Thoughts on running Addons Vs separate docker containers

I’m setting up a new HA instance running HAOS as a Proxmox VM. All good so far.

I’m interested to get other opinions on whether it’s better to install Addons specifically Zigbee2MQTT and Mosquitto to my HAOS instance or keep them separate by running them as docker containers on a different device.

I’m looking at this from a maintenance, reliability and stability point of view. I guess I’m more likely to want to reinstall HA more regularly as a fresh install over the next few years as just like other operating systems, it’s not great to keep reusing an old instance with legacy issues that can arise.

From one point of view, I can see that having Zigbee2MQTT and Mosquitto running on a separate device should be pretty stable and unlikely to change much in terms of configuration changes. Then if I want to reinstall HA at some point in the future, I just need to point the new HA instance to where Zigbee2MQTTT and Mosquitto are running.

From a different point of view, if I used the Addon approach, I could just reinstall the Zigbee2MQTT and Mosquitto configuration files individually if I wanted to reinstall HAOS fresh.

If you are using HAOS, use addons. Addons are just docker containers.

Use seperate containers if you require more control over containers or if hardware need

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Personally, I’m a big proponent of a distributed architecture.

I currently use HA Container along with about 15(?) different docker containers (running in a swarm) for various things all relating to maintaining my smart home. I have my MQTT, Z2M, ZW2js, and Govee2MQTT all running on their own “server”. My databases (MariaDB, InfluxDB, Grafana, etc) are all running on their own “server”. HA and things related to it are running on their own “server”. Then I have yet another “server” that is running my backups for everything. This is simply because if one of my “servers” dies, it’s quick for me to restore a smaller backup to a node and be up and running. If a particular service goes down, the whole system doesn’t go with it. If I were doing this with HAOS and addons, should the HAOS go down, chances are it’s going to take my addons with it.

While it sounds like overkill or a lot of expensive hardware, it actually doesn’t have to be. Everything I call a “server” can be a Raspberry Pi 4b or some older repurposed desktop or server PC. I have an upgraded 2012 Mac Mini acting as a server, as an example.


These I would put on another VM or another server. I have been running Zigbee2MQTT this way since 2019 and never had problems.


Another fan of distributed architecture.

I use 4 RPi3B’s to handle all my connections to the outside world - Zigbee(*3), Zwave, RS232 to an ancient solar inverter, RS423 to another solar inverter and SDR stick.
They all connect to MQTT server. Still have some separation to do once I have moved my VM architecture from ESX to Proxmox.