# Raspberry Pi Zero W

This page will guide you through setting up a Pi Zero W to run room-assistant.

# Requirements

# Hardware

  • Raspberry Pi Zero W + Power Supply
  • Micro SD Card (ideally Application Class 1)
  • SD Card reader

# Software

# Installing Raspbian

  1. Put your microSD card into your card reader.

  2. Open balenaEtcher, select the Raspbian image you downloaded and flash it to the SD card.

  3. After that is done, create an empty file called ssh on the boot partition of the SD card that you should now see in your file explorer. You may have to eject your SD card and put it back again before it becomes visible.

  4. Optional: If you want to use the Pi Zero W with WiFi, you also need to configure the credentials. Create a file called wpa_supplicant.conf on the boot partition and fill it as shown below, with the marked variables replaced. A list of country codes is available on Wikipedia.

    ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
    country=<Insert country code here>
     ssid="<Name of your WiFi>"
     psk="<Password for your WiFi>"
  5. Unmount the SD card and remove it from your card reader.

  6. Insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi Zero W, then connect the power supply. Wait a minute for it to boot and connect to your network.

  7. Open a SSH shell to raspberrypi.local with the default user pi and password raspberry. On Windows you can use Putty, with Linux and macOS you can just open the terminal and type ssh pi@raspberrypi.local. If the hostname is not found, use the IP of the Pi instead - it can be found in your router administration panel.

  8. Type passwd to change your password to something more secure.

  9. Type sudo raspi-config, use the arrow keys to go to Network Settings and hit Enter, then select Hostname. Set the hostname to something recognizable, like bedroom. After that select Finish and let the Pi reboot.

# Installing room-assistant

  1. Open a new SSH session, this time using the hostname (e.g. bedroom.local) and password you set above.

  2. Now we install NodeJS by running wget -O - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sdesalas/node-pi-zero/master/install-node-v.lts.sh | bash.

  3. To make the commands we install with npm available the $PATH environment variable needs to be extended as well. Edit the file ~/.profile (e.g. with nano ~/.profile) and add the PATH="$PATH:/opt/nodejs/bin" to the end of the file. Save, then run source ~/.profile.

  4. We need to install some other dependencies as well, do so by running sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install build-essential libavahi-compat-libdnssd-dev bluetooth libbluetooth-dev libudev-dev libcairo2-dev libpango1.0-dev libjpeg-dev libgif-dev librsvg2-dev.

  5. Now let's get install room-assistant! Run sudo npm i --global --unsafe-perm room-assistant. You will see messages like the one shown below during the installation process. Don't worry about them - they're not errors!

    compilation messages

  6. Optional: If you want to run Bluetooth related integrations, you should also grant some additional permissions by executing the commands below.

    sudo setcap cap_net_raw+eip $(eval readlink -f `which node`)
    sudo setcap cap_net_raw+eip $(eval readlink -f `which hcitool`)
    sudo setcap cap_net_admin+eip $(eval readlink -f `which hciconfig`)

# Configuring room-assistant

  1. Create a config folder for room-assistant with mkdir -p ~/room-assistant/config.

  2. Create a new config file with nano ~/room-assistant/config/local.yml and put your room-assistant configuration in it. The example below configures the Home Assistant Core and Bluetooth Classic integrations. If you want to use something else check out the integrations section.

        - homeAssistant
        - bluetoothClassic
      mqttUrl: 'mqtt://homeassistant.local:1883'
        username: youruser
        password: yourpass
        - <bluetooth-mac-of-device-to-track>
  3. Go to your room-assistant directory by executing cd ~/room-assistant.

  4. Run room-assistant by executing room-assistant. Watch the logs - are all integrations are loaded correctly and is the MQTT connection succesful? The congratulations, you configured room-assistant correctly! 🎉 New entities should now be appearing under the MQTT integration in Home Assistant Core, which can be viewed in Settings > Integrations.


When starting room-assistant you will see warnings about the Apple Bonjour compatibility layer of Avahi. These won't impact the functionality at all and can just be ignored.

# Making sure it always runs

  1. If room-assistant is still running from the previous step, stop it by hitting Ctrl + C on your keyboard.

  2. Create a file using sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/room-assistant.service with the following contents:

    Description=room-assistant service
  3. Enable and start your service by executing the commands below.

    sudo systemctl enable room-assistant.service
    sudo systemctl start room-assistant.service
  4. Congratulations, you are done! 🎊 You may check the status of the service at any time with sudo systemctl status room-assistant. room-assistant will now be started when the Pi Zero W boots.