Last year I wrote the Ultimate Homebridge Installation Guide, which covered every step necessary to install a Homebridge instance on a Raspberry Pi.
It’s a long guide with a lot of steps and is easy for something to go wrong.
Just yesterday, the developers of Homebridge released an official Image of their software for the Raspberry Pi.
This now essentially makes Homebridge plug and play for ALL Raspberry Pi’s.
Nevertheless I wanted to provide a step by step guide for this as well, showing just how easy it is now to get Homebridge up and running on your Raspberry Pi.
First step is to download the image, head over to the main GitHub page and download the latest file. (https://github.com/homebridge/homebridge-raspbian-image/releases/latest)
It will be about a 600mb zip file so it may take a couple minutes to download and decompress.
In the meantime you can download a program to flash the image to the SD Card. The developers recommend Etcher, which can be found here.
You’ll need an SD Card of course, and be sure to backup any files already on there, as the flashing process will delete any files on the SD Card.
Now that the image has probably finished downloading, you’ll launch Etcher.
The first option that it offers is to to select the file, so click on that and select the zip file you just downloaded.
Then you will select the drive you want, so make sure you select the correct drive, since it will be formatted.
The program will mount the image in about a minute or so, and then you’re almost done.
Next step is to prepare the Raspberry Pi and get it to boot for the first time. You’ll want to have the Raspberry Pi turned off when you plug in the SD Card, so that it boots off the card when it turns on.
If you have a WiFi based Raspberry Pi you’ll want to give it a minute or two, and then find the WiFi network “Homebridge WiFi Setup” on your phone, and follow the events on your phone in order to get the Raspberry Pi to connect to your WiFi.
If you have a wired ethernet connection, you’ll just make sure the ethernet cable is plugged in and turn on the Raspberry Pi.
This image of Homebridge includes a preinstalled plugin called Homebridge Config UI-X, which allows you to visually manage and control your Homebridge install and all the plugins.
This is a tremendous time saver as you’ll no longer have to deal with config.json files and using the terminal to SSH your files into the Raspberry Pi.
Next you’ll go to your computer, or phone/ tablet, whatever, and go to http://homebridge.local/ and log in to the Raspberry Pi, which will take you to the Config UI-X system.
The first screen will show the Homebridge is doing an initial setup, so depending on which Raspberry Pi you have, it will take a few minutes.
The default login credentials are Username: admin, Password: admin, which you’ll want to change to something else.
Once you login you’ll be presented by the web UI which is a whole lot nicer to use than SSHing into it via Terminal.
The developers suggest checking and updating your Node.js if necessary. To do this you’ll just go to the terminal by clicking on the 3 dots icon in the top right of the screen, and selecting Terminal.
Type in, or copy paste, this code and press enter. This will bring up the Homebridge configurator, and the first option will be to check for a Node.js update.
When that is complete the entire setup is done. All that is left is to install your plugins and have yourself an easy to use and fully functional Homebridge server.