Linux-based SimpleHub for VM


#1

Would be great if you had a version of the SimpleHub that could run in a VM. Dedicating an IOS device is not always preferable, and our MACs are laptops that sleep when closed. It would be nice to have the SimpleHub software running in a VM - always on, headless, minimal cost, easy to upgrade as versions and requirements change.

The best platform would be linux, since licensing is cheap. However, any VM-friendly OS would be fine. MAC OS is the least VM-friendly, since a MAC OS VM will only run on Apple hardware.


#2

We are seriously looking into that.

That said, the same caveats there will apply that applied to the old Simple Hub appliance. HomeKit control will not work on a non-Apple platform. Given it would be a Hub and thus only triggers are affected, for some people that’s not an issue. If you do use HomeKit for home automation and you want to tie that together with the rest of the world which Simple Control is uniquely able to do though, that’s an issue.

Also, cheap depends on what features of the Hub you use. Again referencing back to the old appliance, the horsepower in that was not sufficient to handle video transcoding for Remote Video introduced in V5. So while a Raspberry Pi build of Simple Hub would be nice for the basics, it would be missing at least HomeKit and Remote Video. A higher end box would be recommended. On the other hand, a Linux box strong enough to handle many video streams would generally be much cheaper than a macOS system. But certainly more expensive than an Apple TV 4K which hits the perfect sweet spot of low price and exceptional speed due to its dedicated Apple video decoding hardware.

So, again, we’re looking at this, but it’s not the holy grail. I think it would be great mainly for people who already have a Linux-based solution like a Synology NAS because for them it’s not a question of price, it’s a question of free vs not free.


#3

Thanks - plz give a shout when you need beta testers :slight_smile:


#4
  1. While it’s a cool little box, I hope you keep a Dedicated Hub solution that can remain “headless” and that you can “remote into” for administration. IIRC, the AppleTV-4K would have to remain completely dedicated to Simple-Control (has to be running it always in the foreground) and there is no way (that I’m aware of) to remote-admin it. Yes, I have an AppleTV-Gen4.

  2. This also sounds interesting (yes, I have one of these also) but they really don’t have much extra horse-power on tap. Also, since it’s not Apple … no HomeKit (right?).

If these Dedicated Hub solutions don’t “check all the boxes” … I’m not sure I understand the point. I don’t even think using a recent iOS device as a Dedicated Hub is good because there is no way to turn-off the touch-screen while its On (to prevent wear, LCD-panel burn-out, and panel burn-in).

To me, the Mac-Mini (or any recent Mac) is the way to go. I really hope you stick with your original plan to support the Mac as a dedicated Hub.


#5

I’d also welcome this. I’ve no interest in HomeKit or Remote Video, so something that ran on a QNAP and / or Synology NAS would be great.
Dedicating an IOS or tvOS device seems an expensive luxury.

D


#6

If you experience burn-in on an iOS device, you have a major hardware problem. iOS devices do not suffer from burn in. I have countless iOS devices of all makes and models that have been on in many cases for years with almost exactly the same image and 0 burn-in, and this is a standard operation method for kiosks and millions of other users/uses without issue. Burn-in is a legacy fear not an issue that affects today’s iOS devices.

The best Hub choice today is either an ATV4K if you want to hide it in a rack, or the latest iPad Pro if you want it to double as your primary Living Room control pad. Those are pretty much certain to remain the best choices regardless of any potential Linux option in the future.

macOS is only a good choice if in the future it gets HomeKit and can effectively run iOS apps (rumored). If they then also upgrade macOS video decoding hardware to be equivalent in power to iOS A series chips (not the case today), as well as provide a lock-down mode (like GA on iOS and SAM on tvOS) to eliminate pointless OS distractions like update notices and other requests, macOS could again be the best choice.


#7

+100 for this. Would be so awesome. Ive lost my MacOS Virtual Machine after upgrading to VMWare ESXi 6.7.
Feels like waste of cash to buy an Apple TV 4/4K or iPad solely for this purpose when a small Ubuntu VM or preferably a Docker container could do this job easy.

I don’t need the Homekit support since my Home Assistant install handles that nicely.


#8

MacOS just moved up on the list thanks to HomeKit support… Will be interesting to see how we can take advantage of this…


#9

Linux, windows, or Raspberry Pi would be GREAT. No interest in video or homekit here either.