Glossary


The glossary covers terms which are used around Home Assistant.

Action

An Action is an event that can be fired as a response to a trigger, once all conditions have been met.

Add-on

Add-ons provide additional, standalone, applications that can run beside Home Assistant. Most of these, add-on provided, applications can be integrated into Home Assistant using integrations. Examples of add-ons are: an MQTT broker, database service or a file server.

Automation

Automations offer the capability to call a service based on a simple or complex trigger. Automation allows a condition such as a sunset to cause an event, such as a light turning on.

Binary sensor

A binary sensor returns information about things that only have two states - such as on or off.

Component

Integrations (see below) used to be known as components.

Condition

Conditions are an optional part of an automation that will prevent an action from firing if they are not met.

Cover

Covers are devices such as blinds, garage doors, etc that can be opened and closed and optionally set to a specific position.

Customize

Customization allows you to overwrite the default parameters of your devices in the configuration.

Device

A device is usually a physical unit which can do or observe something.

Device tracker

Device trackers are used to track the presence, or location, of a device.

Discovery

Discovery is the automatic setup of zeroconf/mDNS and uPnP devices after they are discovered.

Domain

Entities and services belong to a domain, which is the first part of the entity or service, before the .. For example light.kitchen is an entity in the light domain, while homeassistant.turn_on is the turn_on service for the homeassistant domain.

Entity

An entity is the representation of a function of a single device, unit, or web service. There may be multiple entities for a single device, unit, or web service, or there may be only one.

Event

An event is when something happens.

Frontend

The frontend is a necessary component for the UI, it is also where you can define your themes.

Group

Groups are a way to organize your entities into a single unit.

HASS

HASS or hass is often used as an abbreviation for Home Assistant. It is also the command-line tool.

HassOS

Another name for Home Assistant Operating System

Home Assistant Core

Home Assistant Core is a Python program. It can be run on various operating systems and is the basis for Home Assistant. When people are talking about Home Assistant Core they usually refer to a standalone installation method that can be installed using a Virtual Environment or Docker. Home Assistant Core does not use the Home Assistant Supervisor.

Home Assistant Operating System

Home Assistant OS, the Home Assistant Operating System, is an embedded, minimalistic, operating system designed to run the Home Assistant ecosystem on single board computers (like the Raspberry Pi) or Virtual Machines. The Home Assistant Supervisor can keep it up to date, removing the need for you to manage an operating system.

Home Assistant Supervised (Previously Hass.io)

Home Assistant Supervised is a full UI managed home automation ecosystem that runs Home Assistant, the Home Assistant Supervisor and add-ons. It comes pre-installed on Home Assistant OS, but can be installed on any Linux system. It leverages Docker, which is managed by the Home Assistant Supervisor.

Home Assistant Supervisor

The Home Assistant Supervisor is a program that manages a Home Assistant installation, taking care of installing and updating Home Assistant, add-ons, itself and, if used, updating the Home Assistant Operating System.

Integration

Integrations provide the core logic for the functionality in Home Assistant. Like notify provides sending notifications.

Light

A light has a brightness you can control, and optionally color temperature or RGB color control.

Lovelace

Lovelace is the name of the current frontend.

Notification

You can use notifications to send messages, pictures, and more, to devices.

Packages

Packages allow you to bundle different component configurations together.

Platform

Platforms make the connection to a specific software or hardware platform. For example, the pushbullet platform works with the service pushbullet.com to send notifications.

Scene

Scenes capture the states you want certain entities to be. For example, a scene can specify that light A should be turned on and light B should be bright red.

Script

Scripts are components that allow users to specify a sequence of actions to be executed by Home Assistant when turned on.

Sensor

Sensors return information about a thing, for instance the level of water in a tank.

Service

Services are called to perform actions.

Switch

Switches are things that have two states you can select between, such as turning on or off a socket.

TTS

TTS (text to speech) allows Home Assistant to talk to you.

Template

A template is an automation definition that can include variables for the service or data from the trigger values. This allows automations to generate dynamic actions.

Trigger

A trigger is a set of values or conditions of a platform that are defined to cause an automation to run.

Zone

Zones are areas that can be used for presence detection.