What is the best setup with a Raspi?

Hi There,
I am totally new to Home Assistant, but very excited about all the possibilities. I have a question concerning the HW everything runs on.
I have a Raspi that I would like to use which is running hass.io at the moment. But I am not so sure if I should leave it this way as I also would like to install MQTT on it as described in the Bruh tutorial. I am more familiar with all the syntax on the Raspi and find it hard to get into resinio.
Maybe someone has a few recommendations on how to get the most out of a Raspi.

You should take a look at Hassbian. It is a custom HA version of Raspbian, that ultimately runs HA in a virtual environment. It doesn’t have the Addons you’ll find for Hass.io, but gives you the flexibility to do what you want with the Pi.


Thanks for the answer. That is actually what I thought. Does this mean, the behaviour of the Pi under Hassbian is like Raspbian?

I say it depends on your knowledge and your hardware. I use mostly Homematic components and have / will have a transceiver board on the RPi3. So I want the Homegear middleware to run as close to the hardware as possible for timing reasons.

That said and using Raspbian for operating system, Homegear is installed via apt directly on the RPi. The same goes for MySQL which is used by the recorder component and Nginx that is used for proxy reasons.

Because Python (Home Assistant) and NodeJS (Homebridge) bypass Raspian’s package management, I put those components in Docker containers, so they have their own, controlled environment which is not polluting the RPi host OS.

That setup works for me and matches my IT skills.

Hassbian is just Raspbian with HA pre-installed and a few extra helper scripts. You can add anything else that Raspbian will let you do.

Okay, thanks. I now see a bit clearer and probably will try and set up HA in a container on the weekend. I guess with this setup I will be much happier as I have still the Pi not fenced to hass.io.

Is there something specific you want to do you can’t do with Hassio? Whay are you changing? What is your goal. Trying to make a $25 piece of hardware do 20 different things is not going to end well and for what? To save $25?

Just my 2c.

It’s not that I want to do 20 different things, but there is at least one thing and that is setting up the MQTT broker on the Pi. At the moment I am doing this with cloudmqtt, but rather have it running on my Pi.

Maybe I haven’t figured out how to do this yet. I have watched a Bruh tutorial that shows how to set up the MQTT broker easily on a Pi. Therefore I think having it both run parallel makes it easier for me.

If I ssh into the hass.io I am not capable of laoding anything into it. Not sure why, but I haven’t found any documentation on this yet. As I said I am new to this and by now I have watched hours of tuts and read a lot pages of documentation. Still, I am overwhelmed by all the information and I am trying to find a way that is easy for me.

It’s not that I don’t like hass.io, but I think it’s easier for me to follow what has been shown in the Youtube videos.

Hi @jpoetter - I’ve only played with hass.io in a container on a Mac just to see it in action, but I’m quite happy with hassbian on my RPi 3. I like systems that are easy to use but not locked down, so hassbian works well.

I recently set it up on a new SD card, to start fresh (with Python > 3.4) and partly to see how easy it was to setup my system again. The included hassbian-config scripts are good and you can setup MQTT in seconds with that.

Thanks, that is helpful and I will give it a go on the weekend.

I don’t use hassio, but I am quite sure there is an addon that installs mosquitto under hassio, if that is all you want to do.

But if you just want the freedom of fiddling around on your pi, hassbian works well.

It is designed that way. It is not for people who want to ssh into it. It is more of an appliance that installs only apps from approved sources. Which makes many of the videos you have obviously been watching inappropriate - they will not work with hassio.

There is a FAQ entry about hassio vs Home Assistant

I have a Hassio installation with Node-RED, Mosquitto, Samba and SSH all installed through the hassio frontend and it’s working like a charm. As someone else suggested, I keep this particular Raspi as the Home Assistant server and nothing else - given the price of Raspis it’s easy to get another for other tasks (I have a Pi Zero purely as a dedicated VPN server for example) and keep a really clean automation server without any danger of one system bringing another down

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I like Hassio, it is locked down or secured regarding what can be installed. Much less chance of breaking the entire install and new version breaking changes are well documented.

I do dedicate a Pi2 to Hassio, a Pi2 to PiHole and a couple of Pi1’s as data gatherers and jump hosts.

I totally agree. I have 5 Pi’s all up with three dedicated to specific tasks and 2 to satisfy my need to tinker.

I would have been shocked if there was not a MQTT addon for Hassio.

For headless server setups, you should also check out Dietpi, it’s a very lightweight Debian. In my opinion the best OS for the Pi’s.
HA runs great in Dietpi inside a Python Virtual Environment.

I’ve got 2 Pi3 set up for Hassbian - one is my “live” system, and the other is for playing with. I just set up another Pi3 with a PiDrive to install influxdb, grafana and mqtt, and am using that to graph my sensors and reintegrate into HA, been running for a week and is working well for me.