Should I use nuc instead of pi?

There is commands for installing at the end of page:

That is the exact article that brought to my attention SSDs.

I am struggling with getting something that is more bulletproof but then needing to work out how to set up the OS, compared to just burning an SD and throwing it in…
(not being confident with Docker/Linux/SSH,etc)

If I could just burn the image to the SSD and expand the file-system to fill the available space on the drive, connect it up and jobs a good one its a no brainer option.
If it will involve me tinkering around for a few evenings to get it working as expected, I’d need to propose a business case to the wife… :frowning:

I’ve done just that over the last two weeks.

Bought a 128GB SSD for less than $40 and moved my previous ‘HA in a Venv’-installl onto it.

Tried to run it before with the log and db files on a USB stick, but that just didn’t cut it - the write speeds just weren’t good enough to make it run smoothly.

My biggest problem, though, was that I wanted to transfer my old NOOBS install to a proper Rasbpian-only setup while keeping all the other config like FTP Server for security cams, etc.
Setting it up from scratch would have cost me only 10% of the time.

I have recently moved to the Intel NUC7PJYH J5005 NUC. Quad Core Pentium, WiFi and Bluetooth built in, SFF, x4 USB and SD card reader. The CPU has a TDP of 10w and performance of old legendary Q6600.

Covers almost all that you need, and is very cost effective for what it can do. I picked up an brand new one, 8gb 2133mHz RAM, and a 120gb SSD for $400 AUD.

Installed Ubuntu (officially supported on this model), and run HA, Motioneye, Unifi, MQTT and Syncthing all in a Docker stack. Doesn’t skip a beat and is very quick for reboots, etc.

Can highly recommend.


I have switched from raspberry pi3 running HASS.IO to intel NUC running Docker and homeassistant.
I have old NUC, with 4GB DDR3, 32GB Kingston SSD, CPU is only 1.10 GHz DualCore, but I can confirm it runs a lot faster and stable than RPI3.
Cpu mainly sits at around 6% (15% when transmission is downloading), 4GB RAM is more than enough, usualy 35% usage, HDD is 50% used, so 32GB is bare minimum.
I’m running total of 10 containers atm.

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This is exactly the model I’m looking at.
How long does a hassio restart take on this? And are you still pleased with it?

Super happy with it. Takes about 30 seconds for HA to restart.

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Hey guys. As I do not need something as powerfull as Nuc is (for parent’s house) and I just need reliability (do not want sd card issue), I think that another microcomputer could do tha job? Something between pi and nuc in price.

Khadas vim 2 basic? It has flash memory, so I can go without sd card and the issue is gone.

Am I getting something wrong?

You could try with an old laptop with either Hassio or Virtualenv installs.

It has also the benefit of internal battery that will keep going case of (relatively short) power failures so no need to invest, from the start, in an UPS.

An old laptop Will probably be more costly than going for a cheap NUC. Laptops generally use more power than NUC’s and with a 24/7 device the powerbill adds up quickly

You might be aware of this already, but just to be sure: if you connect an SSD to the Raspberry Pi (regardless of which model), via USB, you will probably see some performance enhancements, but you will not be able to benefit from all the performance that the SSD has to offer. This is because on the Pi, the USB (Universal Serial Bus) is shared between the four USB ports and the Ethernet controller (i.e. the Ethernet traffic is also on the USB bus). A lot of network traffic negatively impacts the read/write performance on your disk and vice versa. The bus has a max speed of about 300Mbit/s if I’m not mistaken, so buying any disk (solid state or spinning disk) over SATA-300 will not make a difference.

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Thank you for sharing you knowledge, I appreciate it!

Hey I’m looking at the same one, is it silent?, I need to put mine Front and centre in our lounge room and my misses will kill me if it makes even the slightest bit of noise

For $400AUD you can get an i7 7500u mini pc. Which in real terms will be about twice as fast:

This price includes 8GB RAM and a 120GB SSD.

Both systems are fanless, so no noise.

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I’m using which is also fanless successfully. I have an i5-6200U CPU @ 2.30GHz in mine; they’re shipping with newer generation CPUs now. I have 16GB of RAM, mostly just because…

I’m running a bunch of Docker containers on here, including Plex and Shinobi which is capturing video from a bunch of IP cameras. All the storage for those apps is via NFS to a FreeNAS box. But Home Assistant is running off internal SSD.

I am running Ubuntu 18.04 and Docker. I have Ubuntu running on a ZFS file system which allows for very cheap and easy snapshots – handy when doing a Home Assistant upgrade and you just want to be able to rewind back to the previous state of the world.

Just another sample point. I only ran Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi for a few days to just experiment. It became clear right away that I was going to be unhappy with the SD card I/O performance – this wasn’t my first rodeo with a Raspberry Pi, so that was of no surprise. I then ran Home Assistant in a Python virtual environment for more than a years on a macOS Mac Mini system. This worked pretty well, but eventually I wanted to be able to move to using Docker and Linux stuff in general that was more “mainstream”, so Ubuntu it is! (I cried inside a little since I’ve been running FreeBSD for 15 years or more… and 4.4BSD before that, 2.11BSD on PDP-11s before that…)

So NUC instead of Pi is a no-brainer choice based on my experience, especially if you also have InfluxDB, Grafana and other supporting services that actually want to do any reasonable amount of I/O. For my, a primary driver was as reliability of the Home Automation platform and software stack. So lots of memory, name-brand Samsung SSD (which really doesn’t cost that much more as a premium), no moving parts. So my wife doesn’t yell at me when stuff breaks.


That version you linked to is about $200 AUD dearer than the one I listed and not quite as powerful:

AFAIK, there is no recent (3-4 years old), official (aka Intel manufactured) fanless NUC. However, there are a few minipc fanless options from known manufacturers such as Gigabyte or ASRock.

My system for HA is a Celeron J4005 NUC with Virtualenv on Ubuntu Server 18.04 and I’m very happy with it (although it is barely generating any noise I keep it in a cabinet). There are about 2,000 entities (600 scripts, 400 automation, 600 sensors & binary sensors, 200 switches & input Boolean, 20 lights) and Z-Wave Aeotec Gen5 stick, CC2531 with Zigbee2MQTT coordinator firmware and RFLink gateways plugged in. 15 min load stays in the 0.15 to 0.25 range with the memory used around 20%; temperature is usually between 38 and 44 C. Power consumption (monitored by a smart plug) rarely spikes to 10 W (usually stays at 7 W).

During last two years I’ve build around 10 HA systems (mostly Hassio, very few Virtualenv, with basic installation for controlling lights or monitoring access with PIR & door sensors and environment sensors such as temperature, humidity, luminescence, smoke, gas, water leakage) for relatives and friends. Used only x86 processors and hardware was either what they already owned or cheap used boxes bought online, thus the options were limited.

Haven’t gone with Raspberry Pi mostly due to SD card unreliability (even the best, more expensive cards keep failing after 1 to 2 years of intensive wear; throw in a few power failures in between and this period is greatly reduced). Although RPi hardware is sufficient for regular HA builds, it needs quality power supply and 32/64 GB microSD card (not to mention a case and heat dissipating if trying to get fancy) which are adding up to the cost of the board.

For used x86 hardware (NUCs or laptops, to keep power consumption low) the prices can get close to those of a fully built Rpi while the performance gain is significant. Even the most entry level, low power Celeron processors are monsters compared to Rpi if only running HA (or Hassio with a few addons) so a Core i3 (from any generation) is overkill for this. If running more power hungry apps alongside HA (either in Docker, Hassio addons or separate programs) then a newer Core i3 or a Core i5 from any generation should work great.

All below builds are online 24/7 and work perfect after 1.5 years on average (some of the owners do the software upgrade themselves at about 3-4 months intervals except for a few, which I’m upgrading; on 0.89 upgrade I had to intervene quite a lot :slight_smile: ). Only one that needed physical maintenance was the Core i5-4250u NUC due to a electrical issue that fried the power brick.

Gigabyte “like NUC” with Celeron N3000 (fanless)
Tested with: Hassio image for NUC
Comments: Pretty solid box although uses an older processor; sole issue is that Hassio doesn’t get CPU temperature but the top panel outside temperature reading is not above 40 C.

Tested with: Virtualenv on Ubuntu Server & Hassio image for NUC
Celeron J4005
Celeron J3455
Comments: These two are less powerful than the Pentium J5005 someone mentioned above.
Core i5-4250u
Comments: this one is quite close to J5005 (despite i5 vs. Pentium architecture difference as i5 is much older).

Chinese boxes (fanless)
Tested with: Virtualenv on Ubuntu Server & Hassio in Docker for Ubuntu Server
Core i3-7130u
Celeron J1900 (quite popular with pfsense builds, at least until pfsense 2.5.1 that requires AES-NI compatible processor comes out);
Comments: although performance is really good for their price, they do come with some caveats such as lack of BIOS support (it is quite difficult to find compatible BIOS updates if encountering stability issues). Also, they’re running mSATA SSD only (still, not a real bottleneck for HA performance)

Laptops (generic, OEM builds that come by default with 32GB emmc but include also a m2 port and can connect a SATA SSD) (fanless)
Tested with: Hassio in Docker for Ubuntu Server & Desktop
Celeron N3350
Celeron N4000
Comments: the laptop installation was made in order to not have to deal with external UPS (these laptops are placed in cabinets and not used for accessing frontend); to keep power consumption low, if running Ubuntu Desktop as base OS, then the screen can be disabled quite easy; for Server version or Hassio, might need to physically remove screen connector (anyway, one of them had a broken screen that would cost about half of the price of new unit if to be replaced). Also, they didn’t include network ports so external ethernet USB adapters were needed.

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Only 1 week till stock of this returns, got my card ready to order…

Cheaper than nuc.
4 watts power draw at idle.
Uses standard Ubuntu images and is x86 not arm.
Two sata ports as well as m2 nvme for ssd.
Dual gb network ports.


Oh my god: are you running Homeassistant to monitor your own nuclear plant? What an incredible amount of sensors and switches. Am eager to understand what you are doing with it…
BTW: am also a bit of a power user with about 60 sensors (mostly physical) and a handful of automations, but nowhere near your setup…

Searching for extraterrestrial lifeforms :wink:

You’re thinking physical sensors however there is a plethora of “virtual” sensors.

Consider an average 2 room house: there would be living, bedroom and some kind of kitchen, bathroom, hallway, balcony as rooms (might add up some other smaller partitions).

Basic environment sensors (NodeMCUs running could monitor temperature, humidity and lightness; add in a template for “real feel” based on temperature and humidity and there are about 30 different sensors to monitor. Smart wall switches in each room (Xiaomi switches with would add up some other 4 sensors per room: actual state of the switch (to be used as trigger), link quality, battery level and template (to keep track of the power consumption of each controlled bulb if the switch is turned on). Throw in motion (PIR or micro-wave) and open door sensor (for lights control and/or intrusion detection) and the perspective suddenly changes. And it’s not even close: Z-wave power switches (one for each room) create some 6+ individual sensors and binary sensors; monitoring computers (Glances platform) creates ~ 20 sensors (so having a single computer for general purpose and the HA host will use 40 sensors; bring a laptop and a phone to the party and there are around 70-80 additional sensors to keep track of). Use some weather monitoring (7 Day Weather Forecast) and suddenly there are more than 2-300 sensors.

Of course, not all of these sensors are vital for monitoring and some of them can be optimized further, or completely ignored; however, they create the framework for redundancy and sky’s the limit…

Have I mentioned about NAS (FreeNAS)? Router? Water leakage sensor? Smoke sensor? :smile:

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