Proper install to get ZWave/Zigbee to connect to Hyper-V hosted Home Assistant

I am a Smart Things refugee, and I originally settled on replacing it with Home Assistant. Every day I play with this thing it impresses me…and frustrates me beyond measure.

To start off, I’ve been a linux admin for 30 years and am somewhat familiar with yaml. I’ve got a home server that I want HA running on for various reasons. I’ve got little interest in having another Rpi to deal with, but no matter what I do, it seems I’m stuck with one due to the stupidity that is Hyper-V not passing through USBs. Dumping Hyper-V just is not viable at this point…the prospect of migrating more than a dozen VMs out of it onto something else is a non-starter.

I initially just installed the HA VHD for Hyper-V which runs great. It does EVERYTHING I would want it to do…except talk to my Z-Wave and ZigBee devices. The rabbit hole to get that to work is extensive and complex with multiple threads and multiple approaches. I’ve gotta say it is a web of confusion on these forums mostly because everything is effectively a hack to make it work.

I don’t see a Rpi as a valid host for HA. Performance, storage, reliability, backup/restore are all major impediments with a Rpi (nice toys…until you figure out the OS hosted on a microSD is going to last you 2-3 years before the SD card starts dying due to write cycle fidelity). I’m not interested in having to re-load this every 3 years…it needs to be created and forgotten about indefinitely once working.

So with all that said, I am trying to figure out the best way to

1 - host HA
2 - pass Zwave and Zigbee into it

I’ll start with #2 because it drives #1. The only way to get #2 is to use socat/ser2net, usbip, or try to host NetBurner on the Windows Server (this option is the least attractive). So it appears I am stuck with my dongle hanging off a Rpi separate from the server. I’m fine with that, and getting it to work seems straight forward…until you start considering #1…how HA was installed in the first place.

As far as #1 goes, the information available on the forums here is a mixed bag when #2 is introduced.

I find the different install types here:

(don’t get me started on how confusing it is in the forums to figure out what version is being talked about when…they aren’t similar at the command line at all).

My original install is apparently the “OS” version. It works great, but when you get behind the scenes does not support getting the linux modules installed that are necessary to get the Zwave/Zigbee transmissions to work (across the network). And probably I wouldn’t want it anyway based on what I have read about the way HA updates are done.

I find mixed messaging as to whether containerized works, so Supervised seems to be the way to go. But when I follow instructions to install Supervised (Installing Home Assistant Supervised on Ubuntu 18.04.4)…it installs Docker??? This doesn’t make sense to me. Is this going to work?

I’m looking for any input from anyone who has actually got HA running in a non-USB-passthru Hypervisor (Hyper-V and Esxi come to mind) that have solid Zwave & Zigbee networks they are connecting to and how they host their HA.


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I have it running in esxi with 4 usb devices passed through. Including zwave and zigbee. Rocksolid and superfast, including snapshot of the vm on esx level (synology backup for business which is free) every hour. Very satisfied.

And yes, I started the journey at hyperv but gave up that quickly due to lack of usb passthrough.

Btw I have the “appliance” version (vmdk).

Would love it if Hyper-V allowed device passthrough, but sadly, it doesn’t. Especially with the set-and-forget you’re aiming to achieve it’s gonna end up miserable :wink: (Enhanced session mode)

I’m running HA on a RPi in my utility closet, set up with OZW Beta and a MQTT broker. My Z-Wave is running from an Ubuntu VM on ESXi 7, utilizing the USB passthrough and Docker.
My docker containers are MQTT and OZWDaemon (version 150). I configured MQTT to bridge with the HA MQTT broker so my Z-Wave network will not suffer from OS reboots on the RPi.

The RPi is physically connected to some equipment and always operational, hence not running HA from the Docker as well.

Why don’t you run hass on the esxi 7 as well?

Because I started off in the utility closet, the RPi has a physical connection to my P1 Smart Meter which I use in HA. Might still move it over in the future, but for now HA is fast, stable and running my Unifi add-on. The Pi starts much faster than my ESXi-server.

Ok fair enough :blush:. I have a NUC as esx in the utility closet, 4x usb passthrough and lightning fast…

I went with Debian as a host for dockerized HA (and friends) because of that. Would have preferred a windows server but Debian is fine as is on the NUC.