How To Monitor Servers in Home Assistant

by Danny
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READING TIME: 5 MINUTES

Are you looking for a simple way to monitor devices on your network using PING (ICMP) from within Home Assistant? Maybe you are looking to create automations based on whether or not a device is online, comes online, or a website goes down. You can also use this as a presence detection or device tracker system.

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to monitor Home Assistant entities or network devices, and then display the status in a beautiful Lovelace card.

Let’s get started.


Step 1: Add PING to Home Assistant

Before you can start monitoring devices and entities, you need to add the PING to Home Assistant. To do this, open File Editor and open your configuration.yaml file. For this example, I am going to be monitoring my router which has an IP address of 192.168.68.1.

First, check if you already have a binary_sensor: field in configuration.yaml. If you do, add the code below replacing it with your router’s IP address. The default number of packets sent is 5, and the default scan interval is 5 minutes, but I am changing those variables below. This will create a new binary sensor for you to start tracking.

  - platform: ping
    host: 192.168.68.1
    name: Router
    count: 8
    scan_interval: 30

If you don’t have any binary sensors added to configuration.yaml yet, then the code to add would look like this:

binary_sensor:
  - platform: ping
    host: 192.168.68.1
    name: Router
    count: 8
    scan_interval: 30

If you are adding multiple devices, then it would look like this:

binary_sensor:
  - platform: ping
    host: 192.168.68.1
    name: Router
    count: 8
    scan_interval: 30
  - platform: ping
    host: 192.168.68.137
    name: Danny-Server
    count: 8
    scan_interval: 30
  - platform: ping
    host: 192.168.68.141
    name: Danny-Docker
    count: 8
    scan_interval: 30

You can add ANY devices with an IP here – phones, printers, smart TV’s , raspberry pi’s, cameras, etc. You will just need to know the IP address of each device, as hostname will not work. You should be able to grab the IP address from the device itself or by logging into your router.

Save the configuration and then reboot Home Assistant.


Step 2: Display Status in Lovelace

The next step is to display the status in a Lovelace card. Before you do that, you should figure out what your newly created binary sensors are called by going to Configuration > Entities > search for binary.sensor

Then, install the Uptime Card via HACS.

Once installed and reloaded, add a new card.

From here, you can either search for one of the binary sensors you just created or copy and paste my YAML below by clicking the Show Code Editor button. My code below only shows the status over the last hour but you can change this whatever you’d like.

type: custom:uptime-card
entity: binary_sensor.router
icon: mdi:raspberry-pi
name: Router
hours_to_show: 1
status_adaptive_color: true
color:
  icon: grey
show:
  footer: false
alias: {}
bar: {}
update_interval: 30

Step 3: Create Automation To Alert When Device Is Offline

The next step is pretty easy and highly customizable. You can make use of standard notifications or even actionable notifications (i.e. – display a button to “Open Portainer” so you can restart Docker, for example)

Create a new automation with the following values:

Triggers:

  • Trigger Type: State
  • Entity: choose a binary sensor entity
  • To: off

Actions:

  • Action Type: Call service
  • Service: notify.mobile_app_pixel_5_danny
  • Message: Your docker host has went offline
  • Title: Danny-Docker went offline!
alias: Notify When Danny-Docker Goes Offline
description: ''
trigger:
  - platform: state
    entity_id: binary_sensor.danny_docker
    from: 'on'
    to: 'off'
condition: []
action:
  - service: notify.mobile_app_pixel_5_danny
    data:
      title: Danny-Docker went offline!
      message: Your host host has went offline.
mode: single

For testing, I simply disabled the network adapter on my docker VM. Because I set my scan interval to 30 seconds, I will receive within 30 seconds if it comes online. If you add your phone, you can also just turn the wifi off as a quick test.

You can now create a 2nd automation to change from Off to On to be notified when your devices comes back online.

Here’s what your notification will now look like:


Wrapping Up

Obviously, this is a very basic example of how to monitor servers using Home Assistant as long as they have an IP address. In a future guide, I’ll show you how to monitor zwave and zigbee devices that may come offline or online in a similar way.

This is a great way to setup alerts, notifications, view server and device status all from within Home Assistant. If you would like to extend this functionality to all Home Assistant entities, then you should check out my How To Display Unavailable Home Assistant Entities guide.


My Favorite Home Assistant Devices

Below are some of the Home Assistant-compatible devices I personally use in my home. I highly recommend each of them.

The full list of all Home Assistant compatible & recommended devices I use can be found on my Equipment List page.

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