Running Home Assistant in a Docker Container

docker-homeasstant-iconOne of the fastest and easiest ways of trying home assistant is by using docker, especially if you are already using Docker for running other applications.

The docker container is here

To download it to your system just use the command

docker pull homeassistant/home-assistant

Note: I did receive a comment that the version returned with the above command gave problems. If you do have problems here is an alternative.

sudo docker pull

You should note that with the Docker version of home assistant you cannot use add-ons but this really isn’t a problem.

If you are unfamiliar with the different home assistant versions then see here for an explanation.

Configuration Data Storage

Most applications create data and have configuration files.

You can let the applications store any data it creates or any configuration data it uses in the container itself.

If you do this then if you delete the container then this data is lost.

Therefore it is normal to store data in persistent storage that doesn’t depend on the container itself.

Before you run home assistant in docker you need to first decide where you will store persistent data.

Docker has two options:

  • Volumes
  • Bind mounts

Docker recommends using volumes as these are totally managed by Docker and don’t depend on your file system structure.

However the docker install instructions use bind mounts and that is what I will use here.

Using a Bind mount with Home Assistant

With a bind mount we effectively map an internal folder structure to an external one outside the container.

So to do this we first need to create a folder in our file system to map to.

I use a root folder for the all docker containers as I run several docker images.

In this folder I create a folder called homeass and then a sub folder called config

So we have as a path /home/steve/containers/homeass/config

Now we use the docker  run command to run the container.

It is important to note that we use the –network option otherwise home assistant will not  find many of the services on the local network.

The command I use is slightly different than that given in the install instructions here and is shown below:

docker run -d --name homeassistant -v /home/steve/containers/homeass/config:/config --network=host homeassistant/home-assistant

You should notice the use of the –network switch. If you don’t use this switch then auto discovery of many devices fails.

You can stop it using:

docker stop homeassistant

and start it using:

docker start homeassistant

Note the storage mapping is done with the -v switch:

-v /home/steve/containers/homeass/config:/config

Editing the configuration.yaml File

If you look in the config folder that you created in the shared folder then you will see the configuration.yaml file along with other files.

There are various ways of accessing it but you will notice it is protected.

The way I do it is to use copy and paste the configuration.yaml file from docker into a local temp folder and then edit it and copy it back.

So imagine we are in the local folder called temp:

to copy the existing configuration file we use the docker cp command

docker cp homeassistant:/config/configuration.yaml configuration.yaml

which copies it from the docker image to your local storage.

Now we edit it and copy it back.

docker cp configuration.yaml  homeassistant:/config/configuration.yaml


You could also use the chown command to set owner in the local folder that contains the configuration.yaml file and the set the correct permissions before editing the file in the local shared folder, but you find that each time you start the container as the permissions revert back to being root only.

Note: You may also find reference to studio code and file editor add-ons but these cannot be used on the docker version of home assistant.

In addition many people use portainer to manage docker containers, and if you do then you can configure it so that the configuration.yaml file can be edited from with the Home assistant GUI.

Useful docker Commands

To open a bash shell in a docker container called homeassistant use:

docker exec -it homeassistant /bin/bash

to delete a container use

docker remove hommesassitant

to view containers

docker ps -a #all containers
docker container ls -a #all containers
docker container ls #running containers

Connecting to Home assistant running Docker

The container will generally use the standard home assistant port of 8123.

Common Questions and Answers

Q -What is a docker compose file?

A – A Docker Compose file is a YAML file that defines services, networks, and volumes for a Docker application.

It can be used to configure and start multiple containers for an application, in a single command.

The file is used in conjunction with the docker-compose command-line tool, which reads the file and starts the defined services.

Using a docker compose file  allows for easy management and scaling of multi-container applications.

Do I need a docker compose file to run Home Assistant in Docker?

A- No you can just use the run command with the appropriate switches..

Q- Why is there no port mapping declaration in the run command?

A- Because we are using the –network switch.

Resources and related Tutorials


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  1. Hi,
    In order to get last stable version, I had to replace
    sudo docker pull
    sudo docker pull
    With the first command, I was stuck with the initially enabled version (2022.3).
    Hope this is of interest.

  2. Hi,
    Total nooby to this….I bought a sonoff ihost and have loaded home assistant in the docker part…. How do I use this to add zigbee devices etc…
    Any help or direction would be much appreciated


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