What is the best hardware to install on?

Good morning,

I have been drawn into the world of home automation after stumbling across home assistant as a docker on unRaid and so far I am loving it.

My collection of ‘things’ has now expanded from just a few light bulbs to include a fibaro sensor and a z-wave USB stick (zwave.me) but I have started to run into problems setting up the open wave control panel as a docker and so can’t get the fibaro working properly (I am pretty sure HA can see it so I think I have got that bit sorted).

As a result, I have been looking at the options available but wonder what the best and most future proof method will be - The options I am considering are:

1 - Stick with an unRaid docker and try and figure out the OZWCP docker / beg for help in getting it working.

2 - Install a VM on unRaid (probably Ubuntu as I am familiar with it) and run HA and the OZWCP on there plus in the future any extra programs / processes I find I need. The advantage as I see it is that everything can talk to each other a lot easier than if I use dockers.

3 - Install HA on a RaspberryPi which seems to be very popular and there are a number of posts about one step installs etc. The advantage of this is that nothing on my unRaid box will interfere with the HA which needs to be bulletproof for family acceptance… (I am thinking of issues around other dockerised apps filling up logs etc before I catch them and stopping HA / unRaid working properly). The only thing I am concerned about from with this option is if the Pi is stable enough / powerful enough going forward to be a long term solution?

Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

The PI3 is a great and well suported platform for HA and you can;t beat the price! Due to the recent architectural changes, the PI is even more viable as a solution so it would make a great choice.

I run several additional things related to HA and the PI handled them all well, however I moved up to a Beebox which is more expensive but a lot more powerful than the PI - I haven’t regretted doing that however the PI was working really well for me.

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Another vote for the Raspberry Pi. Pick up the latest generation as its the same price and has a bit more power and some nice features.

A lot of people worry about the Pi having enough horsepower, my Pi runs at idle most of the time and there is plenty of headroom for expansion. The ability to use the GPIO pins for things like RF switches and triggering relays is something a lot of other platforms don’t offer.

I also like the low amount of power the Pi draws. Since your HA instance needs to be on 24/7/365 you don’t want it running on a power hungry desktop. A laptop will even draw a lot of power compared to a Pi.

I started on a Windows PC for about a month, but when I moved over to a Pi, that’s when I started really making progress.

Thanks for all the replies. I think that Pi is the way to go then.

I am interested though @aimc, if it was home automation that meant you needed the extra power of the Beebox or were you running other services on it? If it was HA, what part of it needed the extra oomph?

I have a couple of Hass related projects I am working on - AppDaemon and HADashboard. In addition to running them, I also develop and test them on that box. I never had any issues but I wanted some extra headroom.

If I already have a 24x7x365 Win7 HTPC that’s rock solid, do you all still recommend I build HA on an RPI3?

I started on such a PC but things progressed much quicker when I moved to a Pi. You spend more time working on supporting non native Python libs and getting them installed then you do actually using HA. And because more folks here use Pi’s, it’s much easier to get support.

Also, unless you were talking about repurposing this PC, you do not want to run HA on the same PC you’re running HTPC on.

Perfect, thank you. This was the guidance I was looking for. RPI3 it is. Ridiculously excited to get started.

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Good choice. I also have a PC 24x7 for HTPC and Blue Iris. Having HASS on dedicated RPI 3 works perfectly. I would advice the all in one installer (if you plan to use Zwave)