HACS Installation Guide: Home Assistant Community Store

HACS Installation Guide: Home Assistant Community Store
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What is Hacs in Home Assistant?

The Home Assistant Community Store (HACS) is a plugin for Home Assistant, allowing you to easily download and update plugins from GitHub that aren't part of the standard Home Assistant repository.

With numerous plugins and extensions available for Home Assistant on GitHub, it can be challenging to stay updated. HACS simplifies this process for you.





How to Install HACS?

Make sure to regularly update your Home Assistant installation. If it's been a while, there might be some requirements that could pose issues.

Here are all the installations steps for HACS.

 

HACS installation requirements:

  • Home Assistant version 2020.12.0 or newer
  • A GitHub account
  • supported Home Assistant installation
  • Access to the filesystem where Home Assistant is located

 

HACS Installation steps for on Home Assistant OS:

  • Click on your profile ( left right corner ) and enable Advanced Mode
Home assistant Profile
  • Go to the Supervisor panel and click on Add-on Store
  • Install the Terminal & SSH add-on
Hoem assistant SSH terminal plugin





  • Click on Terminal in the menu or on open web ui in the add-on
Terminal SSH plugin
  • Run the HACS install script
wget -q -O - https://install.hacs.xyz | bash -
What is HACS
  • Click on Configuration then server controls
  • Click on restart to restart home assistant
  • Once it is rebooted click on configuration
  • Click on intergrations
  • Click on Add integration and search for HACS
Installing HACS
What is HACS

Follow the on screen installation steps





TIP: Copy the authorize code so you can paste it in github when asked

Activate github for hacs

Once it is connected to your github account go back to your home assistant and click finish

Activate HACS

You now have HACS in the menu and when clicking on it you will see HACS is starting up. This will take a while. Depending on your system it could take up one hour for the first time it boots.

Hacs is starting up

Once finished the information screen is gone and you can now use HACS

HACS Intergrations

 





How do I use HACS?

Click on the HACS Icon in the menu of Home assistant to access HACS:

What is HACS

There are 2 things in HACS. Integrations and Frontend. I Will explain both but first you need to know that HACS works with GitHub repositories. You can either add you own or add one that is already known to HACS.

Integrations in Explained

Integrations in HACS are connections to other devices or extensions to home assistant. Like a connection to Philips android TV to control it or a Scheduler component to create custom schedules.

  • Click on HACS in the menu and then click on Integrations.
  • Click on Explore & Add Repositories ( Lower right corner )
  • Search for a repository of your liking. I will use the Philips Android TV as an example
  • Click on the found repository
How do I use HACS
  • Click on Install this repository in HACS then install on the next screen
Android TV in HACS

Some needs a restart of home assistant when installed.

Philips tv in HACS

To restart home assistant. Click on Configuration -> Server Controls -> Under server management click on restart





Once restarted go back to HACS -> Integrations and click on the integration to check if it has installed correctly. In this example I do not see any errors and it can now be added to home assistant by going to Configuration -> Integrations

HACS intergrations

Do note that HACS installs the integration but you still need to tell home assistant to use it as seen in the above example

Frontend in Explained

Frontend in HACS are custom themes or special Lovelace cards you can use for your dashboard. In other words Dashboard customizations

  • Click on HACS in the menu and then click on Frontend.
  • Click on Explore & Add Repositories ( Lower right corner )
  • Search for a repository of your liking. You can also use the filter.
  • Click on the found repository
Goole Dark theme
  • Press install this repository
  • Click on install. Do read the extra steps to activate the new card or theme
  • Reboot Home assistant ( Configuration -> Server controls -> restart ( Under server management)
  • Themes can be found under your profile

If not under your profile you need to edit the configuration.yaml. in order to do so we need to add an add on that makes this possible. Go to Supervisor and click on the add-on store and add the file editor plugin

File editor in Home assistant
  • Open the file editor in the menu or by clicking on open web ui
  • Click on the folder
  • Select configuration.yaml
  • Add the following to the configuration.yaml and click save
frontend:
themes: !include_dir_merge_named themes
Edit config.yaml in home assistant
  • Reboot Home assistant (Configuration -> Server controls -> restart ( Under server management)





Now you can see the themes (Under profile, click on the user name lower left corner):

profile in hass

How do I update HACS?

To update HACS in Home Assistant, you can follow these steps:

  1. Automatic Updates: HACS checks for updates to downloaded elements at startup, every 48 hours after Home Assistant startup, and manually triggers updates on each RepositoryView.
  2. Manual Trigger: On the RepositoryView page, there is a reload icon at the top-right corner. Clicking that icon will reload the element and check for updates.

If you encounter issues with updating HACS, such as the update not installing or not taking effect after a restart, you may need to consider reinstalling HACS. Additionally, if you are unable to update HACS due to errors, running the installation command again may resolve the issue.

 




HACS Installation Guide: FAQ

 

Why does HACS need GitHub?

HACS (Home Assistant Community Store) needs GitHub for authentication and to access repositories. When setting up HACS, it uses a device OAuth flow for authentication against the GitHub API.

Where are HACS integrations?

HACS integrations, also known as custom components, are community-built integrations stored in the custom_components/ directory in the Home Assistant configuration directory.

Does Home Assistant run well on Raspberry Pi?

Home Assistant runs well on Raspberry Pi, especially on a Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 2GB of RAM. While a Raspberry Pi 3 can run Home Assistant, it is recommended to use a Raspberry Pi 4 for better performance.





How do I add a repository to HACS Home Assistant?

To add a repository to HACS in Home Assistant, you need to go to the "Settings" in the Home Assistant UI, then "Devices & Services" and the "Integrations" tab, and click on the "+ Add integration" button in the bottom right corner. Then search for "HACS" and select it.

How do I remove HACS from Home Assistant?

To remove HACS from Home Assistant, you can uninstall it like any other integration. Go to the "Settings" in the Home Assistant UI, then "Devices & Services" and the "Integrations" tab, find HACS, and remove it from there.

Can Raspberry Pi 3 run Home Assistant?

A Raspberry Pi 3 can run Home Assistant, but it is recommended to use a Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 2GB of RAM for better performance.

Which Raspberry Pi is best for Home Assistant?

The Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 2GB of RAM is recommended for running Home Assistant, as it provides better performance compared to earlier models.





Can I install Home Assistant on Raspberry Pi Zero?

While it is technically possible to install Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi Zero, it is not recommended due to its limited resources and processing power. It may result in poor performance and limitations in running Home Assistant effectively. Therefore, using a more capable device like the Raspberry Pi 4 is advisable for a better user experience

 

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Michael Goldman

An engineer, author and high-tech enthusiast whose passion has been evolving for 12 years. After contributing to numerous online publications, Michael shares his experiences and discoveries on his journal. He focuses on Smart Homes, Connected Devices, and how they will improve our lives and society in the future.

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