Autostart using systemd


Newer Linux distributions are trending towards using systemd for managing daemons. Typically, systems based on Fedora, ArchLinux, or Debian (8 or later) use systemd. This includes Ubuntu releases including and after 15.04, CentOS, and Red Hat. If you are unsure if your system is using systemd, you may check with the following command:

$ ps -p 1 -o comm=

If the preceding command returns the string systemd, continue with the instructions below.

A service file is needed to control Home Assistant with systemd. The template below should be created using a text editor. Note, root permissions via sudo will likely be needed. The following should be noted to modify the template:

  • ExecStart contains the path to hass and this may vary. Check with whereis hass for the location.
  • For most systems, the file is /etc/systemd/system/home-assistant@YOUR_USER.service with YOUR_USER replaced by the user account that Home Assistant will run as (normally homeassistant). In particular, this is the case for Ubuntu 16.04.
  • If unfamiliar with command-line text editors, sudo nano -w [filename] can be used with [filename] replaced with the full path to the file. Ex. sudo nano -w /etc/systemd/system/home-assistant@YOUR_USER.service. After text entered, press CTRL-X then press Y to save and exit.
  • If you’re running Home Assistant in a Python virtual environment or a Docker container, please skip to the appropriate template listed below.
[Unit]
Description=Home Assistant
After=network-online.target

[Service]
Type=simple
User=%i
ExecStart=/usr/bin/hass

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Python virtual environment

If you’ve setup Home Assistant in virtualenv following our Python installation guide or manual installation guide for Raspberry Pi, the following template should work for you. If Home Assistant install is not located at /srv/homeassistant, please modify the ExecStart= line appropriately. YOUR_USER should be replaced by the user account that Home Assistant will run as (e.g homeassistant).

[Unit]
Description=Home Assistant
After=network-online.target

[Service]
Type=simple
User=%i
ExecStart=/srv/homeassistant/bin/hass -c "/home/YOUR_USER/.homeassistant"

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Docker

If you want to use Docker, the following template should work for you.

[Unit]
Description=Home Assistant
Requires=docker.service
After=docker.service

[Service]
Restart=always
RestartSec=3
ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker run --name="home-assistant-%i" -v /home/%i/.homeassistant/:/config -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro --net=host homeassistant/home-assistant
ExecStop=/usr/bin/docker stop -t 2 home-assistant-%i
ExecStopPost=/usr/bin/docker rm -f home-assistant-%i

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Next Steps

You need to reload systemd to make the daemon aware of the new configuration.

$ sudo systemctl --system daemon-reload

To have Home Assistant start automatically at boot, enable the service.

$ sudo systemctl enable home-assistant@YOUR_USER

To disable the automatic start, use this command.

$ sudo systemctl disable home-assistant@YOUR_USER

To start Home Assistant now, use this command.

$ sudo systemctl start home-assistant@YOUR_USER

You can also substitute the start above with stop to stop Home Assistant, restart to restart Home Assistant, and ‘status’ to see a brief status report as seen below.

$ sudo systemctl status home-assistant@YOUR_USER
● home-assistant@fab.service - Home Assistant for YOUR_USER
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/home-assistant@YOUR_USER.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sat 2016-03-26 12:26:06 CET; 13min ago
 Main PID: 30422 (hass)
   CGroup: /system.slice/system-home\x2dassistant.slice/home-assistant@YOUR_USER.service
           ├─30422 /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/hass
           └─30426 /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/hass
[...]

To get Home Assistant’s logging output, simple use journalctl.

$ sudo journalctl -f -u home-assistant@YOUR_USER

Because the log can scroll quite quickly, you can select to view only the error lines:

$ sudo journalctl -f -u home-assistant@YOUR_USER | grep -i 'error'

When working on Home Assistant, you can easily restart the system and then watch the log output by combining the above commands using &&

$ sudo systemctl restart home-assistant@YOUR_USER && sudo journalctl -f -u home-assistant@YOUR_USER