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hpr4125 :: Installing Home Assistant Operating System (HAOS), on a x86-64 machine

Method 1: Installing HAOS via Ubuntu booting from a USB flash drive to a generic x86-64 PC

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Duration: 00:11:31

Home Automation.

A open series on anything related to Smart Home, or Internet Of Things


This is a follow up episode on Home Assistant (HA), see hpr4099 :: An introduction to Home Assistant (HA) for an explanation of what Home Assistant (HA) is, and why you might want to install it.

The Home Assistant Installation page offers several different install methods, listed along with the level of difficulty.

  • Easiest: Plug and play with Home Assistant Green
  • Easy: DIY with Raspberry Pi
  • Intermediate: Extend with Home Assistant Yellow
  • Hard: Install on other hardware
  • Expert: Advanced installation methods

Today we will be installing Home Assistant Operating System (HAOS), on a x86-64 machine.

Home Assistant can be repurposed and installed on various hardware, such as an Odroid or a generic x86-64 machine. The Home Assistant Operating System allows you to install Home Assistant on these devices even if you have little to no Linux experience.

We are going to my HP t610 Flexible Thin Client, which has a 16GB SATA Flash Drive, and I upgraded it to 16G of Ram.

Note that this will install Home Assistant Operating System (HAOS) as a computer appliance. That means that it will run a bare OS with the various components in a customised docker setup. It will take over the entire computer, and requires secure boot to be disabled.

On the HP t610 Flexible Thin Client, that involves pressing "Esc" at boot to get to the bootup menu. If that doesn't work try pressing "F10" just after turning on the power.

Two methods to install

HAOS has no integrated installer like you would expect with distro hopping, but it requires that the image be burned directly onto the disk of the computer itself.

It has two methods to do this and "Method 2: Installing HAOS directly from a boot medium", is basically take the disk out of the target system and attach it to your own computer. The use a burning tool like Balena Etcher, or dd to write the image to disk. Much as you would burn a sdcard for a raspberry pi. I don't have a way to do this so let's go with method 1.

Method 1: Installing HAOS via Ubuntu booting from a USB flash drive

Here you download and burn live operating system as you would if you were distro hopping, the document suggests to use Ubuntu. I tried it but my HP t610 Flexible Thin Client didn't like it. It also didn't like Fedora despite having worked earlier, so I just used Debian LXQT.

Now you have Debian running off a usb stick on your target machine.

Steps to burn Home Assistant Operating System (HAOS) to disk on target

Anything after the '#' character is a comment and doesn't need to be typed.

Note The following steps are optional, and you should only do them if you wish to ssh to the target machine from your pc.

# Anything after the '#' charachter is a comment and doesn't need to be typed.
apt install openssh-server  # Install the ssh server on the target
systemctl start ssh         # Start it once installed
passwd user                 # Change the password or you can just use the default which is `live`
ip add                      # Get the IP address of the target
ssh # Replace with the actual ip address in the step above

Open a terminal on the machine, and type the su - commands to get root access on the Debian OS running from the usb drive on the target machine.

user@debian:~$ su -

Now you are root, the super user admin, you can install the wget command using the Debian apt package manager.

root@debian:~# apt install wget

Once wget is installed, we can use it to download the latest image from the HAOS Download Page, which is haos_generic-x86-64-12.1.img.xz at time of writing.

root@debian:~# wget

Now we have the image we are going to write to the disk, but the question is which disk to write it to.

Your target PC will be different to mine but the tool lsblk is good for showing what is installed and mounted.

root@debian:~# lsblk
loop0    7:0    0  2.5G  1 loop /usr/lib/live/mount/rootfs/filesystem.squashfs
sda      8:0    0 14.9G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0    1M  0 part
├─sda2   8:2    0    1G  0 part
└─sda3   8:3    0 13.9G  0 part
sdb      8:16   1 58.6G  0 disk
├─sdb1   8:17   1    3G  0 part /usr/lib/live/mount/medium
│                               /run/live/medium
└─sdb2   8:18   1    5M  0 part

The loop0 is the mount where Debian is running from, while the mounted sdb1 and sdb2 have the word live telling us that's the actual USB drive we installed Debian on to.

While your disk will be different, for me the disk to install it on is sda. The partitions sda1, sda2, and sda3 are left overs from a previous install. They will be overwritten anyway.

The drive I will be targeting is therefore known to the system as /dev/sda

The dd command will do a disk duplication and writes the ones and zeros from the if input file, to the of output file.

The command below will take a while and not display anything

root@debian:~# dd if=haos_generic-x86-64-12.1.img.xz of=/dev/sda
761949+1 records in
761949+1 records out
390118272 bytes (390 MB, 372 MiB) copied, 66.3225 s, 5.9 MB/s

Plug in an Ethernet cable that is connected to the network. Power the system on. If you have a screen connected to the Generic x86-64 system, after a minute or so the Home Assistant welcome banner will appear in the console. In the browser of your desktop system, within a few minutes you will be able to reach your new Home Assistant at homeassistant.local:8123.



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