Category: Home automation

As for most people, my journey into home automation started with a few remote controllable light bulbs. At first I’ve played around with openHAB (version 1) and got lost. Pretty soon I discovered homeassistant and found myself in the big ocean of home automation possibilities. Since then homeassistant has been expanding and improving a lot faster than me.

Here I want to document some of my steps to a working home automation solution. As always, most of it is just a writeup for myself to rememeber stuff. But I hope it can be useful for others as well.

Installing HassOS in a qemu/libvirt virtual machine

Some time ago, I’ve described how I’ve installed hass.io in a virtual machine. Since then development hasn’t stop and hassOS has come to te world. While hass.io was mainly targeting the Raspberry 3, it’s future replacemain hassOS aims to run on as many devices as possible. HassOS can only run in a virtual machine natively. I prefer running this buildroot based OS in a VM over the docker aproach used for hass.io. While docker is a great system for running applications, the hass.io installation was kind of a docker on docker in virtual machine setup. The lower docker system also got quite crowded as each update downloaded a new docker image without deleting the old one. A task to remember – or run out of disk space and have hoe automation disabled. That happend more the once to me, so I’m pretty happy to avoid this now. While hassOS officially only supports HyperV, VirtualBox and VMware as supervisors, it also runs very well under qemu/libvirt with some minor adjustments.

Read More

Managing home assistant’s configuration with atom

There are lots of ways how to edit and manage the configuration files of home assistant. You can mount the filesystem on your PC and use your favorite text editor or use the configurator addon to edit the files online. I’ve tried quite a lot of these options and found my favorite: the atom editor with the remote sync plugin. That way I edit the files locally and the plugin takes care of syncing them to my home assistant instance. Bonus: in case anything happens to the home assistant server I always have a local copy.

Read More

Installation of hass.io on a raspberry pi

I’ve been using home assistant in a virtual machine on my home server for almost a year now. It rellay is a great piece of software for home automation with almost limitless possibilities. However I’ve decided to move it to hass.io on a raspberry pi mainly because of some additional features. On the rapberry I can directly use the bluetooth module needed for some sensors. And hass.io offers some need add ons like a server to control Amazon’s FireTV stick or my USV. Except the more limited CPU I couldn’t find any drawbacks so far. Hass.io is basically a very slim linux running home assistant and some other useful tools in docker containers which you can control from home assistant’s gui.

Read More

Installing devuan on a Alix APUC1

The Alix APUs are some really nice power efficient boards. However they don’t have any graphical output so installing an OS can be quite demanding. Since I just managed to get devuan running, I decided to write it down. Same procedure should as well be working for debian.

This is a post from my old blog http://tech.cbjck.de. It has been moved here and slightly edited for better readability. It's also been adjusted to the new layout.
The content however is old and might be outdated.

Read More