Carpe Diem:16 February, 2020

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!

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