My Smart Home. Step by step from start to… Part 3. Implementation based on Home Assistant. The first steps. Software Add-0n, Configuration File, Update

The Next Step

Greetings to all who read the series of publications “My smart home. From the beginning, step by step to… ”. In a previous article, I described the process of installing Home Assistant and its first settings.

Today we will describe how to add and configure additional software components – File Editor, Terminal. Make the first changes to the main configuration file: configuration.yaml. Let’s update Home Assistant to the current version.

So, let’s move on!

Software add-on: File editor

In Home Assistant, many parameters can be configured through the user interface, but there are enough of them, which are in the .yaml configuration files. So we need a tool to edit them.

You can find and install this official Home Assistant component by selecting the Add-on Store tab in the Supervisor section and entering the word File in the search field:

Figure 1: Search for the Text Editor component in the Supervisor section, Add-on Store tab.

Next, select Install:

Figure 2: Read the description of the component and start the installation.

Next, check the Start on boot option. It must be on. Optionally, we can enable the Show in sidebar option – display the File Editor menu in the Navigator on the left. We start the component:

Figure 3: Set the necessary options and start the component.

If the start is successful, this will be indicated by the corresponding green indicator at the top right. There will also be indicators to monitor the load of this component of the processor and memory:

Figure 4: Checking the successful start of the component.

When the File Editor component is successfully installed, open it via the link in the left navigator. Select the shortcut Browse Filesystem, and open the main configuration file: configuration.yaml:

Figure 5: Open the File Editor.
Figure 6: Open the main configuration file: configuration.yaml.

This file now contains the default settings. There are not many of them. And we will gradually make our parameters there.

Figure 7: Configuration file – configuration.yaml. Default values.

Configuration file: configuration.yaml

Let’s start editing the configuration.yaml file. Enter the following parameters:

# Name of the location where Home Assistant is running
 name: Elephant Home
# Location required to calculate the time the sun rises and sets
 latitude: 50.724928
 longitude: 30.380581
# Impacts weather/sunrise data (atitude above sea level in meters)
 elevation: 109
# metric for Metric, imperial for Imperial
 unit_system: metric
# Pick yours from here:
 time_zone: Europe/Kiev

The green indicator indicates no syntax errors. Do not forget to save the configuration through the appropriate graphic menu item:

Figure 8: Enter the following parameters in the configuration.yaml file. Save the file.

After saving successfully, this graphic element will disappear:

Figure 9: Сonfiguration.yaml file saved successfully.

And to apply these added parameters, you must restart the OS Home Assistant. This can be done through the Configuration – Server Controls section:

Figure 10: Configuration and status management section of Home Assistant OS.

Select the Restart option:

Figure 11: Restart OS Home Assistant to work with new parameters.

Communication with Home Assistant will be lost for a while. After restarting and reconnecting to web services, you can perform a small check of the added settings. To do this, go to the Maps section and see the location of your smart home on the map of OpenStreetMap:

Figure 12: Location of your smart home on the map of OpenStreetMap according to the entered parameters.

Software add-on: Terminal

Before proceeding to configure various integrations, we need another software application: a Terminal.

But before you can proceed, you must enable the Advanced Mode in user profile:

Figure 13: Enable the advanced control mode of the Home Assistant OS.

Now, Find and install this official Home Assistant component is similar to how we installed File Editor, only in the search box by entering Terminal:

Figure 14: Search for the Terminal component in the Supervisor section, Add On Store tab.

Additionally, enable the option Auto update. We start a component:

Figure 15: Set the necessary parameters for this component and start it.

Similarly, after starting the component, the CPU and memory monitor indicators will appear:

Figure 16: Checking the successful start of the component.

You can check the operation of the installed application in the Terminal menu:

Figure 17: Terminal functionality in the web interface of Home Assistant OS.

Upgrading Home Assistant components

Some time has passed since the establishment of Home Assistant. Updates to this platform are released regularly. So it’s time to upgrade the system.

The whole sequence of steps can be performed in two ways – through the graphical user interface and through commands in the terminal. I will perform these actions using the console commands of OS Home Assistant.

● ● ●

Step One: System Backup.

To backup the state of the system before performing the update, use the functionality of snapshots.

We open the session of the terminal.

First, let’s learn about the list of existing snapshots:

ha snapshot list

Let’s create a new snapshot:

ha snapshot new --name snapbeforeupdate

Again, ask for a list of snapshots to see its properties:

Figure 18: Request a list of existing snapshots. Creating a new and view its properties.

● ● ●

Step Two: Check the configuration.

For a successful update, it is recommended to check the configuration of the Home Assistant OS:

ha core check
Figure 19: Check the configuration of the Home Assistant OS.

● ● ●

Step Three: Update the Home Assistant OS.

First we learn about the version number of our system:

ha os info
Figure 20: Get version number of our system.

Next, perform the update:

ha os update

After the upgrade, the system will automatically reboot. We will be informed about this by the lost connection:

Figure 21: Succesfully update OS Home Assistant and automatically Reboot system.

After reconnecting, we will receive up-to-date information about the updated version:

Figure 22: View information about the updated version Home Assistant OS.

● ● ●

Step Four: Update Home Assistant Core.

Similar to the previous step, we first learn about the number of our version:

ha core info
Figure 23: Get version number of our system and latest version number of Home Assistant Core.

Next, perform the update:

ha core update

Similarly, after the upgrade, the system will reboot. The connection will be lost for a while. Also, after rebooting, we will be forced to go through the login process again.

Figure 24: Update Home Assistant Core and automatically Reboot system.

After rebooting, run the command again:

ha core info
Figure 25: Get version number of our system Home Assistant Core.

Congratulations! This completes the update to the current version!

What’s next?

So at this point in time we already have the ability to work with configuration files, monitor the work of Home Assistant using commands in the terminal and we have updated the system to the latest version.

At this stage we will pause, and in the next publication we will tell about:

  • Sensors for monitoring system parameters;
  • Panels display the basic data of the system;
  • Let’s do some hardware upgrades for Raspberry Pi 4;
  • And of course about integration with external devices.

But about this in the next post!

See you,
Sincerely, AIRRA!

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