Appdaemon with Docker¶
A quick tutorial to Appdaemon with Docker
Docker is a popular application container technology. Application containers allow an application to be built in a known-good state and run totally independant of other applications. This makes it easier to install complex software and removes concerns about application dependency conflicts. Containers are powerful, however they require abstractions that can sometimes be confusing.
This guide will help you get the Appdaemon Docker image running and hopefully help you become more comfortable with using Docker. There are multiple ways of doing some of these steps which are removed for the sake of keeping it simple. As your needs change, just remember there’s probably a way to do what you want!
This guide assumes:
- You already have Docker installed. If you still need to do this, follow the Docker Installation documentation
- You have Home Assistant up and running
- You are comfortable with some tinkering. This is a pre-req for Appdaemon too!
Testing your System¶
Our first step will be to verify that we can get Appdaemon running on our machine, which tests that we can successfully “pull” (download) software from Docker Hub, execute it, and get output that Appdaemon is working. We will worry about our persistent (normal) configuration later.
Before you start, you need to know the following:
- HA_URL: The URL of your running Home Assistant, in the form of
http://[name]:[port]. Port is usually 8123.
- HA_KEY: If your Home Assistant requires an API key, you’ll need that
Now, on your Docker host, for linux users, run the following command, substituting the values above in the quotes below. (Note, if you do not need an HA_KEY, you can omit the entire -e HA_KEY line)
docker run --rm -it -p 5050:5050 \ -e HA_URL="<your HA_URL value>" \ -e HA_KEY="<your HA_KEY value>" \ -e DASH_URL="http://$HOSTNAME:5050" \ acockburn/appdaemon:latest
You should see some download activity the first time you run this as it downloads the latest Appdaemon image. After that is downloaded, Docker will create a container based on that image and run it. It will automatically delete itself when it exits, since right now we are just testing.
You will see Appdaemon’s output appear on your screen, and you should look for lines like these being output:
Appdaemon successfully connected to Home Assistant
2017-04-01 14:26:48.361140 INFO Connected to Home Assistant 0.40.0
The ‘apps’ capability of Appdaemon is working, running the example Hello World app
2017-04-01 14:26:48.330084 INFO hello_world: Hello from AppDaemon 2017-04-01 14:26:48.333040 INFO hello_world: You are now ready to run Apps!
The ‘dashboard’ capability of Appdaemon has started.
2017-04-01 14:26:48.348260 INFO HADashboard Started 2017-04-01 14:26:48.349135 INFO Listening on ('0.0.0.0', 5050)
Now open up a web browser, and browse to http://:5050. You should see the “Welcome to HADashboard for Home Assistant” screen and see the Hello dashboard is available.
If all of these checks work, congratulations! Docker and Appdaemon are working on your system! Hit Control-C to exit the container, and it will clean up and return to the command line. It’s almost as if nothing happened… :)
In Docker, containers (the running application) are considered
ephemeral. Any state that you want to be able to preserve must be stored
outside of the container so that the container can be disposed and
recreated at any time. In the case of Appdaemon, this means you would be
concerned about your
The first step is to create a location on your filesystem to store the
conf folder. It does not matter where this is, some people like to
store it in the same location as Home Assistant. I like to keep a folder
/docker on my systems, so we can simply do something
mkdir -p /docker/appdaemon/conf
Next, we will run a container again, omiting the
--rm -it parameters
-d so that it stays background and doesn’t disappear when
it exits. We will also add
--restart=always so that the container
will auto-start on system boot and restart on failures, and lastly
conf folder location. Note that the folder path must be
fully qualified and not relative.
docker run --name=appdaemon -d -p 5050:5050 \ --restart=always \ -e HA_URL="<your HA_URL value>" \ -e HA_KEY="<your HA_KEY value>" \ -e DASH_URL="http://$HOSTNAME:5050" \ -v <your_conf_folder>:/conf \ acockburn/appdaemon:latest
I would suggest documenting the command line above in your notes, so
that you have it as a reference in the future for rebuilding and
upgrading. If you back up your command line, as well as your
folder, you can trivially restore Appdaemon on another machine or on a
conf folder is brand new, the Appdaemon Docker will copy the
default configuration files into this folder. If there are already
configuration files, it will not overwrite them. Double check that the
files are there now.
You are now ready to start working on your Appdaemon configurations!
At this point forward, you can edit configurations on your
folder and Appdaemon will load them see the AppDaemon Installation
page for full instrctions on AppDaemon configuration.
Viewing Appdaemon Log Output¶
You can view the output of your Appdaemon with this command:
docker logs appdaemon
If you’d like to tail the latest output, try this:
docker logs -f --tail 20 appdaemon
Upgrading with Docker really doesn’t exist in the same way as with
non-containerized apps. Containers are considered ephemeral and are an
instance of a base, known-good application image. Therefore the process
of upgrading is simply disposing of the old version, grabbing a newer
version of the application image and starting up a new container with
the new version’s image. Since the the persistent state (
kept, it is effectively an upgrade.
(It is possible to get into downgrades and multiple versions, however in this guide we are keeping it simple!)
Run the following commands:
docker stop appdaemon docker rm appdaemon docker pull acockburn/appdaemon:latest docker run --name=appdaemon -d -p 5050:5050 \ --restart=always \ -e HA_URL="<your HA_URL value>" \ -e HA_KEY="<your HA_KEY value>" \ -e DASH_URL="http://$HOSTNAME:5050" \ -v <your_conf_folder>:/conf \ acockburn/appdaemon:latest
Controlling the Appdaemon Conter¶
To restart Appdaemon:
docker restart appdaemon
To stop Appdaemon:
docker stop appdaemon
To start Appdaemon back up after stopping:
docker start appdaemon
To check the running state, run the following and look at the ‘STATUS’ column:
docker ps -a
Running with Appdaemon Debug¶
If you need to run Appdaemon with Debug, it may be easiest to stop your
normal appdaemon and run a temporary container with the debug flag set.
This presumes you already have a configured
conf folder you are
debugging, so we don’t need to pass the HA/DASH variables into the
Run the following commands:
docker stop appdaemon docker run --rm -it -p 5050:5050 \ -v <your_conf_folder>:/conf \ -e EXTRA_CMD="-D DEBUG" \ acockburn/appdaemon:latest
Once you are done with the debug, start the non-debug container back up:
docker start appdaemon
Some users have reported issues with the Docker container running in different timezones to the host OS - this is obviously problematic for any of the scheduler functions. Adding the following to the Docker command line has helped for some users:
Home Assistant SSL¶
If your Home Assistant is running with self-signed certificates, you
will want to point to the location of the certificate files as part of
the container creation process. Add
-v <your_cert_path>:/certs to
docker run command line
If you no longer want to use Appdaemon :(, use the following commands:
docker kill appdaemon docker rm appdaemon docker rmi acockburn/appdaemon:latest
You can delete the
conf folder if you wish at this time too.
Appdaemon is now completely removed.