NUC install: HA OS image vs. Proxmox vs. HA Supervised on Debian

Hi there,

I’m new to Home Assistant and getting ready for my first install on an Intel NUC.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading through several threads and in the documentation about choice of installation method. Especially the community guide on
Home Assistant Installation Methods
This post provide good understanding about what level of skills the various options would take (have no prior experience with neither Home Assistant or Linux) but I struggle to find a clear overview of the advantages/disadvantages between the install options.

Right now I’m lingering between:
a) Home Assistant OS
b) Installing Home Assistant Supervised on Debian
c) Installing Home Assistant OS on a Virtual Machine using Proxmox

I understand that HA OS will limit the use of the NUC to HA only - but wouldn’t I be able to do most stuff from within, using add-ons?

So… What are the pros & cons between the two install options?


Update on solution (might inspire others in the same situation):
Ended up choosing the Proxmox VM way suggested by @kanga_who - Thanks!

A user in a Facebook HA group suggested the followiing desicion-tree:

  • I only want to use HA :arrow_right: HA NUC Image
  • I want to run Linux/Docker applications alongside HA :arrow_right: Supervised HA on Debian
  • I want to run Windows applications alongside HA :arrow_right: HA as virtual image
  • I want to run a mix of Linux & Windows applications alongside HA :arrow_right: HA as virtual image
  • I’m not sure if I might need to run anything else alongside HA :arrow_right: HA as virtual image

The following video could also help you to decide:

An important factor in my choice of running as a VM was in the differences of how you do backup: Snapshotting the VM means you can just spin up the VM snapshot straight away and everything is set to go. Snapshot in HA means you’d still have to setup Home assistant again, then when setting up HA importing the HA snapshot and waiting for it to load everything.

As said, I wen’t and installed Proxmox on my NUC and now run HA in a virtual machine, following this guide Installing Home Assistant using Proxmox. It was fairly straight forward (even for someone not familiar with scripting at all) and everything seem to run perfectly. Just a few learnings on the way:

  • Don’t use Mac following the guide. I had problems flashing through Balena Etcher on OSx and Putty is not available for Mac. So find a PC before you start
  • Read the guide carefully! Struggeled quite with step 3.2 where you need to provide login credentials. Username is: root - as the guide states, and not your email address created in step 1.8. apparently I misread that and ended reinstalling Proxmox twice :sweat_smile:

I do not yet know what i will use the rest of the machine for, but already got some ideas as for what i might do:

  • Pihole (network wide ad-blocker)
  • Plex server
  • Sonos local file library
  • NVR for my cameras
  • etc.

Thanks to everyone who participated with your answers :grinning:


In some ways, using the Supervised on Debian method also limits what you can do. You aren’t supposed to install any additional software in Debian, and if you do and face an issue, you will only be able to rely on community support (which is 95% of support anyways).

I would suggest you start using the official NUC image. It’s a great way to run HA and there are many add-ons that run within the HA environment that you can use.

The other option is to use Proxmox and install the same HA OS in a VM. You can then also run another VM, say Ubuntu, to run other software that isn’t available from within HA. Best of both worlds, but requires a little more set up and config. Once up and running it’s easy to maintain and HA updates in the same way it does if you were to run HA OS NUC image directly. Something to consider.


I agree with @kanga_who to use the NUC image. If you use the HA OS, all the OS upgrades and everything can be upgraded directly in the UI which I find super convenient and I don’t have to mess around with the command line.

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I recently had the same question as I just got a new machine. I went with proxmox for now. So I am still building, but so far I have Hassos in a virtual machine so I dont have to worry about OS updates for the underlying OS and then for other things I would have installed on debian I spin up a lxc and install them there. Backups are quick and easy.
The thing I am not sure about yet is hardware pass-through to the hassos VM. I’m hoping google can help me figure that out. Overall so far it seems to be a more efficient use of hardware.

I went from a supervised setup(ubuntu before it was depreciated) to the OS image. I have not found myself needing anything else to be honest, and have been very happy with it. There are so many add-ons now that I think most users should be covered, and it gives the appliance like feel and management. This is a huge plus for myself and many others.

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I use HA Core in Docker on Ubuntu. No supervisor, no Hass OS. Instead docker-compose to add an MariaDB, Mosquitto, Zigbee2MQTT and Watchtower instance.

Don‘t see any benefits in using the supervisor or Hass OS.

That’s called Home Assistant Container :wink:

For a newbie it’s probably easier to use Home Assistant Supervised/OS, not everyone knows how to spin up and configure their own containers. Also you have to maintain the system yourself.
Personally I don’t like Supervised/OS due to it’s limitations and because Supervisor is yet another unneeded layer, I’m even considering switching back to Home Assistant Core (in a venv) to get rid of the docker layer.


As a Proxmox/HA OS sceptic I have been very happy with Debian + Supervised install. Works great going on 3 years. Only thing I had that caused a problem was using watchtower to manage other docker containers but that was easily replaced with other options that don’t cause my install to be unsupported.

I do have a test machine with Proxmox I use with HA in a dev install but I really just don’t like the Proxmox thing.

I see a lot of newbie posts here from people who don’t even try to get familiar with what is controlling their home. Some are even unable to read and react to the errors in the log (or even get the log).

To me HASS OS is more convenient, HA Core/Container is „pure“.

It’s also a waste of a NUC IMO.

For the OP I just saw again you are a Linux newbie as well so probably HA OS is going to be your best bet. You could look at an RPi with HA OS and then play with other install methods on the NUC and learn a bit more… then you have a working HA you can migrate later easily and learn enough to be dangerous…

I did go through a few HA installs on a RPi (the old all-in-one, HA OS 32 bit and 64 bit) then Debian + Supervised on the Pi before settling for Debian + Supervised on a NUC… I learned a lot about Linux all thanks to HA.

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I know, I’m often on the other side (trying) helping them :slight_smile:
As you said, in the end of the day this software is controlling their house or parts of it. I for one want to decide for myself when and what I upgrade, read way too many posts about a self-updating system that lead to a broken state.


Thanks @kanga_who.

If I understand you correctly, the HA OS image directly on NUC and the HA OS in a VM using Proxmox, is exactly the same instance of Home Assistant (performance, looks, options etc.). The only difference being the VM layer and then the option to use more VMs for other stuff?

So maintenance is the same and the only drawback is the added complexity in the first time installation?

Basically im looking for the simplest possible setup to run:

Trådfri lighting and remotes via Conbee
Somfy via RFlink
Doorbird integration
Danfoss integration

  • And port it all to HomeKit

Maybe a bit of a fast and generalizing judgement tho… We all have to start somewhere, and learn in the process. Thus having spent 4-5 hrs reading through threads & watching youtube videos, there are so many opinions and options about what the best solution is, that you easily get lost in the amount of information in front of you. As a “newbie” whom have not touched a command line (since the days of MS DOS on my pentium 386), a lot of the language in this community has a learning curve itself - when you do not know anything about VM’s, dockers, images etc.

I guess it’s ok to be a novice - and to take things one step at a time…

Thanks @DavidFW1960, I am :grinning: I already have the NUC, which I don’t use for anything else (it’s just collecting dust) so won’t spend money on an RPi (for that matter also found throug a lot of reading that the NUC would be much more stable as HW for HA)

I like your advice of a one for production / one for playing setup tho. But as said, ill probably go directly for the NUC install.

The only thing i’m trying to get my head around is, if I will be limiting myself bigtime and have to do over if I go for the HA OS vs. VM or Debian.

Apreciated :slight_smile:

Is there a difference in how easy backups are made between the Proxmox/VM setup and the HA OS image?

If you use hassos then the snapshots will backup your settings and addons. You can also use proxmox to backup the entire VM.
The real advantage (in my opinon…there are likely more) is if you need to run anything else on the same machine. Hassos is locked down to ensure compatibility so you can’t add anything that isn’t an addon. In proxmox you could use a lxc or another VM and then back it up the same way without needing another machine to run something else.

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Sure it may be a waste of a NUC, but some people really just want “appliances”. I’ve been working with Linux for 25 years, currently maintain my website on a hosted Ubuntu virtual machine, and have lots of experience playing with the underlying stuff. However, I just want my HA to run and HASS OS works quite well without me having to think about it.

To each their own; I think it all depends on time and desire to fiddle with the switches!

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I use 100% Apple eco system everything is HomeKit. there are some devices that dont run natively in homekit so I use Hoobs/HomeBridge to make the none homekit compliant devices show up in homekit.

a Raspberry Pi and Hoobs is all you need. download the image and boot it up and its ready to go. how much easier can it be than that.

Hi David, how do you create a ‘dev’ install? I have a spare machine I was going to setup as a backup. Given that I see Development: False under Config/Info, I assume there is a way to have Development: True…? What becomes the difference between the two types?