Enable I2C on the Home Assistant Operating System

Home Assistant using the Home Assistant Operating System is a managed environment, which means you can’t use existing methods to enable the I2C bus on a Raspberry Pi.

Step by step instructions

You will need:

  • SD card reader
  • SD card with Home Assistant Operating System flashed on it

Step 1 - Access the Home Assistant Operating System boot partition

Shutdown/turn-off your Home Assistant installation and unplug the SD card. Plug the SD card into an SD card reader and find a drive/file system named hassos-boot. The file system might be shown/mounted automatically. If not, use your operating systems disk management utility to find the SD card reader and make sure the first partition is available.

Step 2 - Add files to enable I2C

  • In the root of the hassos-boot partition, add a new folder called CONFIG.
  • In the CONFIG folder, add another new folder called modules.
  • Inside the modules folder add a text file called rpi-i2c.conf with the following content:
  • In the root of the hassos-boot partition, edit the file called config.txt add two lines to it:

Step 3 - Start with the new configuration

  • Insert the SD card back into your Raspberry Pi.
  • On startup, the hassos-config.service will automatically pickup the new rpi-i2c.conf configuration.
  • Another reboot might be necessary to make sure the just imported rpi-i2c.conf is present at boot time.

The I2C devices should now be present under /dev.

From Home Assistant Operating System Terminal

Alternatively, by attaching a keyboard and screen to your device, you can access the physical terminal to the Home Assistant Operating System.

You can enable i2c via this terminal:

  • Login as root.

  • Type login and press enter to access the shell.

  • Type the following to enable i2c, you may need to replace sda1 with sdb1 or mmcblk0p1 depending on your platform:

    mkdir /tmp/mnt
    mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/mnt
    mkdir -p /tmp/mnt/CONFIG/modules
    echo -ne i2c-dev>/tmp/mnt/CONFIG/modules/rpi-i2c.conf
    echo dtparam=i2c_vc=on >> /tmp/mnt/CONFIG/config.txt
    echo dtparam=i2c_arm=on >> /tmp/mnt/CONFIG/config.txt