Home Assistant – Troubleshoot Configuration Files and Real-Time Logs

Working with Home Assistant (HA), and especially it’s yaml files, chances are that you have done a little edit that caused  HA to stop working. Within the Graphical User Interface (GUI)  there’s a possibility to verify configuration files, but I ‘ve seen it confirm my files, but yet the HA server didn’t come back up after I hit that restart button. Read on to find out about  how to troubleshoot Home Assistant.

Home Assistant Configuration valid in GUI

Home Assistant Configuration invalid in GUI

 

 

 

 

But what if  you hadn’t checked your config before restarting and your GUI isn’t available?

Don’t panic

 

 

There’s still the command line (if you’ve enabled SSH Access that is).In this post  I’ll show how to troubleshoot HA configuration files from the command line.

Requirements

  • “Sudo” Type  access to command line via ssh of your HA Server
  • Basic Knowledge of editing text files in Linux with vi or nano
  • Location of HA server files

Check whats’s wrong

To verify that the  yaml files do not contain any typos (or tabs or missing spaces), we can use a built-in script in HA. Connect to your HA Server via SSH , and issue following command (sudo or as root):

/srv/homeassistant/bin/hass --script check_config -c /home/homeassistant/.homeassistant

Explanations:

  • /srv/homeassistant/bin = install location of HA Server. Might be different from your setup, dependuing on how you installed HA.
  • –script check_config   = launch the check of the  yaml files
  • -c /home/homeassistant/.homeassistant = location of the HA config yaml files. Again, this might be different for your setup

If everything is valid, output looks like this:

No errors detected

No errors detected

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But since you’re reading this, it might contain an error:

Error in scripts.yaml - Invalid Script Name provided

Error in scripts.yaml – Invalid Script Name provided

or like this:

Error in configuration.yaml in line 49 - \t indicates that there is a "tab", which is not allowed in a yaml file.

Error in configuration.yaml in line 49 – \t indicates that there is a “tab”, which is not allowed in a yaml file.

 

Error in configuration.yaml in line 94 - error parsing block collection indicates that there is an indentation problem.

Error in configuration.yaml in line 94 – error parsing block collection indicates that there is an indentation problem.

Most likely  you have a simple typo in one of your files. YAML uses a fixed indentation scheme to represent relationships between data layers.  A single “space” too much (or not enough), or a “tab” will break your confgfig. Anyway, you now have the info which file ( and which line ) has to be edited.

Once the problem has been identified and corrected, simply restart HA with this command :

service home-assistant@homeassistant.service restart

Real-Time Logs

Another way to view what’s happening or what’s wrong with our system is by using a Operating Systen (OS) command to view logs. Like above, issue the following command as sudo or root:

journalctl -u home-assistant@homeassistant.service -f

Explanations:

  • journalctl = view the systemlogs
  • -u home-assistant@homeassistant.service = specify which account/service to display
  • -f = keep continuously displaying new message

Quit with the Keyboard command CTRL+C .

You can  also filter the output and look for specific events. I used following command to find the packets that my Broadlink RM Mini received from the various Remote Controls:

journalctl -u home-assistant@homeassistant.service -f | grep -i broadlink

  • | grep -i broadlink  =  pipe the output to grep and print only lines that contain the case insensitive keyword  broadlink.
Filtered Display of journalctl, only broadlink messages are displayed

Filtered Display of journalctl, only broadlink messages are displayed

Thank your for reading this post. I hope it helps you to understand how to easily troubleshoot your Home Assistant Setup.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any further questions or observations.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.hiscorebob.lu/2018/01/home-assistant-troubleshoot-configuration-files-and-real-time-logs/

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