, it does not pertain to other devices.

I think I understand now. One follow-up question:

If I skip the wifi setup, do I connect my smart devices to my router or to the Pi3? That might be a stupid question, but figured I’d ask. I just connect them to my router via wifi, don’t I?

I feel so stupid asking these seemingly simple questions, sorry.

You connect them to your router.

In your setup of home assistant you will either tell HA where to look (by IP / MAC address / cloud login ) or HA can automatically discover some devices through the discovery platform.

Perfect, thank you for explaining. Sorry if these questions are stupid, but I really appreciate someone taking the time to help me out :slight_smile:

No problem. Ask away.

I can’t code so I try to help the Home Assistant project by answering questions on the forum when I have time.

I’ll keep that in mind. No doubt, once I start trying to incorporate my current smart devices (3 smart plugs, 1 android box & 1 echo dot) I’ll have more questions, so I’ll be sure to pick your brain.

Here’s one general question in relation to making an entirely local setup.
Since I want all of my devices, scenes, actions, rooms, etc controllable via voice (re: all through alexa), from what I understand I can do so by install the Node-Red hassio add-on and installing/configuring a sort of “local alexa” with the haaska skill. Am I understanding this correctly, that I will be able to control all my wifi devices without them all having to be connected to their respective clouds (bar the alexa cloud of course for the custom skill to work)? I know that some devices have the capability to be setup entirely locally, but there are some devices that I plan on purchasing that have me a bit worried since there isn’t local components available for them. One brand in particular is the Tuya brand devices, which use the company’s cloud for access. I’ve proposed (and was quickly shot down) that the tuya component be rewritten to locally control the devices (and I provided a repo that succeeded in doing so, so that they would have a starting point), but it seems doubtful that anything will be changed. Another brand that I planned on purchasing that has me worried, but not as much is the Wyze motion-detection/live cameras since they aren’t directly supported yet (no native component), but they can be integrated with some effort by flashing a generic firmware, which will allow for local control. My concern with these devices though is I’m worried that the motion alerts won’t work correctly after flashing the firmware hack software to the devices.

Sorry again if it seems like I’m rambling. I’ve been experiencing a hypo-manic episode for the last week and are just starting to come down from it. So, my thoughts are long-winded and may or may not make complete sense at times. Sometimes amidst an episode I can coherently communicate novels-worth of info (like my first official post on here) and other times I can barely focus to connect one thought to another.

The current support for 100% local or cloud based connections is documented in the upper right corner of the component pages.

Nest for example is “Cloud Push” meaning that updates are pushed to HA on a regular interval. You want to look for components with a local designation.

I have tried to stay local as much as possible when the internet goes out, its nice to still have things running.

As for alexa, if you just want simple on/off control you can use emulated hue. It allows you to expose certain devices to alexa and “alexa, lamps off” turns off my lamps. You can set up more complicated strings of actions using scripts which you just say “alexa turn on 'script name” and it runs the script.

If you want to do more than just on/off or want to talk more naturally to alexa you will need to look into another option.

I highly recommend you simplify what you are trying to approach. Focus on something you want to automate. Review the available components and maybe ask for suggestions on the forums. Keep it in small batches as trying to automate an entire home at once is daunting.

Yeah, I think that is my problem. My brain is trying to think of it all at once instead of breaking it down like I usually do.

You need to keep the bigger picture in mind so you think about overall scheme, however, yes its much easier to think of it in small batches.

Also be aware that the instructions on the haaska github website are dated and may not work anymore. I’ve installed it more recently than the instructions at the site but even my instructions might me dated as well.

If you want some newer instructions I can link you to mine but they might need tweaked also.

And as another point of information while emulated hue and haaska are free they do require some set up (with aforementioned instruction quirks) and/or inherent limited functionality. I used to use both (I found that haaska was better functionally than hue for me) but have since decided to move to the HA cloud. There is almost no configuration and it works pretty much exactly like haaska does. And you don’t need to open any additional ports in your router as you need to do for both emulated hue and haaska. But the downside is that it won’t be free after the end of the month ($5 per month).

@finity Yes, can you post your instructions? I think someone needs to get some traction on better docs or a video. I know many people have a very hard time with haaska. I have it working but I’m still confused on some things.

Here is a link to my instructions:

Thanks for posting your instructions. Sadly they are outdated as well.
Is there anyone out there with a newer set of instructions?
I wanted to try Haaska today but now I’m totally stuck :-/