Once you go down the rabbit hole of home automation, you will undoubtably end up wanting to install Home Assistant.
I put off using it for as long as possible as I thought it would be complex and cumbersome and within my home (where I need other half proof solutions) I wanted something that “just works”.
However the “just works” solutions like, Samsung Smart Things, Amazon Alexa routines and even Apples neat HomeKit, simply do not offer the level of complexity, vendor support and detailed automation rules that you can setup within Home Assistant.
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Quick recap – What is Home Assistant and why install it in ESXI.
Home Assistant is an open-source home automation platform that allows you to control and automate various devices in your home. It can integrate with a wide range of devices and services, such as lights, thermostats, cameras, and more. It also provides a user-friendly web interface and mobile app for controlling and monitoring your devices.
There are several reasons why you might want to install Home Assistant in a homelab environment. One of the main reasons is to centralize control of your smart devices and automate various tasks. With Home Assistant, you can create automations that will perform actions based on certain conditions, such as turning off the lights when you leave the house or adjusting the thermostat when you come home.
In my home I currently run ESXI on a SFF Lenovo PC, so my preferred installation method for Home Assistant is to run it as a virtual machine within ESXI, but you could just as easily install it on a Raspberry Pi.
There are many benefits of installing home assistant in ESXI, such as failover, backup, ease of deployment. But for me, it’s simply what I know best and am most comfortable with.
Overall, Home Assistant is a powerful and flexible platform that can help you automate and monitor your home lab environment, and it is a great tool for making your home smarter and more efficient.
How to install Home Assistant in ESXI
There are actually 4 different ways to install Home Assistant! The two main options are;
- Home Assistant Operating System (HASS.IO)
- Home Assistant Container
With 2 more advanced options;
- Home Assistant Supervised
- Home Assistant Core
For the purpose of this article I’m going to focus on Home Assistant Operating System, as this is best suited to my intended use case of installing home assistant in ESXI.
Home Assistant Operating System (HASS.IO) is a version of the Home Assistant platform that comes pre-installed with other useful add-ons and a built-in add-on store. It is designed to make it easy for users to set up and run Home Assistant on their device, whether it is a Raspberry Pi, a Windows or Mac computer, or a virtual machine. It is also designed to make it easy for users to install and manage additional add-ons and integrations to expand the capabilities of their Home Assistant installation. It is intended to be used by beginners or users who want a simple and easy way to set up and use Home Assistant without having to manually install and configure the software.
If you would like to learn more about the other installation methods, click here.
Step by step instructions for installing home assistant in ESXI
1. Download the latest version of Home Assistant from the official website (https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/installation/).
For ESXI you actually want to scroll down to the Alternative section (https://www.home-assistant.io/installation/alternative)
And then select VMware ESXI/vSphere
2. Log in to the vSphere client and select the ESXi host on which you want to install Home Assistant.
3. Click Create/Register VM
4. Deploy a virtual machine from an OVF or OVA file (the one you just downloaded)
5. Give it a name and upload the OVA file
6. Select where to store it
7. Take a gamble on disk provisioning (my personal preference is Thick to avoid issues in the future)
9. After waiting a couple of minutes you should be presented with this
Or an alert on your smartwatch :’)
10. Open the console and find the IP address
My example is 192.168.1.11 (you might want to set that as a static IP address)
11. Navigate to the IP address of Home Assistant in your web browser of choice
Remember – You need to also include the port number listed in the Home Assistant URL
Again in the example above the URL of our Home Assistant install would be https://192.168.1.11:8123, which should take you here;
Sort of.. you do now need to configure Home Assistant, but we’ve got that covered in our guide to configuring Home Assistant.
Installing Home Assistant in a VMware ESXi environment is relatively straightforward, but it does require some technical knowledge and experience with virtualization software. As you’ve seen the process involves creating a new virtual machine, deploying the Home Assistant OVA template, and configuring the network settings for the virtual machine. Once the virtual machine is up and running, you can access the Home Assistant web interface and complete the installation and configuration.