Hass.io Installation and Setup, Part 1

Hass.io Installation and Setup, Part 1

Hass.io LogoAs a tech enthusiast, I have grand plans to make my life better with the help of technology.  That’s a very broad statement, and here I’ll be describing my foray into the world of Home Assistant.  Or more specifically, Hass.io.

The website home-assistant.io describes the software like this – “Home Assistant is an open-source home automation platform running on Python 3.  Track and control all devices at home and automate control.”  Another prime reason I want to use Home Assistant is the developers stance on security.  In a 2014 blog post he states that “a system should be simple and open-source so people can validate that their data generated at home stays home”.  He believes that your data is your data, not to be mined by big companies for who knows what purposes!  So let’s get started..

The guide I used was from the Getting Started link on the Home Assistant site, https://home-assistant.io/getting-started/.  As I skimmed over the installation steps before getting started, I worried I’d be scouring the web looking for more detailed info.  How wrong I was!  It really was as simple as described.

There were only three files to download.  The Hass.io image, Etcher, and Visual Studio Code.  Links were provided for all three of these, so I didn’t have to waste any time looking for them.

I inserted a 64GB micro sd card into an old Insignia USB 2.0 Multi-format Memory Card Reader I found shoved to the back of a desk drawer.  After installing Etcher, I opened it and selected the Hass.io image.  Etcher already had the correct drive selected, and I clicked Flash.  After several minutes the flash completed and the verification started.  I was also prompted by Windows to format two new drives (which were created by the flashing of the micro sd card).  I didn’t expect this, as it wasn’t mentioned in the instructions.  So I said yes, format those two drives.  When the verification was complete, I received an error, which I promptly ignored.  It stated that it “might” not work properly, so I took a chance.

If you are using wifi, instead of a wired link to your network you must edit a text file.  I hadn’t thought this far ahead and decided to enter my SSID and passphrase.  This was the most difficult part of the install process, and it wasn’t very hard.  I opened the file, changed the sample info to my own, and saved.  To unmount the card I right-clicked on it from File Explorer and chose “Eject”, and unplugged the card reader from the PC.

Next I inserted the micro sd card into the Pi and powered it on.  I couldn’t load the local site after connecting the Pi and waiting 20 minutes, as the directions stated.  I checked the DHCP leases on my network and found the IP address of the Pi and tried to connect using that instead of hassio.local.  Since the Pi has HDMI, I connected it to a monitor to see if anything would appear on screen.  Upon rebooting the Pi (disconnecting and reconnecting the power supply) I could see the Home Assistant logo on the monitor for several minutes, and then it would go away.

Perhaps I was too impatient, and it was taking longer than 20 minutes to download the latest version?  It was near dinner time so I left it connected overnight to no avail.  The following morning it still wouldn’t load!  I decided that maybe the Etcher error I received was legitimate!

Time to start over.  Several minutes later (after performing the Etcher step again, NOT editing the wifi info, and inserting the micro sd card into the pi) I opened the page in my browser and saw the message “Preparing Hass.io”.

Preparing Hass.io

The good news is it didn’t take 20 minutes.  In less than five minutes I was greeted with the home page!

hass.io first launch

There are two possibilities for the problem I had accessing the start page.  The most likely cause was the error I received from Etcher while verifying the flash.  The unlikely error is that I entered my wireless information incorrectly in the text file, which prevented the Pi from connecting to the network.  I do not think this is the problem because I was able to ping the IP address that I found in my DHCP lease list.

In Part 2 I’ll change some basic settings and add my first few devices!  Check back soon…

 

The following are affiliate links to the products I mention in this article.

One Reply to “Hass.io Installation and Setup, Part 1”

  1. Good luck on your adventures. I’ve just started migrating my home grown legacy automated home to Hassio myself. So far so good as it seems easy enough once one gets through the concept and formats and quite powerful in the long.

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