I’m not sure where you are reading about “many issues” but I’ve been using HACS pretty much since it was released and I’ve almost never had any issues with it.
It’s pretty much the easiest way out there for not only initial installation of custom integrations/lovelace plugins/appdaemon apps/etc but it makes keeping up with changes dirt simple.
And you can create a sensor that will list any pending updates so you don’t have to keep checking HACS for update notification updates. But even that is easy since they are always right at the top of the list in a different color than the rest of your installed stuff.
Check a few cards and check if they have actually updated. I am finding that HACS keeps pulling old versions instead of the right updated one. I am now in the habit of running winmerge on the old/new download to make sure they are different (ie updated). I find I need to restart HA and then reinstall. Also seen reports of integrations similarly not updating. There is an open issue.
I just went thru my list of installed items and they all seem to be up to date. That is if I can believe the “green” icon indicator and the “installed version (available version)” indication to the right side of each item.
I have had a couple times when I noticed it didn’t update to the newest version after I clicked to update. But I noticed it right away because it stayed with the yellow icon and it was still in the “update available section”.
usually a restart or an update of HACS itself fixed it tho.
Those were included in the “almost never” part of the post.
It’s still the way easiest method to install/update custom stuff, IMHO.
When HACS first came out and there was stuff not in there I wrote some Template sensors… it was a bit kludgey but maybe I can find it for you is you are interested… but despite the HACS ‘issues’ I would recommend using it…
mini-media card today did it; button-card, custom-header does it… even my BOM weather card does it… Pretty much everything I check isn’t updating. (Integrations seem ok as does themes & appdaemon. It’s just plugins.)
to the issue of not using HACS: I have tried it, in several of its iterations, some while ago I must confess. After that, I decided to not use it (didn’t like the way it interfered with system settings and imposed file locations also), but mainly because it seems to cause serious system performance issues on this side.
I have a small list of custom components that would be nice to use, since they offer functionality I really appreciate, but add to the issues with system issues (timing, endless unidentified errors in the logs,) which the HUE setup never fails to uncover.
HACS is on that list, as is Breaking Changes, and Authenticated to name a few. The native Websocket integration or the sensor based on that, for the connected clients, are/where sensitive also, but not sure exactly which was causing the experienced issues .
Added to that, most of these are simply try and restart CC’s, but HACS takes a bit more than that, and really roots into the system. Not so easy to turn-on/off.
So, long story short: Id love t try your templates @DavidFW1960
I’m not aware of any except for the basic installation of HACS itself.
It does necessarily “impose” any file locations. It just puts all the files it downloads into known locations. And except for the plugins you would have to put those files in exactly the same locations any way - custom components into /custom_components/, python scripts into /python_scripts, etc.
plugins get put where they are because it’s a non-cached location so you don’t have to keep clearing your cache constantly for updates to take effect.