Im a newbie to HA and I would like to know whether HA will take over the whole Pi, meaning I can’t use it for anything else ?
If you flash Home Assistant OS to it then yes.
However, it’s not like a Pi is very powerful.
Yes you can and I am. Install Home Assistant Supervised:
Personally I’d fork out the money for an Odroid, grunty and run HA standalone or in Docker. Never had any issues and I’ve thrown heaps at it
If you follow the Supervised suggestion, keep in in mind that if you don’t follow the requirements you’ll run into problems. Running other software is against the requirements, so it’s just a matter of when it breaks on you, not if.
I run HA container on my Pi4 2GB (in docker) alongside a bunch of other docker containers. It works perfectly well - low power usage & fast enough providing you don’t do things with video (eg: frigate).
I will +1 Tinkerer. There be monsters, yarr. on supervised.
If you don’t know EXACTLY HOW YOU WILL MANAGE DEBIAN (real Debian not Raspian or a derivative) ON Pi - don’t.
Yes a strong Pi 4b 8g can ‘handle’ running an os and a hypervisor or docker in which case you don’t take over the box BUT the admin workload is high and it’s debatable on whether you have enough headroom on the box after doing so to run any other reasonable workload. I this space something like an NUC (yes Intel is discontinuing them but partners will still sell miniPCs) shines or if you have a reasonably strong Nas device that runs proxmox…
Alternatively I run my Pi install as HAOS. Three major protocols, about 150 actualors and a couple hundred sensors. I have a very complicated logic stack running in Node Red and I use addons for the extra features I need to add to HA.
I’ve never felt I was missing anything running as an appliance… Addons exist for all the popular things like Grafana or InfluxDB. Generally it’s well behaved. But I DO notice the machine will spike cpu and chug sometimes. It’s probably on the edge of my comfort zone from a capacity perspective
Do you want to administer a HA install (can be worthwhile for a learning experience) or do you want to USE ha?
I have low level daemons hiding in nooks and crannies
I run mine on HAOS on a Pi4 - no real requirement to stick anything else on it as there are plenty of add-ons etc.