New to Home Assistant - what to install on Raspberry PI4 without flashing SD card?

I am completely new to Home assistant, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand what I would need to install, I know that I could flash an SD card and have everything done for me.

I have Raspbian Buster on my SD card already, and I’ve been automating my devices using Node-red, Mosquitto using a CC2531 USB board, this is working nicely, I have charts I can view and everything is running pretty well. Do I even need Home Assistant?

If Home Assistant will improve on what I have so far, then I’d like to know how to install this without flashing over what I have built this far. Do I need docker? Can I install on top of what I have?

So many questions I know, but reading through installation instructions is making me even more confused, I saw a new post that PI4 is now supported but the instructions don’t show anything about PI4 just PI3.

Don’t know where to go from here.

Hello… I have two raspberry Pi (3B+ and 4 on two different remote locations) running HA in a virtual environment (So I installed HA assistant like any other app on Raspbian). You can find instructions on Home Assistant Website for installing in a venv… I find this install more flexible (but needing more work to maintain) as I am running Nagios as well on the two raspberry pi for monitoring my networks (interfaced with HA), mosquitto to use MQTT between the two sites, use MQTT for some plugs and collect data from Smappee devices, MariaDB as database, SSL, Apache and MRTG (monitoring tool)… The two raspberry pi’s are booting on SSD (it is a little bit tricky on Pi4 as it is not natively supported yet)… If I can help further, let me know.
So regarding installing Home Assistant or not and in which environment, it depends what you want to do or add compared to your existing installation and your level of confidence in maintaining a Raspbian environment.

You can just install hassio on top of your existing Raspbian. Instructions here :

Well, you’ve got choices…

  1. Install using the alternative install steps - this gives you add-ons
  2. If you’re at home on Docker, try the Docker install
  3. Install Home Assistant in a venv

All of those will work alongside your existing installation, it’s just a matter of what suits you more.

By the sounds of it, probably not!


Yes, use a VENV install of HA. To uninstall you only need to remove the VENV folder.

I would try out HA in order to see if it’s for you, just remember that it’s v 0.x right now so considered beta. Good luck :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for the responses, some good ideas here for me to explore. It sounds like going with the VENV option is the way to go for exploring if this is for me. install would be far better experience in my opinion, especially on a pi4 w/ more decent available memory.
venv install will offer you homeassistant app(background automations, integreations, web ui…), it could sounds good enought but you’ll miss the whole thing of : all the previous homassistant
Hassio offers:
Home assistant
An « app store » for HA integrated integrations like ingressDB, grafana, nodered, Samba… full running sytems in one click.
Snapshot/backup/restore your whole or part of your Hassio ecosystem ! A lifesaver !!
All you could dream of around your main domotic system ? will rule them all.
Folow the previously quoted install guide, i’d installed it same way you want, preserving my existing system, happyness !

He has most of the popular addons already. Venv is a good answer. The op clearly knows his way around software and likely has no need for addons.

Just for snapshots and restore features I would still recommend it over venv.
Bad releases can happens. See 0.103 w/ Deconz 5.0 issue, many users got « saved » being able to rollback at a click

Edit: @nickrout “Hearting conf” -> indeed :sweat_smile:

Hearting conf? You lost me.

Snapshots and restore are useless to me. I know how to maintain my system and home assistant runs in docker.