|Original author(s)||Paulus Schoutsen|
|Developer(s)||Home Assistant Core Team and Community|
|Initial release||17 September 2013|
2021.3.4  / 13 March 2021
|Written in||Python (Python 3.8)|
|Operating system||Software appliance / Virtual appliance (Linux)|
|Platform||ARM, ARM64, IA-32 (x86), and x64 (x86-64)|
|Type||Home automation, Smart home technology, internet of things, task automator|
|License||Apache License (free and open-source)|
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Home Assistant is free and open-source home automation software designed to be the central control system for smart home appliances with focus on local control and privacy. It can be accessed via a web-based user interface, via the official companion apps for Android and iOS, or using voice commands via a supported virtual assistant like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
In July 2017, a managed operating system called Hass.io was introduced which made it easier use to use Home Assistant on the Raspberry Pi. It allowed to manage, backup and update the local installation and introduced the option to extend the functionality of the software with add-ons.
In December 2017, Home Assistant Cloud as a subscription service was introduced with a monthly fee of $5/month. It started support for Amazon Alexa to control local devices using voice commands. Support for Google Assistant was later added in April 2018.
In September 2018, Nabu Casa, Inc. was founded which took over the subscription service. The company's funding is based solely on revenue from the service to guarantee focus on its users' interests. It is used to finance the project's infrastructure and to pay for full-time employees contributing to the project.
In January 2020, branding was adjusted to make it easier referring to different parts of the project. The main piece of software was renamed to Home Assistant Core, while the full suite of software with operating system and management system that runs on the Raspberry Pi was renamed to Home Assistant.
On December 13, 2020 the first Home Assistant Conference was held as an online event with keynote speaches by founder Paulus Schoutsen and 16 talks by selected developers and users of Home Assistant. The Keynote introduced a new release cycle with monthly new major versions as well as a new versioning based on the release date. Additionally, Home Assistant Blue was introduced, the first piece of hardware of the project. It consists of an ODROID N2+ with a custom themed enclosure and Home Assistant pre-installed, and a power adapter and is sold as a bundle.
GitHub's "State of the Octoverse" in 2019 listed Home Assistant as the tenth biggest open-source project on its platform with 6,300 contributors. In 2020, with 8,162 contributors it was listed second place in the list of Python packages with the most unique contributors.
Home Assistant is supported and can be installed on multiple platforms, these include single-board computers by ODROID, Raspberry Pi, Asus Tinkerboard, Intel NUC, operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux as well as virtual machines and NAS systems. On officially supported single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi, the installation requires flashing a corresponding system image onto a microSD card from which the system can boot. It is possible to use Home Assistant as a gateway or bridge for devices using different IoT technologies like Zigbee or Z-Wave, necessary hardware can be mounted onto general-purpose I/O pins or using USB ports. Moreover, it can connect directly or indirectly to local IoT devices, control hubs/gateways/bridges, or cloud services from many different vendors, including other open and closed smart home ecosystems.
The frontend dashboard is called Lovelace (named after Ada Lovelace), which offers different cards to display information and control devices. The design language is based on Material Design and can be themed with global themes. The interface is fully customizable using the integrated editor or by modifying the underlying YAML code. Cards can be extended with custom resources, which can be integrated manually or using HACS (Home Assistant Community Store).
Home Assistant acts as a central smart home controller hub by combining different devices and services in a single place and integrating them as entities. The provided rule-based system for automations allows creating custom routines based on a trigger event, conditions and actions, including scripts. These enable building automation, alarm management of security alarms and video surveillance for home security system as well as monitoring of energy measuring devices. Since December 2020, it is possible to use automation blueprints - pre-made automations from the community that can be easily added to an exsisting system.
Home Assistant as an on-premises software with its focus on local control for the purpose of privacy in combination with its state as an open-source application has been described as beneficial to the security of the platform, specifically when compared to closed-source home automation software based on proprietary hardware and cloud-services.
There is no remote access enabled by default and data is stored solely on the device itself. User accounts can be secured with two-factor authentication to prevent access even if the user password is known by the attacker. Add-ons get a security rating based on their access to system resources.
In January 2021, cybersecurity analyst Oriel Goel found a directory traversal security vulnerability in third party custom integrations. The issue got disclosed on January 22, 2021 and finally patched with Home Assistant version 2021.1.5. There is no information if the vulnerability has been abused.
Home Assistant took second place in 2017 and 2018 for the Thomas Krenn Award (formerly Open Source Grant), later winning first place in 2019. Home Assistant also won an DINACon award in 2018 for their "Open Internet Award" category., as well as being a nominee for the same awards in 2013
Home Assistant has been included in a number of product and platform comparisons, where, like many other non-commercial home automation controllers/hubs, it has often in the past been criticized for forcing users into a tedious file-based setup procedure using text-based YAML markup-language instead of graphical user interfaces. However, newer versions of Home Assistant have also made it simpler to perform a standard installation from scratch via only the main graphical user interfaces and quickly get started more compared to earlier versions, as the core development team have for the latest couple of years been working on making Home Assistant more user-friendly to new and less advanced home automation users, with most features being available from the GUI. Thus the team have increasingly moved its configuration settings from its YAML setup files to the latest revisions of its web-based graphical user interface.
- https://github.com/home-assistant/core/releases Home Assistant Core releases on GitHub
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- Official website
- Community forum
- Discord server
- Facebook community
- Subreddit on Reddit
- Twitter @home_assistant
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