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The recommended process for installing Home Assistant consists of flashing the program image to a SD card. Please see the highlighted line at the bottom of the screenshot.

Screenshot of Installation Web Page

  1. Are they suggesting that I swap SD cards while the RPi is running?

  2. Or I burn the image on to the system SD?

To Install

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They are giving you a way to image the SD card you are going to use with an OS image that includes all the parts you need. If you dont want to start over with your current SD card you can install all the software you need on your own.

So assuming you are ok loosing everything on your current SD card. You remove it, image it with their image and put it back in the pi and boot it up.

Some software takes a long time to install on the pi and there may be many steps involved to do it. So by creating an image that is ready to go it saves the user time.

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  • I understand that the RPi has no other non-volatile memory. So I basically lose my installed system in favor of running only this app? – DavidJ Jan 26 at 0:33
  • By doing it this way yes. But you can install home assistant on top of what you already have, but then you have to go through the entire install/setup process your self. I have done it before and I dont remember it being that bad, but certainly more work then just flashing a new SD card. – Chad G Jan 26 at 0:35
  • Also, you should able to install/run other things on there after you reimage the card. But many people buy a pi just to have HA running on it. So rather then giving you the 37 step process of how to install it (and hoping that current versions of dependant software hasnt changed) They just provide a simple way to get people up and running. – Chad G Jan 26 at 0:40
  • An OS comes with the distribution. – DavidJ Feb 26 at 18:28

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