Installing Home Assistant using Docker Compose

In this tutorial, we will be showing you how to install Home Assistant on your system using Docker Compose.

Home Assistant Docker Compose

Home Assistant (HASS) is one of the best open-source solutions for home automation. Thanks to being so heavily supported, this software has gained the support for numerous third-party devices.

There is an unending amount of use cases for Home Assistant. For exampledocke, you can use Home Assistant to control whether an aircon system should be turned on or off depending on the forecast temperature for the day. You can even use it to monitor data from a weather station and much more.

You can install this smart home software to a device in several ways. One of the most popular solutions is to install Home Assistant using a Docker container using Compose.

The advantage of using Docker is that you don’t have to dedicate your whole operating system to Home Assistant. You also don’t have to worry about other software interfering with Home Assistant’s functionality.

The two other methods for installing Home Assistant is the following.

  • Home Assistant OS (HASSOS) is the recommended way to set up Home Assistant. However, it means your entire system will be dedicated to running this operating system. It doesn’t offer a clean way of installing additional software alongside the smart home server.
  •  Home Assistant Core is another variant. This version allows you to install all of the functionality of Home Assistant to a Debian-based operating system. This allows you to run other software alongside the smart home software. However, it is the most difficult solution to get running and is the one you will most likely have issues with.

Using Docker Compose to set up Home Assistant offers a middle ground between the two versions. It allows you to keep using your chosen operating system while also being easy to set up and use.

The significant downside, however, is that you lose access to add-ons. Addons are user-created and help extend the functionality of Home Assistant. They will often integrate directly into the server with little to no work needed by the end user. Installing things like Node-RED becomes a lot more messy when dealing with Docker.

The only pre-requisite for using the Docker version of HASS is that your system can run Docker.

These particular steps we will be covering will assume that you are running a Linux based operating system.

How to Install Home Assistant using Docker Compose

Now that we have gone over the differences between the variants of Home Assistant let us move on to how to use Docker Compose to install this smart home software.

During these installation steps, we will add a couple of other crucial pieces of software you will likely want to use.

Thanks to Docker compose, installing additional software is super simple and we can keep it all within the same file.

Preparing for Home Assistant

Thanks to the Docker container for Home Assistant, there isn’t much we must do to set it up.

1. Before proceeding, you must install Docker on your operating system. We have guides that cover this for the Raspberry Pi and Ubuntu.

Once you have installed Docker and ensured it works, you can start this guide.

2. Another essential thing to have set up is a static IP address for the device you plan to run Home Assistant on.

This home automation system often needs to communicate back and forth with devices, so having an IP that changes can break things. Additionally, it makes it a lot easier to manage when you know what IP address it will always be on.

The best way to set a static IP address is through your routers DHCP reservations. However, we do have guides on setting a static IP address on Ubuntu and a Raspberry Pi.

3. Our next step is to create a folder to keep the Home Assistant Docker Compose file. This directory will be located at “/opt/stacks/hass“.

You can create this directory by using the mkdir command, as shown below.

sudo mkdir -p /opt/stacks/hass

Using the “-p” option ensures that mkdir can create all missing directories in the path.

4. After creating the new directory, we can now change to it by running the command below.

cd /opt/stacks/hass

Writing the Docker Compose File for Home Assistant

5. Now that we are within the correct directory, let us start writing a Docker Compose file for Home Assistant using the command below.

We will use this Compose file to install the Home Assistant, Node-RED, and HASS Configurator containers.

While we are using the nano text editor in this guide, you can use whatever you feel like

sudo nano compose.yaml

6. We will break this Compose file into multiple sections to explain what is happening.

Understanding what this Compose file for Home Assistant does will make your life easier later on if anything goes wrong.

Docker Compose Config for Home Assistant

a. At the top of this file, we will add our first service. That service will be Home Assistant itself.

Home Assistant’s Docker setup doesn’t require us to specify much for it to work. The main things we need to set are the volumes.

With this configuration below, we are setting it up so Home Assistants config files will be kept within the “/opt/stacks/hass/hass-config” directory.

version: '3'
    container_name: homeassistant
    image: ""
      - /opt/stacks/hass/hass-config:/config
      - /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro
    restart: unless-stopped
    privileged: true
    network_mode: host

Config for Node-RED

b. The next container we will add to our Compose file is Node-RED. Node-RED is something you will want to use alongside Home Assistant, it makes setting up automation a straightforward process.

Using the “depends_on” option ensures this service only starts once Mosquitto and Home Assistant have started.

You must replace “<TIMEZONE>” with a valid TZ Timezone value. You can find the identifier using the list of tz database time zones on Wikipedia.

For example, living in Hobart, Australia, I would use “Australia/Hobart” for my time zone.

    container_name: nodered
    image: nodered/node-red
      - 1880:1880
      - /opt/stacks/hass/nodered:/data
      - homeassistant
      - mosquitto
      - TZ=<TIMEZONE>
    restart: unless-stopped

Setting up a Mosquitto Broker

c. Our next container is for Mosquitto. This MQTT broker service can work alongside our Home Assistant Docker container.

MQTT acts like a messaging service that makes it easier for Home Assistant to send and receive messages from sensors and other devices.

Like Node-RED above, you must replace “<TIMEZONE>” with your time zone.

    image: eclipse-mosquitto
    container_name: mosquitto
    restart: unless-stopped
      - 1883:1883
      - 9001:9001
      - "/opt/stacks/hass/mosquitto/config:/mosquitto/config"
      - "/opt/stacks/hass/mosquitto/data:/mosquitto/data"
      - "/opt/stacks/hass/mosquitto/log:/mosquitto/log"
      - TZ=<TIMEZONE>
    user: "${PUID}:${PGID}"

Adding HAAS Configurator for Easy File Editing

d. The final service we want to add to our Home Assistant Docker Composer setup is for HAAS Configurator.

This tool will allow us to quickly and easily edit Home Assistant’s configuration files from the web browser.

    image: "causticlab/hass-configurator-docker:latest"
    restart: always
      - "3218:3218/tcp"
      - "/opt/stacks/hass/configurator-config:/config"
      - "/opt/stacks/hass/hass-config:/hass-config"

Save your Changes

7. With that done, we have now finished writing the compose file for our Home Assistant setup.

If you are using nano like we are, you can save and quit by pressing CTRL + X, Y, and then ENTER.

Setting up Mosquitto for your Docker Compose

Before we can start up our Docker Compose file for Home Assistant, we must do some additional configuration for mosquitto.

Writing the Config File for Mosquitto

8. There are a couple of things that we want to enable for Mosquitto that aren’t in the default configuration.

Namely, we want to enable data persistence and specify the location for Mosquitto to log data.

To do this, let us first create the directory where this config file will be stored by running the following command.

sudo mkdir -p /opt/stacks/hass/mosquitto/config

9. Once we have created the directory to store the config file, we can begin writing it using the below command.

sudo nano /opt/stacks/hass/mosquitto/config/mosquitto.conf

10. Within this file, enter the following lines.

persistence true
persistence_location /mosquitto/data/
log_dest file /mosquitto/log/mosquitto.log
listener 1883
listener 9001
allow_anonymous true

11. After finishing entering the lines above, save and quit by pressing CTRL + X, then Y, and finally ENTER.

Creating a User for the Mosquitto Docker Container

12. The Mosquitto Docker container is set up to use a very specific user with a UID and GID of 1883.

First, we can use the following command to create a group with the name “mosquitto” and the GID of 1883.

sudo groupadd -g 1883 mosquitto

13. With the group created, we can now create the user by using the following command. Here, we need to pass in “1883” for the user and group IDs.

sudo useradd -u 1883 -g 1883 mosquitto

14. Finally, with the user created, we want it to take ownership of the “mosquitto” directory within our folder.

sudo chown -R mosquitto: /opt/stacks/hass/mosquitto

Creating a Directory for Node-RED

15. Due to the Node-RED container wanting to operate under the user with the UID 1000, we must create the directory and take ownership of it.

First, create the directory by using the following command.

sudo mkdir /opt/stacks/hass/nodered

16. After creating the required directory, take ownership of it by running the command below.

sudo chown 1000:1000 /opt/stacks/hass/nodered

Configuring HASS Configurator

17. Our next step is configuring the HASS Configurator to look within the correct directory.

Start by creating the directory for the configurator’s config directory.

sudo mkdir /opt/stacks/hass/configurator-config

18. After creating the directory, we can begin writing the settings file using the command below within the terminal.

sudo nano /opt/stacks/hass/configurator-config/settings.conf

19. We can now use this configuration file to set the editors base path to where our Home Assistant Docker Compose setups settings will sit.

    "BASEPATH": "../hass-config"

20. After making these changes to the config file, you can save and quit by pressing CTRL + X, followed by Y, and finally, the ENTER key.

Setting up a Basic Home Assistant Config

21. The last thing we need to do before we start up our Home Assistant Docker Compose file is create some basic configuration for Home Assistant.

With this basic configuration, we will add some panels so you can easily access Node-RED and HAAS Configurator through the web interface.

First, create the directory where Home Assistant’s config files are going to be stored.

sudo mkdir -p /opt/stacks/hass/hass-config/

22. Our next step is to write the config file using the command below.

sudo nano /opt/stacks/hass/hass-config/configuration.yaml

23. Within this file, type in the following lines.

The first line is super important as it tells Home Assistant to load in all the default configuration lines. All lines mentioned after this line will override or add to those settings.

The main thing we are doing here is adding menu items so you can easily access your NODE-Red and Haas Configurator.

While typing out these lines, replace “<IPADDRESS>” with the IP of the device you are using for your Home Assistant server. In our case, we are using the local IP of ““.


    title: Configurator
    icon: mdi:wrench
    url: http://<IPADDRESS>:3218/
    require_admin: true
    title: Node-Red
    icon: mdi:shuffle-variant
    url: http://<IPADDRESS>:1880/
    require_admin: true

24. You can now save changes to the file by pressing CTRL + X, then Y, followed by ENTER.

Starting up Home Assistant using Docker Compose

25. We are finally at the point where our Docker Compose file is now ready to start up.

All you need to do to start Home Assistant is use the following command. Please note that this process can take a few minutes as there are a few things to download and start.

Using the “-d” option, we are telling Docker to detach from the current terminal session once it has successfully started.

sudo docker compose up -d

Connecting to your Home Assistant Docker Compose Setup

At this point, you should now have Home Assistant successfully running under Docker on your device.

This section will show you how to access your new Home Assistant installation and then configure Node-RED and MQTT. Unlike using add-ons, we need to manually configure the home automation server to utilize what we just added.

First Run of Home Assistant

1. To access the web interface for Home Assistant, all you need to do is go to your device’s IP Address followed by port 8123.


2. Follow the prompts to set up your account for Home Assistant and some additional information about yourself to help with automation.

These steps are super simple, so we won’t be walking you through them in this particular guide.

Welcome to Home Assistant Docker Compose Installation

Generating an Access Token for Node Red

3. Once you have run through the initial setup steps for your Home Assistant Docker Compose installation, we can set up Node-RED and MQTT.

Our first step is to generate an access token so that Node-RED can communicate with the home automation server.

To start this process, click your profile in the bottom-left corner.

Open Profile

4. On the profile page, scroll down till you find the option labeled “Long-lived access tokens” and click the “CREATE TOKEN” button.

Generate Long Lived Token on Home Assistant Docker Compose Setup

5. You will now be prompted to name this new token (1.). In our example, we will name it “Node-RED“.

Once you have typed a name, click the “OK” button (2.).

Type in Name for Token

6. You will now have a long string shown on your screen. Copy this string, as we will need it to set up Node-RED to work with our Home Assistant Docker Compose installation.

This token allows Node-RED to communicate with the server.

Copy Access Token

Configuring Node-RED to Work With Home Assistant

7. Now that you have generated a token for Node-RED to use, let us change to its interface by clickingNode-Red” in the sidebar.

Open Node-RED from Home Assistant Docker Compose

8. With Node-RED now open, click the hamburger icon (Three lines) in the top-left corner (1.).

You should see a pop-up menu with various options. The one you must click is labeled “Manage pallete” (2.).

Open Manage Pallate Screen

9. With the Pallete menu open, change to the “Install” tab (1.).

Now that you have the install menu open use the search bar to look for “node-red-contrib-home-assistant-websocket” (2.).

Finally, click the “Install” button (3.) to install this module to Node-RED. This module allows you to perform Home Assistant actions from within Node-RED.

Install Home Assistant Module for Node-RED

10. Before installing this addon, you will get a message about reading the nodes documentation.

You can either read this or click the “Install” button to continue.

Confirm install Home Assistant Docker Compose module for Node-RED

Adding your Home Assistant Docker Compose Server to Node-RED

11. We need to now assign your Home Assistant server as a path for Node-RED to use.

You must start this process by dragging the “events:all” node to your flow (1.).

Once dragged onto the screen, double-click the node to begin configuring it (2.).

Add and Open Events Node

12. To add a new server, click the pencil icon next to the “Server” text box.

Edit Server Config

13. On this screen, we can finally add your Home Assistant Docker install as a contactable server.

  1. First, set the “Base URL” (1.). This value will be “http://” followed by your server’s local IP address, and finally, the port “:8123“.

    For example, a valid setting would be ““.
  2. Next, you must type in the Access Token (2.) you generated earlier in this guide. This token is what lets Node-RED talk securely with Home Assistant.

After filling out these two fields, click the “Add” button (3.).

Add URL and access token for Home Assistant Docker Compose

14. With the server added, you must click the “Deploy” button in the top-right of Node-RED’s web interface.

Your changes won’t be saved until you do this. After deploying, you can safely delete the “events:all” node that we added and click the “Deploy” button again.

Deploy Changes to Node-RED

Adding your MQTT Server to Home Assistant using Docker Compose

15. Our final steps of this tutorial will show you how to add the MQTT broker we installed to Home Assistant.

Click the “Settings” button in the sidebar to start this process.

Open Settings Panel

16. Now, navigate the settings menu and click the “Devices & services” option.

Open Devices and Services

17. Within this screen, you must click the “+ ADD INTEGRATION” button in the bottom-right of the screen.

Add New Integration

18. Now, using the search box on this screen, type in “mqtt” (1.).

You should see “MQTT” as the only option (2.). Click this integration to continue.

Begin Adding MQTT to your Home Assistant Docker Compose Installation

19. You will see a list of different MQTT variants you can add. You will want the one at the top of the list labeled “MQTT“.

Choose MQTT Version

20. On here you will want to set “Broker” to the local IP address of your Home Assistant server (1.). For example, in our case we would use “

After setting the IP address, click the “Submit” button (2.).

Add MQTT Broker

21. You have successfully set up MQTT on your Home Assistant Docker installation.

Created Configuration


Hopefully, at this stage, you will have successfully set up Home Assistant on your system using Docker Compose.

Docker lets you easily get Home Assistant up and running with your chosen operating system. However, it has its drawbacks, as it loses support for add-ons. Addons make adding extra functionality a breeze.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions about using Docker Compose to run Home Assistant.

If you found this tutorial helpful, be sure to check out our number of other Home Assistant tutorials.


  1. Avatar for Dave
    Dave on

    Excellent docs. Thanks

  2. Avatar for Kaioh
    Kaioh on

    Thank you so much for this!
    I was fussing a lot about installing HA but wanted it in docker with supervisor features!
    It worked great, I just had to adjust some stuff for docker desktop in windows

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