Working RPi 4B installation

Hi there,

Brand new here and have read loads of stuff but when it comes to installing Home Assistant on a RPi all I see is the option to install from an image which looks like it contains the OS also?

As I have an already running spare RPi 4B setup to my preferences including SSH etc. what I would like to do is just install Home Assistant on top of the existing Buster OS.

Could some kind soul please explain where & how to install just the required software please?

Thanks & kind regards,

Then you want the Container install method. I’d suggest that you skip using the docker command line, and use Docker Compose - it’ll make your life a lot easier.

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Thanks for the quick reply T,

I skipped over the Container method as I use Docker on a Synology NAS and figured that wasn’t what I wanted either!

So I have to install Docker first…I can’t just install & run Home Assistant directly into Buster?

I have 3 RPi 4B’s one of which I use exclusively for Pi-Hole, the other as a Virtual Radar feeder to FA, FR24 & RadarBox and the other being nothing more than a Hot Spare that is kept up to date just waiting for a task to do!

Looking at Home Assistant I thought I might just have found that task but was hoping I could run it natively and therefore wouldn’t have to install anything like Docker first…

Thanks & kind regards,

Then you can install it in a virtual environment (HA Core)

Have you considered running HA Supervised?

I say that because initially I installed HA Core in virtual environment, but as time went on, I found myself wanting to use the addons feature. But I didn’t want to loose the underlying OS access, so I decided to do a Supervised install.

You won’t get a host of very valuable features doing the container or virtual env install method. Check out this table:

Thanks for taking the time to reply Francis & wyx087,

Looking at both options suggested I feel the Supervised installation would be the best for me as not only does it seem to give access to all functions (I just hate to miss out on anything) but I’d rather have a feature installed and not use it than not have it installed only to find out I need/want it later!

This was the procedure I preferred & followed with my other Pi’s to install their respective apps.

I have taken a look at Home Assistant · GitHub which appears to be a legitimate, verified source but as with most things Raspberry Pi for me it seems to raise as many questions than answers and I often wonder why things have to be so convoluted with everything Pi? :confused:

I can read 10 different resources and come up with 10 different answers and as many questions! :sweat_smile:

Looking at the Home Assistant link given above can I assume that the references to Generic Linux/Debian 10 also include a fully updated Raspberry Pi Buster? It does mention RaspberryPi4 under machine types so it would indicate this is indeed the case.

Do I have to install Docker first or do the listed commands…

curl -Lo

…include a complete installation of everything needed to run Home Assistant Supervised including Docker CE?

A cursory glance through the shows references to Docker so it looks like it should but I just wanted to be sure and understand as much as possible before before I run anything on my Pi.

Also after installation will it setup the Pi to check automatically for any updates to Docker, Home Assistant etc. when I run the usual sudo apt update followed by sudo apt full-upgrade in future or will I have to mess around either adding the repositories to various config files or manually update HA, Docker and any other dependencies etc?

Sorry for the questions but I just want to be sure before I ploughed ahead regardless! :crazy_face:

I was the same with my other Pi’s…I purchased my first one exclusively to run Pi-Hole but it took me a year from installing the Pi to feeling confident enough to install Pi-Hole after which I wondered what all the worry was about! :roll_eyes:

Similarly on another Pi I purchased as a dedicated Virtual Radar feeder it took me a while to install the RadarBox feeder software and then I went through the same crisis of confidence installing first Flightradar 24 and then FlightAware feeders over a period of months. :thinking:

Thanks & kind regards,

From the Supervised ADR:

This method is considered advanced and should only be used if one is an expert in managing a Linux operating system, Docker and networking.

You also really need to read the ADR and follow the instructions exactly. If you don’t you install will be Unsupported, and you will run into issues. And no, Raspberry Pi OS isn’t Debian :wink:

Many people push Supervised as the “best” solution, when it’s actually the most complex and most fragile. It exists because of history, and none of the core developers recommend it for very good reasons.

I really don’t see how supervisor is so fragile

Thanks again for taking the time to reply guys. It is much appreciated.

Starting in IT back in the CP/M days my networking experience goes back to Token Ring so I’m not a beginner by any means but I am new to Raspberry Pi.

Most of my knowledge is self-taught and I spend untold hours researching various subjects where I’m not afraid to ask questions if I don’t understand something which is why I joined up here 5 days ago.

Being into Home Automation since discovering X10 many years ago I have ended up with various manufacturers devices performing a wide variety of tasks. A friend mentioned he uses OpenHAB to automate various tasks which sparked my interest and it was while researching OpenHAB I stumbled across Home Assistant amongst a couple of others and liked what I saw.

I enjoy ‘getting my hands dirty’ as a way of learning about something and keeping my hand in so to speak which is one reason why I am interested in Supervised mode for Home Assistant rather than a complete imaged install.

Not only that but I manually installed a virgin Buster OS on all 3 of my Pi’s and then installed individual packages as required even though most are available as an image including the OS. Going it alone means I learn & understand more, get to make the choice about what I install on my own devices and makes maintenance easier across the board IMHO.

In addition I always perform a complete backup of the MicroSD Card on my Pi’s before installing a new app or upgrading an existing one then if I screw something up I just switch SD cards and I’m back to where I was prior. Nothing ventured…nothing gained in my book.

I dedicate each Pi for a specific task even though the resources are barely ticking over with for example my Pi-hole machine consuming 0-5% CPU, 12% Memory and running at 38°C handling 120,000+ queries a day.

The Virtual Radar Pi that feeds 3 VR sites and has various local interfaces works the hardest using 5-8% CPU, 16% Memory and runs the hottest at 48°C

Despite either Pi having more than enough resources to allocate to Home Assistant in addition to their primary role my plan is to dedicate my ‘spare’ Pi solely to the task of running HA as I wouldn’t want to impact either of the other Pi’s that sit there 24/7/365 strutting their stuff.

Having said all that I warn you now that I will in all probability still end up posting questions even following a successful installation of Home Assistant so brace yourselves!

Thanks & kind regards,


Do some homework with regards to using HA with X10. It very much appears to me that you will only be able to use X10 with Home Assistant when you install Home Assistant Core.

Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear but there’s really no need for me to do any homework on X10 at all as it was getting long in the tooth when I stopped using it and moved over to LightwaveRF @10 years ago but thanks for taking the time to reply Joe! :slight_smile:

I only used that as an example to illustrate I wasn’t a complete beginner to Home Automation much like when I mentioned I started in IT back and used to cable up offices with coax, BNC connectors and tee-pieces and I haven’t had hands-on that or Novell Netware since the early 90’s.

I’m not a complete dinosaur and I have moved with the times since… :grin:

Thanks & kind regards,