0.61: Coinbase, Discogs, iGlo, Sochain

23 minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
Comments

Almost a 100 contributors to this release 🎉 That’s what you get when you skip a release. It’s a little late but “Happy New Year” and welcome to 0.61 the first release 2018.

This release contain some breaking changes. Please make sure that you check the section below if you are running into trouble.

Assistant configs

We made a mistake in the foundation of both the Google Assistant and Alexa integrations: they were storing their config inside customize. This is not the right place and we moved them to be under the components itself. See the breaking changes section on how to migrate.

Hass.io updates

@pvizeli has made it easier to create and restore snapshots for Hass.io by calling the new services. This way it will be easy to automate the creation of a snapshot at night. The updater has also been fixed and will now report on new versions of Hass.io that are available.

Improved loading speed

@amelchio has made startup of Home Assistant even faster. All service descriptions are now loaded only when needed by the frontend instead of during startup. This did mean that we had to enforce our service convention. We found a few platforms that didn’t follow this and they have been updated:

todoist.new_task -> calendar.todoist_new_task

snapcast.snapcast_snapshot -> media_player.snapcast_snapshot
snapcast.snapcast_restore -> media_player.snapcast_restore

mopar.remote_command -> sensor.mopar_remote_command

broadlink.learn_command_192_168_0_107 -> switch.broadlink_learn_command_192_168_0_107
broadlink.send_packet_192_168_0_107 -> switch.broadlink_send_packet_192_168_0_107

New Platforms

Release 0.61.1 - January 16

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 →

Thank You

1 minute reading time
  • Community
Comments

2017 is almost over and this means it’s time to do a little recap of our 2017. This was a great year for Home Assistant. Again, we were able to stick to our bi-weekly release cycle. There were 25 releases over the year and each release included the work of around 60 contributors.

We got 10.000 stars on GitHub, reached 10.000 commits in the main repo (over 4300 were made in 2017), got a Thomas-Krenn award, participated in Hacktoberfest, we have now almost 1000 integrations (the exact number is 938), we moved to Discord and we are up to over 2 million pageviews per month on our forum. Beside that we announced the Home Assistant cloud and have regular Home Assistant Podcasts.

We also do not want to forget to mention Hass.io and all the great Hass.io add-ons.

Uff, what a year…Thank you, dear community for being so helpful, supportive and awesome 🙇.

A very big thanks goes out to the developers of the Python language and all the open source libraries and tools that Home Assistant depends on. You are the foundation for our success and all of you can be proud of yourself.

We would also like to thanks all the companies that offer their services for free to open source projects. Without these we would not be able to operate at our speed or scale. Thank you GitHub, TravisCI, CloudFlare, Discord and Discourse!

Some of us are taking a break and spending some quality time with family and loved ones.

Stay tuned for more Home Assistant awesomeness in 2018. We will keep the pace but first: Happy New Year!

– Home Assistant Organization


Introducing Home Assistant Cloud

six minutes reading time
  • Announcements
Comments

Today we’re introducing the next step in the Home Assistant saga: the Home Assistant Cloud. The goal of the Home Assistant Cloud is to bridge the gap between your local Home Assistant instance and services in the cloud while delivering the maximum possible security and privacy.

The first service that is supported via the Home Assistant Cloud is the Amazon Alexa Smart Home skill. This integration will allow you to control all your devices in Home Assistant via Amazon Alexa. You will be able to say “Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights” and your local Home Assistant will turn on the lights. Because Alexa talks to Home Assistant, it doesn’t matter what kind of lights they are! Anything that is linked to Home Assistant will work. IKEA lights, a 10 year old X10 switch or something you’ve made yourself. As long as Home Assistant can control it, you can control it via Alexa.

We have designed the Home Assistant Cloud with security in mind. When you activate the new Cloud component, your instance will create a secure connection to the Home Assistant Cloud. There is no need for any further configuration or to expose your instance to the internet.

Integrations like Alexa will deliver messages to our cloud which we will forward to your local instance for processing. We just forward the response back to Alexa. This means that we do not have to store the state of your house in our cloud, we’re just the messenger!

We are making the beta of the Home Assistant Cloud publicly available today. During the beta period the Home Assistant Cloud will be free to use. We are currently planning to run a beta till March 1, 2018 0:00 UTC. Once the beta ends, the Home Assistant Cloud will be part of our Community Support package which will run at $5 USD/month.

By subscribing to the Community Support package you will show your support for the Home Assistant organization, its projects and its community. It will help fund development, cover our operating costs and gives you access to use Home Assistant Cloud.

So if you ever felt like donating money to support the development of Home Assistant and Hass.io: sign up for the Home Assistant Cloud!

Why not take donations?

With donations you have to convince people to keep donating and it will be hard to plan around the amount of available money. The biggest concern is what do you do when there is not enough money. We could shut down the servers or again depend on the wallets of our developers. We could run Wikipedia style advertisements for donating, but those are even more annoying than running advertisements.

Getting started

Upgrade Home Assistant to 0.60 and enable the cloud and config components:

# Example configuration.yaml entry
cloud:
config:

Now restart Home Assistant and navigate to the configuration panel. It will offer a new cloud section. Here you can create an account and login. Once logged in, your instance will connect to the cloud.

The next step is to configure Alexa. This can be done by enabling the Home Assistant skill for Alexa and link your Home Assistant cloud account.

Once you’re done, ask Alexa to discover devices (“Alexa, discover devices”) and you are all set to control them: “Alexa, turn on <device name>”.

See the Cloud component configuration to learn how to filter which devices get exposed to Alexa.

FAQ

Last updated: February 22, 2018

I thought the Home Assistant crew didn’t like the cloud?

You are right, we don’t! The Home Assistant Cloud is not an alternative to running your local Home Assistant instance. All control and automations are still running locally.

Instead, the Home Assistant Cloud is an extension of your local instance. It allows to communicate with companies that force us to communicate via a public available cloud endpoint like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Home Assistant Cloud is only used to route the messages to your local Home Assistant instance. All messages are processed locally.

(Some people have suggested we rename to Home Assistant Bridge to avoid this confusion)

Will Home Assistant and Hass.io remain open source?

Yes. Yes. Yes! Home Assistant is the work of hundreds of developers all working together in creating something amazing. The only thing that will require a subscription is the optional cloud functionality.

Where is the source code for the Alexa skill?

All messages are processed locally and so the Alexa skill code is part of the Home Assistant code. The Home Assistant Cloud only routes the messages to your local Home Assistant instance. This means that you can audit the source code to check all the things that the cloud can do:

What other features will come to the cloud?

We have a lot of ideas! We are not going to make any promises but here are some things that we’re looking into:

  • Google Home / Google Assistant Smart Home skill
  • Allow easy linking of other cloud services to Home Assistant. No more local juggling with OAuth flows. For example, link your Fitbit account and the Fitbit component will show up in Home Assistant.
  • Encrypted backups of your Hass.io data
  • Text to speech powered by AWS Polly
  • Generic HTTP cloud endpoint for people to send messages to their local instance. This will allow people to build applications on top of the Home Assistant cloud.
  • IFTTT integration
  • Alexa shopping list integration

What countries are supported at launch?

As of February 2018, we are live in all countries that have Alexa except for Japan (which is under certification).

How is the connection made to the cloud?

The connection is made using a WebSocket connection over HTTPS. See the source here.

I think that the price is too high for what I get.

The Home Assistant Cloud functionality is a perk for becoming a supporter of the Home Assistant project. As a supporter you will help fund development, cover our operating costs and gives you access to use Home Assistant Cloud. You are not paying to just maintain the cloud servers.

The perks offered for being a supporter will also extend over time, as noted in this answer.

What will the Home Assistant organization do with the funds ?

The plan is to hire developers to work fulltime on Home Assistant. We have grown a lot in the last 4 years and the work load is pushing the limits of what our core developers can do. Open source burn out is very common (1, 2) and we want to avoid this by moving most organization and release chores to a paid position.

For more background on these topics, check out HASS Podcast 15.


0.60: Beckhoff/TwinCAT, WebDav, Gearbest, iAlarm

10 minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
Comments

The biggest change for 0.60 will be covered in a separate blog post. Thus, we will keep it short here. Just one thing: This is the last release in 2017. We will be back to our bi-weekly release cycle in 2018.

A big “Thank you” to all people who supported us to make this release possible.

TwinCAT

With the brand-new ADS (automation device specification) component by @stlehmann allows you to hook Home Assistant into this fieldbus independent interface which is often used between Beckhoff devices running with TwinCAT.

WebDav calendar

Thanks to @maxlaverse Home Assistant support now WebDav calendars.

Tracking prices

With the new gearbest sensor there is now an additional sensor available to track the price of a product.

Financial details

Yahoo! has discontinued their financial service. To fill this gap we have now the alpha_vantage sensor which is intruded in this release and allows you to monitor the stock market.

New Platforms

Release 0.60.1 - January 6

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 →

0.59: Order pizza, Entity Picker, Color Wheel

11 minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
Comments

We are proud to announce the availability of Home Assistant 0.59. To keep you in the loop: This is the second last release in 2017. We have stuck to our bi-weekly release cycle for another year but we decided that we will take a little break between Christmas and New Year.

Dominos Pizza platform

With the Dominos Pizza integration made by @wardcraigj your home is now taking care that you don’t starve. In combination with a Skybell or a DoorBird you will know exactly when the pizza is in front of your door.

Color picker

@NovapaX created a new color picker. While dragging the color badge with your finger, a badge will appear above your finger so you can see the current color.

Screenshot of the color wheel. Screenshot of the color wheel.

Shopping list tweaks

@balloob has refreshed the shopping list UI to make it more usable. It’s now possible to add items by typing, instead of just voice. Also editing has been made easier.

Entity picker

@balloob improved the way if you want to pick an entity. In the automation editor, the script editor and the service section of the Developer Tools it’s much easier to identify the right one! The automation editor will only suggest relevant entities.

Screenshot of the Entity Picker. Screenshot of the of the Entity Picker.

Hass.io Add-ons

If you follow our twitter feed then you may already know that @frenck spent some time to bring new stuff to the Community Hass.io Add-ons repository.

New Platforms

Release 0.59.1 - December 4

Release 0.59.2 - December 6

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 →

Set up Hass.io on top of a virtual machine

four minutes reading time
  • How-To
Comments

The images for the Raspberry Pi family and the Intel NUC are an easy way to get started with Hass.io. For a test or if you have a system which is already hosting virtual machines then the Hass.io installer is an option to use Hass.io in a virtualized environment. In this guide the host is a Fedora 27 system with libvirt support and the guest will be running Debian 9. Hass.io will be installed on the guest.

Read on →

0.58: More translations, faster frontend, system log

12 minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
Comments

The Hass.io release of 0.58 will be delayed by a couple of days because Pascal is moving this weekend.

Translation update

Translations are up and running in full speed. Shortly after the last release we got our translation pipeline figured out. @armills and @c727 are doing an amazing job managing this project. We’ve doubled the number of supported languages to 42 and the amount of keys to translate went from 8 to 130. Our translators are on top of their game and 79% is already translated.

Talking about our translators, we now have 445 people with an account to help with translations. Not bad for 3 weeks!

And because more translations is more better, @robbiet480 has added the iOS app to Lokalise, our translation management platform. The iOS app is currently supported in 7 different languages.

Learn more about how to help with translations

Frontend improvements continue

Thanks to @Andrey-git we now are able to serve the frontend in modern JavaScript. Leveraging modern JavaScript makes the frontend faster to load and run. For now it’s opt-in but we’re looking into making it opt-out in the future. The ES5 version of the frontend will remain available for older devices.

To try it once, add ?latest to your Home Assistant bookmark. To make it the default on your installation, update your config to look like this:

frontend:
  javascript_version: latest

For Custom UI users: your custom UI will need to be updated before it can work with the new version of the frontend.

System log enhanced

Our about screen that shows the error logs has gained a nice upgrade by @postlund. Now the 50 latest exceptions will be displayed with the option to get more information.

Screenshot of the about screen showing the system log. Screenshot of the about screen showing the system log.

New Platforms

Release 0.58.1 - November 21

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 →

Secure remote access to Home Assistant using Tor

five minutes reading time
  • How-To
Comments

Routers and gateways provided by broadband internet providers are very often limited regarding features and configuration possibilities. Most of these limitations affect the opportunities that allow users to set up port-forwarding, DMZ, and DHCP reservations since the suppliers figured that average user does not want (or should not) deal with these. Making your Home Assistant instance available remotely (and securely), in this case, becomes more difficult. Are you one of those unlucky ones?

There are a couple of options available to achieve a remote (and secure) accessible Home Assistant instance. However, almost all of them require you to: open one or more ports on your router, expose a public IP address, and require you to reserve a fixed IP in your DHCP server (or set up a static IP address). Examples of these are:

  • Combination of DuckDNS (or similar), Let’s Encrypt (SSL), DHCP reservation, and forwarding a port to your device running Home Assistant.
  • Setup a VPN, which often requires more hardware and software. Additionally, it also requires port-forwarding, DHCP reservation and most likely DuckDNS (or similar).
  • SSH tunnel-ing. Which still requires port-forwarding, DHCP reservation and most likely (yeah, you’ve guessed it) DuckDNS (or similar).

There is, however, another option available that most people do not realize: Tor. Tor offers a capability that they refer to as Tor’s Hidden Services, which allows you to securely access your Home Assistant installation without the need for all these things. No need to forward and open ports, no need to expose your public IP, no DNS entry, no need for SSL certificates, and you do not have to assign a fixed IP to the device running your Home Assistant.

The most amazing part? It is super easy to set up!

Read on →

Home Assistant and The Things Network (TTN)

seven minutes reading time
  • How-To
Comments

The Home Assistant integration for The Things Network (TTN) uses their Storage feature to get the sensor data. The easiest way to observe TTN sensors would be MQTT as it doesn’t requires any additional configuration.

At the moment Home Assistant only supports one MQTT broker. This means that you can’t subscribe to topics which are located on different brokers.

Read on →

Translating Home Assistant

1 minute reading time
  • Community
Comments

The Home Assistant sidebar in 12 different languages The Home Assistant sidebar in 12 different languages.

Translations

As mentioned in the 0.57 release notes, Home Assistant has launched a translated frontend. With the immediate influx of translations, we’ve made integration with a translation tool a top priority. @c727 took the initiative to evaluate several tools, and we’re happy to announce that Home Assistant will be partnering with Lokalise to manage our translations!

Lokalise allows us to open up translations for all of our multilingual users willing to contribute. Users can join the project using our public signup link, and start translating right away. We’ve created a translation startup guide with additional details about how to contribute. Instructions are provided there for how to request a new language.

Now that we have a system in place, expect a lot more of the interface to be translatable soon. We still have some technical hurdles to overcome, but the hardest work is behind us now. The community has already done an outstanding job of providing translations. The future is looking bright!