On our most recent IoT Podcast, Brian asked an interesting question for our voicemail hotline about the just-announced Firewalla Purple. We actually shared the news about this new addition to the Firewalla product lineup, so Brian’s question is perfectly timed. He wants to know if he can run Home Assistant in a Docker container on the Firewalla Purple.
For those not familiar, Firewalla makes network protection devices with a range of features and corresponding prices. In 2019, I reviewed the more entry-level Firewalla Blue, finding it to offer well-designed safeguards for your smart home devices. You can see where all of your smart home data is going by IP address, server, and even country. I also liked the high-end Firewalla Gold router last year, which adds features and supports the ability to run Docker containers.
The new Firewalla Purple also supports secure Docker containers, letting you add your own applications to the device. Firewalla officially has support documents for some containerized apps, such as Pi-hole for ad-blocking and Homebridge to add HomeKit support for non-HomeKit devices.
While Firewalla doesn’t have a support page or tutorial to run Home Assistant in a Docker container on its supported devices, it should be possible to make this happen.
The trick is that until an official support article comes along, you may have to figure it out yourself. That would require a little bit of Docker knowledge to install, configure and run the container.
However, there’s already a Docker container download of Home Assistant and some instructions for installing it on other, similar devices to the Firewalla Purple, such as a Raspberry Pi.
The main difference is that you’re simply getting the container on a different device. There’s no reason to suggest this container wouldn’t work on the Firewalla Purple.
Keep in mind that you do run Home Assistant in a container, you lose some functionality, as noted in the chart to the right. That might be a deal-breaker for this situation, depending on how you plan to use Home Assistant in a container on any device.
To hear Brian’s question, as well as our full discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: