Home Assistant and SSH

two minutes reading time

Most system engineers are very familiar with SSH (Secure shell). This tool which contains a server part and a client part is used to access a remote system in a secure way. It can also help you if your are running Home Assistant but don’t want to expose it to the public. On a Linux system SSH is often available by default. If you are using a Windows installation additional steps are required which are not covered here.

In this blog post we are going to use the tunneling option of SSH to create a secure connection and forward the Home Assistant frontend to a local system.

Read on →

Home Assistant Demo

three minutes reading time

If you are planning to host a Home Assistant meetup or doing a talk, then you probably want to show Home Assistant to an audience. You could use a Wireless router, bulbs, switches, and a single board computer to do a realistic demo. For a workshop, this is what I usually do because I think that working with physical hardware is more fun for the participants. The issue is that you need time to set up, power and space. For a talk or in a location, where you only have a beamer and a table or a lectern, the physical hardware approach is not very convenient.

The simplest way to show Home Assistant to others is the online demo at /demo/

Home Assistant's online demo

Read on →

Serial analog sensor

three minutes reading time

This blog post is about building a super simple analog sensor for Home Assistant. The physical sensor will send the data over its virtual serial port as it will be connected over USB. The concept is similar to the TEMPer USB devices. The attatched sensor type to the microcontroller can be any kind of sensor which gives you an analog signal from brightness over soil moisture to temperature.

The microcontroller will only transfer the voltage of an analog input pin which will be between 0 and 1024. Home Assistant will use the new serial sensor platform to read the data and perform actions to convert the raw reading into a real measurement. This means that you don’t have to adjust the code of your microcontroller if you change the attached sensor type.

The assembled sensor

Read on →

0.56: Skybell, Google Assistant, Travis CI and Toon

15 minutes reading time

We reached another milestone aka number: 10000. GitHub is assigning numbers to pull requests and issues and the “10000” is a PR. Our ratio is around 1/3 issues and 2/3 pull requests. To be more precise: 64% pull requests and 36% issues.

If you haven’t noticed, there is now a glossary that collects some Home Assistant relevant terms. Talking about the documentation: @DubhAd rewrote large parts of the Z-Wave section. More structure to get started and to find details during the setup and the configuration.

Google Assistant / Google Home integration

This release includes a new component to integrate Home Assistant with Google Assistant by Phil Kates. We integrate via the Smart Home API, this means that you will be able to control your devices in Home Assistant via any device that has Google Assistant. Learn more in the documentation.


Hacktoberfest is still on and so far we have received a lot improvements. We can’t make any promises to review everything by the end of October, but we are trying to make sure that you will get your t-shirt.


The map is now its own component. Similar to configuration (config:), it will not show up without adding it to your configuration.yaml file.


Travis CI

Why not observe your Travis CI jobs with Home Assistant? @tchellomello created a Travis CI sensor which allows one to check on the current state of Travis jobs. Now you can make sure that the coffee is ready when the build passed.

New Platforms

0.56.1 - October 22

0.56.2 - October 23

If you need help…

…don’t hesitate to use our very active forums or join us for a little chat. The release notes have comments enabled but it’s preferred if you use the former communication channels. Thanks.

Reporting Issues

Experiencing issues introduced by this release? Please report them in our issue tracker. Make sure to fill in all fields of the issue template.

Read on →

Templates, dates and times

1 minute reading time

This Pull Request shows in a clear way what happens if the documentation is not as good as it should be. In short, it’s about Templating and how people start to think about creative ways to solve it if it’s not documented. Let’s assume that we want the current year. There are a couple of options available to do that:

Read on →

0.55: Tibber, DuckDNS, The Things Network, Owntrack

11 minutes reading time

Beside the improved Wink support which was contributed by @w1ll1am23, ships this release a wide variety of new components and platforms. The input_slider components has received a makeover by @BioSehnsucht and is now input_number. @tinloaf added a feature that allows you to enter dates: input_datetime. Both will help you to improve your automation rules.


Using Home Assistant with DuckDNS for Dynamic DNS (DDNS or DynDNS) is an old story. DuckDNS is also integrated in Hass.io. 0.55 ships a component for non Hass.io users to get a similar feature.


The purging of data was improved. With purge_interval you can schedule regular purges of older events and states. In combination you can specify with purge_keep_days the amount of days you want to keep. The new service recorder.purge allows you to handle this task when needed.


Owntracks is an easy way to track your devices. For some times we have the device tracker which depends on MQTT but thanks to a new feature in Owntracks we can now offer support for HTTP. The new platform doesn’t require a MQTT broker but sends messages directly as HTTP requests to Home Assistant.


This release introduces a new sensor: Tibber. The sensor provides the current electricity price if you are a Tibber customer. This will allow you to make automation for turning off the heater when the electricity price is high or only charge your electric car when the prices are low. We further plan to add support for showing future electricity prices and historic electricity consumption data. Tibber is currently only available in Norway and Sweden

The Things Network

The Things Network (TTN) is a LoRaWAN based network especially designed for IoT devices. With this integration one can observe the state of devices which are out of range of the local WiFi network as long as they are connected to a TTN gateway.

New Platforms

0.55.1 - October 15

If you need help…

…don’t hesitate to use our very active forums or join us for a little chat. The release notes have comments enabled but it’s preferred if you use the former communication channels. Thanks.

Reporting Issues

Experiencing issues introduced by this release? Please report them in our issue tracker. Make sure to fill in all fields of the issue template.

Read on →

Deprecating Python 3.4 support

1 minute reading time

Update February 16, 2018: Home Assistant 0.64 will be the last release to support Python 3.4. Starting with release 0.65, Home Assistant will require a minimum version of Python 3.5.3.

Starting with our next release, 0.55, we will deprecate Python 3.4 support. The current plan is to remove support for Python 3.4 at the beginning of 2018.

Python 3.5 was released on September 13th, 2015. It has since then become the default Python installation on the stable releases of Debian, Ubuntu, Raspbian and Hassbian. Our other own operating system, Hass.io, is more advanced and is already running the greatly improved Python 3.6.

The jump to Python 3.5 as a minimum version is driven by the Home Assistant core, which is based on asyncio. Starting with Python 3.5, asyncio got improved support in the language with dedicated keywords async and await. As this is the proper way of doing async in Python, we’re seeing a move by async libraries to either only support the new syntax from the beginning or dropping support for the Python 3.4 approach. Not moving along means an increased maintenance burden as we cannot use the latest releases of our libraries. Next to that it will prevent our users from being able to leverage the bug fixes and performance improvements that come with Python 3.5.


If you’re running Hass.io, you don’t have to do anything. Your system will always stay up to date.


If you’re running Hassbian it’s recommended that you make a backup of your configuration files and restore them on a fresh install. Upgrading an existing installation isn’t recommended.


If you’re on Windows, you’re fine as our minimum version for Windows has been 3.5 for a while now.

Other Debian based systems

If you’re running a Debian based system, follow these instructions to upgrade.

Participating in Hacktoberfest

1 minute reading time

For the second year in a row, Home Assistant will be participating in Hacktoberfest. Hacktoberfest is an event organized by DigitalOcean and GitHub to support and celebrate open source. The idea is that open source projects like Home Assistant will gather a bunch of entry-level bugs, features, and documentation enhancements and that you, a current or future contributor, will help us fix them. If you submit four pull-requests during October, you will have earned yourself a limited edition Hacktoberfest T-shirt!

Why contribute to Home Assistant?

  • Written in Python 3 with 94% test coverage
  • Active and helpful community
  • Friendly to new contributors

Resources to get started:

Are you not a programmer but still want to contribute to Home Assistant? Check out our list of entry-level issues for the Home Assistant website.

Our participation for Hacktoberfest 2016 was a huge success. Join us to repeat it this year.

Hacktober fest logo