Getting Started with esphomeyaml through HassIO

esphomeyaml is the perfect solution for creating custom firmwares for your ESP8266/ESP32 boards. In this guide we’ll go through how to setup a basic “node” by use of the HassIO add-on.

But first, here’s a very quick introduction of how esphomeyaml works: esphomeyaml is a tool which reads in YAML configuration files (just like Home Assistant) and creates custom firmwares. The tool also has many helpers that simplify flashing devices and aims to make managing your ESP boards as simple as possible. Once you have added devices or sensors in esphomeyaml’s configuration, they will even automatically show up in Home Assistant’s UI.

Installation

Installing the esphomeyaml HassIO add-on is easy. Just navigate to the HassIO panel in your Home Assistant frontend and add the esphomeyaml add-on repository: https://github.com/OttoWinter/esphomeyaml

../../_images/hassio_repo.png

After that, wait a bit until the add-on is installed (this can take a while) and go to the add-on page. Start the add-on and then click “Open Web UI”.

../../_images/hassio_addon.png

You should now be greeted by a nice introduction wizard which will step you through creating your first configuration.

../../_images/hassio_start.png

Dashboard Interface

Assuming you created your first configuration file with the wizard, let’s take a quick tour of the esphomeyaml dashboard interface.

../../_images/hassio_interface.png

On the front page you will see all configurations for nodes you created. For each file, there are three basic actions you can perform:

  • UPLOAD: This compiles the firmware for your node and uploads it using any connected USB device or, if no USB devices are connected, over-the-air using the OTA Update Component.

    Warning

    The HassIO Add-On is currently not capable of discovering new USB ports after the add-on has started due to some docker restrictions. Please go to the add-on details page and restart the add-on if a new USB device is not automatically found.

  • COMPILE: This command compiles the firmware and gives you the option of downloading the generated binary so that you can upload it yourself from your computer.

    Note

    If you’re having problems with flashing over USB, you can always download the firmware using the COMPILE button and flash the firmware using esphomeflasher.

  • SHOW LOGS: With this command you can view all the logs the node is outputting. If a USB device is connected, it will attempt to use the serial connection. Otherwise it will use the built-in MQTT logs.

The configuration files for esphomeyaml can be found and edited under <HOME_ASSISTANT_CONFIG>/esphomeyaml/. For example the configuration for the node in above picture can be found in /config/esphomeyaml/livingroom.yaml.

Tip

Use the awesome HASS Configurator Add-On to edit your esphomeyaml configuration files.

Now go ahead and use one of the devices guides to extend your configuration for the device you intend to flash an esphomeyaml firmware onto. Then proceed with uploading the first firmware using the upload button.

HassIO add-on options

Since version 1.8.0, you can optionally specify a password to use for all traffic to esphomeyaml using the password option in the HassIO add-on page. By default, this is an empty string (which means no password), but you can enter any string in there to set your password.

Adding some (basic) features

So now you should have a file called /config/esphomeyaml/livingroom.yaml (or similar). Go open that file in and add a simple GPIO switch to the configuration like this:

switch:
  - platform: gpio
    name: "Living Room Dehumidifier"
    pin: 5

In above example, we’re simply adding a switch that’s called “Living Room Relay” (could control anything really, for example lights) and is connected to the pin GPIO5.

Now if you have MQTT Discovery enabled in your Home Assistant configuration, the switch should already be automatically be added 🎉 (Make sure you’ve added it to a view too.)

../../_images/gpio-ui1.png

After the first upload, you will probably never need to use the USB cable again, as all features of esphomelib are enabled remotely as well. No more opening hidden boxes stowed in places hard to reach. Yay!

Adding A Binary Sensor

Next, we’re going to add a very simple binary sensor that periodically checks a GPIO pin whether it’s pulled high or low - the GPIO Binary Sensor.

binary_sensor:
  - platform: gpio
    name: "Living Room Window"
    pin:
      number: 16
      inverted: True
      mode: INPUT_PULLUP

This is an advanced feature of esphomeyaml, almost all pins can optionally have a more complicated configuration schema with options for inversion and pinMode - the Pin Schema.

This time when uploading, you don’t need to have the device plugged in through USB again. The upload will magically happen “over the air”.

../../_images/gpio-ui.png

Where To Go Next

Great 🎉! You’ve now successfully setup your first esphomeyaml project and uploaded your first esphomelib custom firmware to your node. You’ve also learned how to enable some basic components via the configuration file.

So now is a great time to go take a look at the Components Index, hopefully you’ll find all sensors/outputs/… you’ll need in there. If you’re having any problems or want new features, please either create a new issue on the GitHub issue tracker or contact me via the Discord chat.

Using Custom components

esphomelib’s powerful core makes it easy to create own custom sensors. Please first follow the Custom Sensor Component Guide to see how this can be done. For using custom components with esphomeyaml you only need to open up the auto-generated <NODE_NAME>/src/main.cpp file in the platformio project folder. The lines in between AUTO GENERATED CODE BEGIN and AUTO GENERATED CODE END should not be edited and all changes in there will be overridden, but outside of those comments you can safely create custom sensors while still using esphomeyaml’s great configuration options.

// Auto generated code by esphomeyaml
#include "esphomelib/application.h"

using namespace esphomelib;

void setup() {
  // ===== DO NOT EDIT ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE =====
  // ========== AUTO GENERATED CODE BEGIN ===========
  App.set_name("cabinet");
  // ...
  // =========== AUTO GENERATED CODE END ============
  // ========= YOU CAN EDIT AFTER THIS LINE =========
  App.setup();
}

void loop() {
  App.loop();
}