Carpe Diem:24 July, 2024

Hassbian vs Hassio

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Hello again!

I recently switched my Home Assistant configuration from the Hassbian setup over to Hassio which leverages docker containers. This quick post details some of my impressions and experiences between the two.

I initially went with the hassbian setup because I still wanted to have a complete linux box. I wanted to be able to install other things on my raspberry pi and have complete control over linux without affecting HA. While this was nice, I found that I wasn’t doing much else on my pi outside of HA and didn’t need this extra functionality.

Hassio is a very user friendly setup, but it gives you less tinkering control outside of HA. However the advantages have outweighed the disadvantages for me. Hassio has a handful of benefits.

8/22/19 update: Still using HASSIO – no plans to go back!

Hassio Pros/cons compared to Hassbian:

  • Pros
    • Overall a very easy, painless setup and maintenance
    • Snapshots – you are able to take a snapshot which includes all your settings and versions of things and save this. At a later point, you can reload this snapshot. In other words, its very easy to save a snapshot when things are working well, get your hands dirty and change a bunch, and easily roll back to a previous setup if you’re not happy.
    • Updating HA is very easy – it’s a click of a button now. Also since you can create snapshots, if you’re not happy with the update (perhaps a competent breaks in your setup), it’s just as easy to roll back to a previous version.
    • Add-ons – extra functionality that can be easily added to HA. For example, enabling SMB on the Hassbian setup took a decent amount of configuration outside of HA. With the SMB add-on, it’s clicking a button and some minor configuration all in HA. I’ve found that I can get 95% of the additional functionality that I need though these add-ons.
  • Cons
    • Not as configurable. For example, I cannot get ffmpeg to work in the default hassio installation. In the Hassbian setup, I was able to install ffmepg, run it by itself to troubleshoot my setup, then integrate it with home assistant. With Hassio, I can’t just install this separately to troubleshoot since HA runs in a container. I don’t know the specifics of all of this – it might be possible but it wasn’t easy enough for me to figure out! 8/22/19 update: I was able to get ffmpeg to work within hassio!


  1. Michael Price Reply

    Can you please provide more details on how you were able to get ffmpeg running in HASSOS?
    Particulary how you can run ffmpeg from the command line for testing.

    1. Alex Post author Reply

      So I wasn’t actually able to test it on the command line at all within HassOS. From what I understand, it’s a limited interface. All I have is ffmpeg: in my configuration.yaml. You can test if it’s working by running the ffmpeg.start service and check the HA logs. Hope this helps!

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