Introducing Home Assistant CLI aka. hass-cli


When I started using Home Assistant (HA) I was missing a way to interact with HA via a command line (CLI). A CLI allows you to utilize the power of auto-completion, scripting and direct access.

Thus I started working on Home Assistant CLI, a project that was initially started by Fabian Affolter.

The great thing about hass-cli is that it uses the exact same API’s as the other UI’s and integration uses thus it makes a great complement to the Home Assistant family of tools.

Last week we released version 0.4, which provides majority of the features I was looking for to do from a CLI.

Feature highlights:

  • Get configuration info (hass-cli config)
  • List, get, edit and delete state for entities (hass-cli entity’)
  • Query history with relative time (‘hass-cli entity history’)
  • List and run services (hass-cli services)
  • Execute templates locally and remotely (hass-cli template)
  • Control over columns, sorting, etc. (hass-cli --columns attr1,attr2 --sort-by attr3)
  • Shell completion for most commands and arguments (hass-cli completion zsh)
  • Get logs (hass-cli system log)
  • Run discovery (hass-cli discover)
  • Show map for zone (hass-cli map)
  • Call raw api directly (hass-cli raw)
  • … and more


For the basic intro to hass-cli see the docs at github.


Install latest homeassistant-cli by pip:

$ pip3 install homeassistant-cli

or if upgrade use:

$ pip3 install --upgrade homeassistant-cli

or if you like an isolated install you can use pipsi

$ pipsi install --python python3 homeassistant-cli

or if you are adventurous you can build it from source at.

Changes since 0.1-0.3

The first thing is that the commands have been cleaned up to be more logcial/explicit.

$ hass-cli
completion  Output shell completion code for the specified shell (bash or...
config      Get configuration from a Home Assistant instance.
discover    Discovery for the local network.
entity      Get info and operate on entities from Home Assistant.
event       Interact with events.
info        Get basic info from Home Assistant.
map         Print the current location on a map.
raw         Call the raw API (advanced).
service     Call and work with services.
system      System details and operations for Home Assistant.
template    Render templates on server or locally.

Rather than using generic terms (eg. get, list), the commands are now explicit and have further sub-commands.

The biggest change is that most operations, by default now use “table” mode. i.e., instead of getting a yaml or json dump you get a more concise view:

$ hass-cli entity list winter
ENTITY                           DESCRIPTION                STATE    
timer.timer_winter_garden                                   idle     
group.winter_garden_lights       Winter Garden Lights       off      
group.winter_garden_motionview   winter garden              off      
light.winter_garden_light_2      Winter Garden Light 2      off      
light.winter_garden_light_5      Winter Garden Light 5      off      
light.winter_garden_light_1      Winter Garden Light 1      off      
light.winter_garden_light_3      Winter Garden Light 3      off      
light.winter_garden_light_4      Winter Garden Light 4      off      
media_player.winter_garden       Winter Garden              paused   
sensor.lightlevel_winter_garden  Winter Garden Motion       1.0      
sensor.temperature_winter_garden Winter Garden Temperature  5.0      

On top of better tables you can also use --sort-by to sort by an attribute and you can use --columns to control which attributes to show.

You can combine it all and do history querying with things like:

$ hass-cli --sort-by last_changed entity history \
  --since 50m  light.kitchen_light_1 binary_sensor.presence_kitchen
ENTITY                          DESCRIPTION      STATE
binary_sensor.presence_kitchen  Kitchen Motion   off
light.kitchen_light_1           Kitchen Light 1  on
binary_sensor.presence_kitchen  Kitchen Motion   on
binary_sensor.presence_kitchen  Kitchen Motion   off
light.kitchen_light_1           Kitchen Light 1  off

If you still want to get all the glory details you can use -o yaml to get the full details.

Frequently Asked Questions

A few frequent asked questions we’ve seen the last months are as follows:

Why would anyone use this ?

This is not removing or trying to compete with existing ways to access Home Assistant - this is a complementary way to access Home Assistant. If you like to use CLI’s and its power of auto-completion you’ll find hass-cli to be awesome; if not and you prefer the browser UI you just continue using it. We still use it for normal interactions, but when we want to be fast or script things hass-cli is great.

Why not just use the REST API’s directly via curl or similar ?

You can most definitely use curl or similar to access REST API directly - it’s basically what hass-cli does behind the scenes. hass-cli give though a few advantages. Firstly that you do not need to remember the exact commands, hass-cli have contextual help and auto completion to make it super easy to type out. Finally over time as hass-cli will get support for utilizing the more extensive websocket API’s hass-cli will be more consistent and simpler to use than using “raw” access via curl.

Does this only work with HTTPS and ?

No, it works with any Home Assistant that has REST API exposed - something that is done by default. In short - if you can access Home Assistant with your browser and see the UI hass-cli can communicate and control it too.

Thus http, https,,, etc. are all supported by hass-cli

Do I need to install Home Assistant to use this ?

No, hass-cli does not require Home Assistant installed on the computer you want to run it on. It should run on any install with Python 3.5 or higher on all major operating systems.

Does this work with client-generated certificates ?

It should, but we have not yet been able to verify it. If you would like to help us try it run with --cert <certificate.pem> and let us know if it works on issue #66.

Next steps

Personally the next feature I would like to add is more specific support for system control commands (like refreshing groups, restarting, etc.) but also for accessing add-ons. Also having an easy way to hook into the event bus (via websocket) to see what is happening live.

What would you like to see ?


If you have questions for feedback you can put a comment on this blog, use the hass-cli forum thread or open issues or pull-requests at github.

Have fun!

Max Rydahl Andersen