Installation on FreeNAS 11.2

FreeNAS is a free and open-source network-attached storage (NAS) software based on FreeBSD and the OpenZFS file system. It is licensed under the terms of the BSD License and runs on commodity x86-64 hardware.

This has been tested on FreeNAS 11.2 and should also work on FreeBSD 11.x as well. These instructions assume you already have a running and accessible jail. For more information on creating a jail read the official FreeNAS User Guide regarding Jails. Once you have the jail available, follow the steps below. Directories used follow standard BSD conventions but can be adjusted as you wish.

Enter the Home Assistant jail. If you don’t know which name you have given the jail, you can use the iocage list command to check.

# If the jail is called 'HomeAssistant'
iocage exec HomeAssistant

Create the user and group that Home Assistant will run as. The user/group ID of 8123 can be replaced if this is already in use in your environment.

pw groupadd -n homeassistant -g 8123
echo 'homeassistant:8123:8123::::::/bin/csh:' | adduser -f -

Install the necessary Python packages and virtualenv:

pkg update
pkg upgrade
pkg install -y python37 py37-sqlite3 ca_root_nss
python3.7 -m ensurepip
pip3 install --upgrade pip
pip3 install --upgrade virtualenv

Create the installation directory:

mkdir -p /usr/local/share/homeassistant
chown -R homeassistant:homeassistant /usr/local/share/homeassistant

Install Home Assistant itself:

su homeassistant
cd /usr/local/share/homeassistant
virtualenv -p python3.7 .
source ./bin/activate.csh
pip3 install homeassistant

While still in the venv, start Home Assistant to populate the configuration directory.

hass --open-ui

Wait until you see:

(MainThread) [homeassistant.core] Starting Home Assistant

Then escape and exit the venv.


Create the directory and the rc.d script for the system-level service that enables Home Assistant to start when the jail starts.

mkdir /usr/local/etc/rc.d/

Then create a file at /usr/local/etc/rc.d/homeassistant and insert the content below:

vi /usr/local/etc/rc.d/homeassistant
# Based upon work by tprelog at
# PROVIDE: homeassistant
# KEYWORD: shutdown
# homeassistant_enable:    Set to YES to enable the homeassistant service.
#            Default: NO
# homeassistant_user:    The user account used to run the homeassistant daemon.
#            This is optional, however do not specifically set this to an
#            empty string as this will cause the daemon to run as root.
#            Default: homeassistant
# homeassistant_group:    The group account used to run the homeassistant daemon.
#            This is optional, however do not specifically set this to an
#            empty string as this will cause the daemon to run with group wheel.
#            Default: homeassistant
# homeassistant_config_dir:    Directory where config files are located.
#            Default: /home/homeassistant/.homeassistant
# homeassistant_install_dir:    Directory where Home Assistant is installed.
#            Default: /usr/local/share/homeassistant
# sysrc homeassistant_enable=yes
# service homeassistant start

. /etc/rc.subr


load_rc_config ${name}
: ${homeassistant_enable:="NO"}
: ${homeassistant_user:="homeassistant"}
: ${homeassistant_group:="homeassistant"}
: ${homeassistant_config_dir:="/home/homeassistant/.homeassistant"}
: ${homeassistant_install_dir:="/usr/local/share/homeassistant"}

    rc_flags="-f -P ${pidfile} -p ${pidfile_child} ${homeassistant_install_dir}/bin/hass --config ${homeassistant_config_dir} ${rc_flags}"

    if [ ! -e "${pidfile_child}" ]; then
            install -g ${homeassistant_group} -o ${homeassistant_user} -- /dev/null "${pidfile_child}";

    if [ ! -e "${pidfile}" ]; then
            install -g ${homeassistant_group} -o ${homeassistant_user} -- /dev/null "${pidfile}";

    if [ ! -d "${homeassistant_config_dir}" ]; then
            install -d -g ${homeassistant_group} -o ${homeassistant_user} -- "${homeassistant_config_dir}";

    echo "Performing check on Home Assistant configuration:"
    eval "${homeassistant_install_dir}/bin/hass" --config "${homeassistant_config_dir}" --script check_config

    rm -f -- "${pidfile}"
    rm -f -- "${pidfile_child}"

run_rc_command "$1"

Make the rc.d script executable:

chmod +x /usr/local/etc/rc.d/homeassistant

Configure the service to start on boot and start the Home Assistant service:

sysrc homeassistant_enable="YES"
service homeassistant start

You can also restart the jail to ensure that Home Assistant starts on boot.

USB Z-wave sticks may give dmesg warnings similar to “data interface 1, has no CM over data, has no break”. This doesn’t impact the function of the Z-Wave stick in Home Assistant. Just make sure the proper /dev/cu* is used in the Home Assistant configuration.yaml file.

Adding support for Z-wave stick

The following two packages need to be installed in the jail

pkg install gmake
pkg install libudev-devd

Then you can install the zwave package

pip3 install homeassistant-pyozw==0.1.4

Stop the hass Jail

sudo iocage stop hass

Edit the devfs rules on the Freenas Host

vi /etc/devfs.rules

Add the following lines

add path 'cu\*' mode 0660 group 8123 unhide 

Reload devfs

sudo service devfs restart

Edit the ruleset used by the jail in the Freenas GUI by going to Jails -> hass -> Edit -> Jail Properties -> devfs_ruleset Set it to 7

Start the hass jail

sudo iocage start hass

Connect to the hass jail and verify that you see the modem devices

sudo iocage console hass
ls /dev/cu*

This should ouput the following

/dev/cuau0      /dev/cuaU0

Add the zwave config to your configuration.yaml and restart HA

vi /home/homeassistant/.homeassistant/configuration.yaml
  usb_path: /dev/cuaU0
  polling_interval: 10000
service homeassistant restart


Before updating, read the changelog to see what has changed and how it affects your Home Assistant instance. Enter the jail using iocage exec <jailname>. Stop the Home Assistant service:

service homeassistant stop

Then, enter the venv:

su homeassistant
cd /usr/local/share/homeassistant
source ./bin/activate.csh

Upgrade Home Assistant:

pip3 install homeassistant --upgrade

Log out of the homeassistant user and start Home Assistant:

service homeassistant start