Home Assistant

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Home Assistant
Original author(s)Paulus Schoutsen
Developer(s)Home Assistant Core Team and Community
Initial release17 September 2013
(9 years ago)
 (2013-09-17)
Stable release
2023.1.2[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 8 January 2023; 26 days ago (8 January 2023)
Repositorygithub.com/home-assistant
Written inPython (Python 3.8)
Operating systemSoftware appliance / Virtual appliance (Linux)
PlatformARM, ARM64, IA-32 (x86), and x64 (x86-64)
TypeHome automation, smart home technology, internet of things, task automator
LicenseApache License (free and open-source)
Websitewww.home-assistant.io

Home Assistant is free and open-source software for home automation designed to be a central control system for smart home devices with a focus on local control and privacy.[2][3][4][5] It can be accessed through a web-based user interface by using companion apps for Android and iOS, or by voice commands via a supported virtual assistant such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

After the Home Assistant software application is installed as a computer appliance, it will act as a central control system for home automation, commonly referred to as a smart home hub,[6][7][8] that has the purpose of controlling IoT connectivity technology devices, software, applications and services which are supported by modular integration components, including native integration components for wireless communication protocols such as Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Z-Wave (used to create local personal area networks with small low-power digital radios), as well as having support for controlling both open and proprietary ecosystems if they provide public access via example an Open API or MQTT for third-party integrations over the Local Area Network or the Internet.

Information from all devices and their attributes (entities) that the Home Assistant software application sees can be used and controlled from within scripts trigger automations using scheduling and "blueprint" subroutines, e.g. for controlling lighting, climate, entertainment systems and home appliances.[9][10][11]

History[edit]

The project was started as a Python application by Paulus Schoutsen in September 2013 and first published publicly on GitHub in November 2013.[12]

In July 2017, a managed operating system called Hass.io was initially introduced to make it easier to use Home Assistant on single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi series. Its bundled "supervisor" management system allowed users to manage, backup, update the local installation and introduced the option to extend the functionality of the software with add-ons.[13]

An optional subscription service was introduced in December 2017 to solve the complexities associated with secured remote access, as well as linking to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.[citation needed] Nabu Casa, Inc. was formed in September 2018 to take over the subscription service.[14] The company's funding is based solely on revenue from the subscription service. It is used to finance the project's infrastructure and to pay for full-time employees contributing to the project.[citation needed]

In January 2020, branding was adjusted to make it easier referring to different parts of the project. The main piece of software was renamed to Home Assistant Core, while the full suite of software with the Hass.io embedded operating system with a bundled "supervisor" management system was renamed as Home Assistant (though it is also commonly referred to as "HAOS" as in short for "Home Assistant OS").[15]

In January 2021, Home Assistant made a public service announcement, disclosing vulnerabilities with its 3rd party custom integrations. [16]

Later in January 2021, it made a second security disclosure about a security vulnerability. [17]

Features[edit]

Hardware[edit]

Home Assistant is supported and can be installed on multiple platforms. These include single-board computers (like example Hardkernel ODROID, Raspberry Pi, Asus Tinkerboard, Intel NUC), operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux as well as virtual machines and NAS systems.[18] Windows support is via a Windows VM or installing the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).[19]

On officially supported hardware platforms like the ODROID N2+ and Raspberry Pi 3/4 single-board computers, the installation requires flashing a corresponding system image onto a microSD card, eMMC, or other local storage from which the system can boot.[18] It is possible to use Home Assistant as a gateway or bridge for devices using different IoT technologies like Zigbee or Z-Wave, necessary hardware can be mounted onto GPIO (Serial/I2C/SMBus), UART, or using USB ports.[20][21] Moreover, it can connect directly or indirectly to local IoT devices, control hubs/gateways/bridges, or cloud services from many different vendors, including other open and closed smart home ecosystems.[22][23][24][25]

In December 2020, a customized ODROID N2+ computer appliance with bundled software was introduced under the product name "Home Assistant Blue" as an officially supported common hardware reference platform. The same package is also referred to as "ODROID-N2+ Home Assistant Bundle" when sold without the official custom-made enclosure. It comes with Home Assistant OS pre-installed on local eMMC storage, a power-adapter, and a custom Home Assistant themed enclosure. Home Assistant founders made it clear that the release of official hardware would not keep them from supporting other hardware platforms like the Raspberry Pi series.[26][27]

In September 2021, Home Assistant developers at Nabu Casa announced a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply for pre-order of "Home Assistant Yellow" (initially called "Home Assistant Amber"), a new official home automation controller hardware platform with Home Assistant pre-installed, a spiritual successor to "Home Assistant Blue". "Home Assistant Yellow" is designed to be an appliance, and its internals are architectured with carrier board (or "baseboard") for a computer-on-modules compatible with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4) embedded computer as well as include an integrated M.2 expansion slot meant for either an NVMe SSD as expanded storage or for an AI accelerator card, and an onboard EFR32 based radio module made by Silicon Labs capable of acting as a Zigbee Coordinator or Thread Leader (Thread Border Router), as well as optional variant with PoE (Power over Ethernet) support. The most otherwise notably features missing on "Home Assistant Yellow" an HDMI or DisplayPort to connect a monitor, (which is likely due to it like most smart home hubs being purpose-built to act as a headless system), as well as lack of onboard Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a USB 3.0 port by default. Shipping of "Home Assistant" is targeted for June 2022.[28][29]

Dashboard[edit]

The primary front-end dashboard system is called Lovelace (named after Ada Lovelace),[30] which offers different cards to display information and control devices. Cards can display information provided by a connected device or control a resource (lights, thermostats, and other devices). The interface design language is based on Material Design and can be customized using global themes. The GUI is customizable using the integrated editor or by modifying the underlying YAML code. Cards can be extended with custom resources, which are often created by community members.

Automation[edit]

Home Assistant acts as a central smart home controller hub by combining different devices and services in a single place and integrating them as entities. The provided rule-based system for automations allows creating custom routines based on a trigger event, conditions and actions, including scripts. These enable building automation, alarm management of security alarms and video surveillance for home security system as well as monitoring of energy measuring devices.[31][32][33][34] Since December 2020, it is possible to use automation blueprints - pre-made automations from the community that can be easily added to an existing system.[35]

Security[edit]

Home Assistant as an on-premises software, with its focus on local control for the purpose of privacy in combination with its state as an open-source application, has been described as beneficial to the security of the platform, specifically when compared to closed-source home automation software based on proprietary hardware and cloud-services.[2][3][4][5]

There is no remote access enabled by default and data is stored solely on the device itself. User accounts can be secured with two-factor authentication to prevent access even if the user password is known by the attacker. Add-ons get a security rating based on their access to system resources.

In January 2021, cybersecurity analyst Oriel Goel found a directory traversal security vulnerability in third party custom integrations. The issue was disclosed on January 22, 2021, and addressed in Home Assistant version 2021.1.5, released on January 23. There is no information about whether the vulnerability has been abused.[36][37]

Awards, reception and reviews[edit]

Home Assistant took second place in 2017[38] and 2018[39] for the Thomas Krenn Award (formerly Open Source Grant), later winning first place in 2019.[40] Home Assistant also won an DINACon award in 2018 for their "Open Internet Award" category,[41][42] as well as being a nominee for the same awards in 2013[43]

Home Assistant has been included in a number of product and platform comparisons, where, like many other non-commercial smart home hubs/gateways/bridges/controllers for home automation, it has often in the past been criticized for forcing users into a tedious file-based setup procedure using text-based YAML markup-language instead of graphical user interfaces.[44][45][46][31][47] However, newer versions of Home Assistant produced by the core development team continue to make the configuration (from initial installation as well as most basic configurations) more user-friendly by allowing configuration using the web-based graphical user interface as well as the original YAML scripting.[48][49][50][51][52][53] GitHub's "State of the Octoverse" in 2019 listed Home Assistant as the tenth biggest open-source project on its platform with 6,300 contributors.[54] In 2020, with 8,162 contributors, it was listed second place in the list of Python packages with the most unique contributors.[55]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://github.com/home-assistant/core/releases/tag/2023.1.2.
  2. ^ a b "No Privacy Compromise Home Automation". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Home Assistant lets you automate your smart home without giving up privacy". The Ambient. 10 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Secure home automation, without clouds or dedicated hubs". 20 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b Greenberg, Andy (20 July 2016). "Now You Can Hide Your Smart Home on the Darknet". Wired – via www.wired.com.
  6. ^ Alex Kretzschmar - Mar 31, 2021 11:30 am UTC (31 March 2021). "How to achieve smart home nirvana (or, home automation without subscription)". Ars Technica. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Home Assistant makes your smart devices work together the way you imagined". Android Central. 12 April 2018.
  8. ^ Valens, Clemens (16 September 2020). "Home Automation Made Easy: Combine Home Assistant, ESPHome and MySensors". Elektor Magazine. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Magical Smart Home Upgrade Lets Muggles Control Their Homes With a Wand Too". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  10. ^ "How to set up and use Home Assistant to power your smart home". 30 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Tech projects for IT leaders: How to use IoT for home automation". TechRepublic. 30 March 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Home Assistant: The Python Approach to Home Automation". Linux.com. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  13. ^ Schoutsen, Paulus. "Introducing Hass.io". Home Assistant. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  14. ^ "About us". Nabu Casa. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  15. ^ Assistant, Home. "Home Assistant vs. Home Assistant Core". Home Assistant. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  16. ^ Schoutsen, Paulus. "Disclosure: security vulnerabilities in custom integrations HACS, Dwains Dashboard, Font Awesome and others". Home Assistant. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  17. ^ Schoutsen, Paulus. "Security Disclosure 2: vulnerabilities in custom integrations HACS, Font Awesome and others". Home Assistant. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  18. ^ a b Assistant, Home. "Installation". Home Assistant. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  19. ^ "Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)".
  20. ^ "RaspBee II Overview". phoscon.de. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  21. ^ "ConBee II Overview". phoscon.de. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  22. ^ Assistant, Home. "Integrations". Home Assistant. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  23. ^ Murphy, Dylan (May 2018). "Controlling smart lights with Home Assistant" (PDF). HackSpace. No. 4. p. 92. ISSN 0016-9900. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  24. ^ "Transferring my Z-Wave Network to Home Assistant from Vera". HomeTechHacker. 15 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Best Hardware for Home Assistant". Smart Home University. 21 June 2019.
  26. ^ https://techtechandmoretech.com/reviews/home-assistant-blue/ Home Assistant Blue Review
  27. ^ "ODROID-N2+ based "Home Assistant Blue" announced as official hardware for Home Assistant - CNX Software". 16 December 2020.
  28. ^ Pattison, Jennifer (16 September 2021). "Home Assistant now comes in a ready-to-use box". The Verge. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  29. ^ "Crowdfunded Home Automation System Uses Raspberry Pi Compute Module | Tom's Hardware". Tomshardware.com. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  30. ^ "Home Assistant: Getting Started With Lovelace". HomeTechHacker. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  31. ^ a b comments, 14 December 2017 Jason BakerFeed 1481up 23. "6 open source home automation tools". Opensource.com.
  32. ^ "16 Open Source Home Automation Platforms To Use In 2020". ubidots.com. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  33. ^ "Trends In Open Source Home Automation". 21 March 2017.
  34. ^ "My Smarthome Evolution: Part 3 - Current State". HomeTechHacker. 12 December 2019.
  35. ^ Assistant, Home. "Using Automation Blueprints". Home Assistant. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  36. ^ Schoutsen, Paulus. "Disclosure: security vulnerabilities in custom integrations HACS, Dwains Dashboard, Font Awesome and others". Home Assistant. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  37. ^ Schoutsen, Paulus. "Security Disclosure 2: vulnerabilities in custom integrations HACS, Font Awesome and others". Home Assistant. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  38. ^ "Thomas-Krenn-Award 2017: Zammad, Home Assistant und Freifunk". TKmag. 12 March 2017.
  39. ^ "Die Gewinner des Thomas-Krenn-Awards 2018". TKmag. 12 March 2018.
  40. ^ Thomas-Krenn.AG (16 March 2019). "Thomas-Krenn-Award 2019 – Die Gewinner" [Thomas Krenn Award 2019 - The Winner] (in German). Retrieved 18 June 2020. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  41. ^ "Das sind die Nominierten für die Dinacon Awards 2018". www.netzwoche.ch.
  42. ^ "DINAcon begeistert 200 Teilnehmende und die Award-Gewinner 2018" (PDF) (Press release) (in German). 19 October 2018.
  43. ^ "Home Assistant > DINAcon Awards". DINAcon Awards.
  44. ^ "SmartThings vs Home Assistant: What is the Best Smart Home Hub". Smart Home University. 29 April 2018.
  45. ^ "Best of open source smart home: Home Assistant vs OpenHAB". Smart Home University. 28 February 2018.
  46. ^ Jancer, Matt (26 May 2016). "Smart-Home Gadgets Need a Translator Real Bad—Here's How to Get One". Wired – via www.wired.com.
  47. ^ "Home Assistant Review – Sean's Technical Ramblings".
  48. ^ "Smart Home Home Assistant Konfiguration mit YAML". 12 July 2017.
  49. ^ "Weekend Project: Setting up Home Assistant on your PC or Mac". 22 April 2016.
  50. ^ "OpenHAB vs Home Assistant: What is the Best For Smart home?". 11 February 2020.
  51. ^ "Home Assistant Vs Openhab 2019". 10 August 2019.
  52. ^ "Home Assistant Vs OpenHAB". 29 July 2019.
  53. ^ Gadget-Freak, Chef (28 April 2019). "Comparison between Domoticz and Home Assistant".
  54. ^ "The State of the Octoverse". The State of the Octoverse. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  55. ^ "State of the Octoverse 2020: Empowering healthy communities" (PDF). octoverse.github.com. 2 December 2020.

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