2022.9: Home Assistant Birthday Release!

Home Assistant Core 2022.9! 🎂

If you don’t know yet, this month is Home Assistant’s birthday! 🎉🎉 On September 17th, 2013 Paulus Schoutsen made the first commit for Home Assistant that started a snowball of Home Automation enthusiasts willing to contribute to the open-source project. 9 Years later, Home Assistant is actively used by more than 500,000 people and growing every day. Nabu Casa also turns 4 this month. Turning 4 years old and gaining a new full-time employee 🍄. This month it seems everyone was in the birthday spirit as we have a jam-packed release!

The automation engine is a big reason why Home Assistant has so many users. So in the spirit of Streamlining Experiences, we thought a revamp was due. You will notice some huge improvements to the look and feel of the Automation Editor that we think will greatly improve its usability. I know I for sure see a huge difference!

Now I know that everyone usually expects @frenck to be writing these release notes, but he took a well deserved vacation! And now you are stuck with me. Zack 😀. I hope you enjoy the release and everything that was packed into it!

– Zack

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2022.8: You can fix it!

Home Assistant Core 2022.8! 🏖

While many of you enjoy a well-deserved vacation around this time, it seems like it didn’t slow down the development/contributions made to Home Assistant. What a beautifully packed release this is again!

I’m super stoked about the added Bluetooth support, opening up a whole new world of devices to Home Assistant. I’m even more excited about the new repairs and supported brands features. Those are going to help out A LOT 😃.

Do you know what is really great about this release? All the major features and changes announced in this release are a step forward to our current goal: Streamlining experiences.

Enjoy the release!

../Frenck

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Leviton joins as a Works with Home Assistant partner

Leviton Partnership Social image

Today we are happy to announce our first Works with Home Assistant partner: Leviton!

Leviton is an American lighting, wiring device, and load control company. Their products can be found in almost every home across the United States. As a partner, they will work with Nabu Casa to make sure that their line of Z-Wave devices will work great with Home Assistant. This gives users the best experience and will continue to give a great experience with automatic firmware updates via Home Assistant.

Leviton Z-Wave devices work locally and integrate seamlessly with the Z-Wave integration in Home Assistant (Z-Wave stick required). As all connectivity is happening locally, status updates and controlling your devices happen instantly in Home Assistant. Each device that is connected to power will also act as a Z-Wave router to extend your Z-Wave mesh network.

Leviton Z-Wave Products

Leviton Decora Smart Z-Wave Devices include their DZ6HD dimmer, DZ15S switch, ZW4SF Fan Speed Controller, DZPD3 Plug-in Dimmer, DZPA1 Plug-in Switch, and ZW15R Outlet. All of these devices can be found on their Amazon store. These devices can then be used inside of your home to turn on the lights when you walk into a room, turn your bedside lamps on at a certain time, and much much more.

Leviton device page in Home Assistant

If you would like to learn more about the Leviton products and integration check out their integration page! Leviton will also show up in the integrations list in Home Assistant version 2022.8!

If you missed the announcement of the Works with Home Assistant partner program, make sure to check out the blog post.


Introducing the Works with Home Assistant program

With Home Assistant, we integrate with over 1000 different APIs. The majority of these integrations are created and maintained by the Home Assistant community. Over the years a number of companies have stepped up to work with our community offering samples and engineering support. In a few cases, we saw companies pick up the maintenance of integrating their products in Home Assistant.

Sadly, a couple of times it happened that companies went silent after their initial contribution, causing users to be wondering why new devices are not being supported. We want to protect our users from investing in products for their homes that won’t work well with Home Assistant.

Today we’re introducing the Works with Home Assistant program to allow manufacturers to show their support and commitment to Home Assistant and its community.

The program requires manufacturers to maintain the integration of their products in Home Assistant, offer a good user experience, provide product samples and give us an engineering contact to escalate issues. In return, manufacturers will be able to use the “Works with Home Assistant” badge on their products and documentation. The terms of the Works with Home Assistant program are enforced in an agreement signed by both Nabu Casa and the manufacturer.

Decorative header.

With Home Assistant we are always working on educating our users about preferring local control and open standards when acquiring new products. This is also reflected in the “Works with Home Assistant” badges.

There are manufacturers that are creating products that integrate into Home Assistant using standards like Z-Wave, Zigbee, or Matter (soon). In these cases, the integration is maintained by the Home Assistant community and Nabu Casa. These companies can still become a member of the Works with Home Assistant program but are relieved from integration maintenance.

Products that are approved for the Made with ESPHome program will be eligible to use the “Works locally with Home Assistant” badge as part of their Made with ESPHome membership.

For more information for manufacturers, see our Works with Home Assistant portal.


2022.7: A stunning performance

Home Assistant Core 2022.7! ☀️

This was one exciting and busy month! In case you’ve missed it, there was a Matter in Home Assistant workshop and a Let’s get loud! event about bringing audio to the Open Home. If you have missed those, it is worthwhile to check those recordings out.

Meanwhile, preparations are happening for the upcoming Matter and of course, the soon-to-be-released Home Assistant Yellow! 💛 More about that soon™.

This release is definitely representing the “streamlining experiences” motto we have been using. The performance improvements in this release are once more: stunning! Furthermore, there are some wonderful new features to explore too.

This release has the perfect mix! I’m sure there is something in here you like. So without further due: Enjoy the release!

../Frenck

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2022.6: Gaining new insights!

👋 Hi there, Home Assistant Core 2022.6!

The June release brings insights! Insights on how you are doing with your energy usage, and insights into what all the devices in your home are up to!

But that is not all June has to bring. Besides this release and the release party, we have two additional events lined up for you this month!

On June 15, we will be hosting a Matter in Home Assistant workshop!

The workshop will show you what we’ve been up to and allow you to actually test it out by adding your first Matter device to your own instance! I’m excited for this one; I’ve ordered the parts listed in the workshop details for myself 🤗.

The day after, June 16, the second event: Let’s get loud!

This event is all about a new approach to home audio and music in an open solution that values the Open Home. Join this event for the latest news and audio demos from Home Assistant, ESPHome, Raspiaudio, and… something new!

Also: Hi Jacqueline Raaflaub! 👋 Jacqueline has joined Nabu Casa; she will help out with support and assist in moderating our community. We are excited to have you, and welcome!

Anyways, this Home Assistant Core release is a nice release with a couple of new features and lots of cleanups under the hood. Together with the upcoming events, this is going to be one exciting month!

Enjoy the release (and upcoming events)!

../Frenck

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Matter in Home Assistant workshop announcement

The workshop instructions can be found here.

Home Assistant SkyConnect interest form

Matter is a new smart home standard that is scheduled to launch in fall. Across the industry, companies like Hue, IKEA, Google and Apple are working together to try and solve connectivity, ease of setup and interoperability once and for all. Development is happening as part of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) of which we (Nabu Casa) are also a participating member.

Matter logo

We’ve been hard at work on Matter support for Home Assistant. The Home Assistant Yellow hub will come with a radio that supports Thread, required to talk to low power Matter devices. We also have some tricks up our sleeves for devices used to run Home Assistant without such a radio, like Raspberry Pi’s. We want to show what we’re up to and allow you to test it out.

On June 15 @ 12:00 PDT / 21:00 CET we will be hosting our free Matter in Home Assistant workshop.

The workshop will be held on YouTube. Go to the listing to set a reminder to be notified when we start.

The workshop will contain two parts. In the first part we will talk about what Matter is and how it will work in Home Assistant. In the second part we will walk you through how to add experimental Matter support to your Home Assistant installation and integrate your first Wi-Fi based Matter device.

The workshop will be free but you will need a couple of things if you want to be able to follow along with the second part:

  • Home Assistant OS 8.0 or newer, 64-bit version only (x86-64 or aarch64). Matter relies on an add-on and Bluetooth.
  • Home Assistant Community Store installed
  • Espressif ESP32-C3-DevKitM-1 ($9 @ Mouser, €17 @ Conrad) or M5Stamp C3 ($6 @ M5Stack)
  • Bluetooth. If you use a Raspberry Pi to run Home Assistant you’re set. If you have a Home Assistant Blue or another device without Bluetooth, get a Bluetooth USB adapter that is supported by Home Assistant OS (like this one).

Even if you can’t follow along, it will still be an informative session!

It is possible to get the experimental Matter support working with other Home Assistant installation methods and other dev kits, but we won’t be covering those in our workshop.


Home Assistant OS Release 8

Home Assistant OS Release 8 Logo

Home Assistant OS 8.0 stable is available now!

Highlights:

  • Use of GRUB2 for UEFI based systems
  • Support for additional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices
  • New image: Generic AArch64 for UEFI based AArch64 VMs and boards
  • New image: Home Assistant Yellow

For existing installations, no manual intervention is needed! You can safely update without reading these rather technical release notes.

Table of contents

Operating System Changes

GRUB2 for UEFI based systems

For Generic x86-64, OVA and the new Generic AArch64 Home Assistant uses GRUB2 as boot loader now. GRUB2 (GRand Unified Bootloader) is the de-facto standard boot loader used by most Linux distributions. The main reason for switching from Barebox to GRUB2 was the missing AArch64 UEFI boot support in Barebox. We also expect GRUB2 to be more stable especially on Desktop style x86-64 systems as it gets used by much more users since generic Linux distributions use GRUB2. Although, we actually hit a bug in GRUB2 during the RC phase, let’s hope this was a one-off. 🤞

Screenshot showing GRUB2 menu of Home Assistant OS

The boot menu shows the two boot slots. Typically you don’t have to change selection here, unless you intentionally want to boot the previously installed Home Assistant OS version.

Note: Upgrading from any version 7.x is safe, but we recommend upgrading from the last version of the previous major release. This is also the best tested upgrade path. From any release with GRUB2 it is only safe to downgrade to 7.6! Downgrading to releases before 7.6 can be done by downgrading to 7.6 first.

Under the Hood

Under the hood, the OS was updated to the latest upstream Linux 5.15 kernel as well as Buildroot 2022.02.1. The latest Buildroot release brings new versions of various core components like systemd 250, NetworkManager 1.34.0 and Docker 20.10.14.

Additional networking drivers and settings prepare Home Assistant OS to host the OpenThread Border Router add-on.

Other Changes

  • IP set support for advanced firewalling (also used by the OTBR add-on).
  • Support for NTP configuration via DHCP.
  • Google Coral support is now using Google’s latest driver. This enables additional Coral device support such as PCI Dual Edge TPU.
  • Legacy wext backend for wpa_suppilcant is now enabled to support more Wi-Fi devices.

Device Support

Raspberry Pi

All Raspberry Pi versions use the latest LTS Linux Kernel 5.15 and firmware (tag 1.20220331) from the Raspberry Pi team. These are the same versions as the Raspberry Pi OS is using currently.

Home Assistant Yellow

This is the first release that supports Home Assistant Yellow. Since Home Assistant Yellow uses the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, the support is based on the regular Raspberry Pi support currently. The Yellow image is using the same kernel and firmware version. The Yellow board also supports booting directly off of an NVMe device for those using a CM4 Lite (without eMMC storage).

Generic x86-64

Besides the move to GRUB2 Generic x86-64 received quite some additional device support. The Wi-Fi devices 3945ABG/BG/4965AGN and 22000 series are now supported.

Other Changes:

  • Support 32-bit UEFI boot. This is required by older Intel Atom systems. Note that only the boot loader is 32-bit, everything else uses the same 64-bit binaries as 64-bit UEFI boot.
  • Driver and firmware for Broadcom BNX2/BNX2X network interfaces are included.

Generic AArch64 support

@Doridian contributed support for generic AArch64 systems which use the UEFI boot flow. It should support real boards as well as virtual machines. So far it has been successfully tested on KVM Virtual Machines.


2022.5.3: Ukraine Alarm integration, get alerted for attacks by air or artillery

In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. The countries have been at war ever since. Ukrainian citizens can at any moment be caught in crossfire or be deliberately targeted by the Russian army. Ukraine introduced the Ukraine Alarm service to help citizens be notified when fighting is happening nearby.

Today we’re doing a special release of Home Assistant to make the new Ukraine Alarm integration available to everyone. It was contributed by Paul Annekov. This integration will track the alerts for the users’ region and represent it as safety binary sensors. These sensors can be used in automations so it’s possible to notify the people in your home that there is danger.

Use this My button to add Ukraine Alarm to your Home Assistant:

Бережіть себе,
Paulus

(English screenshots below the Ukranian screenshots)

Screenshot in Ukranian of safety sensors provided by the Ukraine Alarm in integration in Home Assistant Read on →

2022.5: Streamlining settings

Home Assistant Core 2022.5!

And, as often said: “All things seem possible in May!”. Well, possibilities we have for you this last month of spring.

The most visible thing this release is the next iteration of the settings menu, of which the result, to me personally, makes tons of sense. It took me a bit to get used to, but honestly I like it! 🤩

Meanwhile, at Nabu Casa, they released annual subscriptions for Home Assistant Cloud worldwide (except for Canada, the UK, and the EU, they will follow soon with local currency support).

I’m also very excited to present you with a whole lot of new powerful automations and scripts features! Some for the UI, but there are some real game changers in there that our YAML community will love! 🤖

Enjoy the release!

../Frenck

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