Installing a local Assist pipeline

In Home Assistant, the Assist pipelines are made up of various components that together form a voice assistant.

For each component you can choose from different options. We have prepared a speech-to-text and text-to-speech option that runs fully local.

The speech-to-text option is Whisper. It’s an open source AI model that supports various languages. We use a forked version called faster-whisper. On a Raspberry Pi 4, it takes around 8 seconds to process incoming voice commands. On an Intel NUC it is done in under a second.

For text-to-speech we have developed Piper. Piper is a fast, local neural text-to-speech system that sounds great and is optimized for the Raspberry Pi 4. It supports many languages. On a Raspberry Pi, using medium quality models, it can generate 1.6s of voice in a second.

Installing a local Assist pipeline

For the quickest way to get your local Assist pipeline started, follow these steps:

  1. Install the add-ons to convert text into speech and vice versa.

    • Install the Whisper and the Piper add-ons. Install the Whisper and Piper add-ons
    • Start both add-ons.
    • Once the add-ons are started, head over to the integrations under Settings > Devices & Services.
    • For both integrations, select Configure.
      • Once the setup is complete, you should see both Piper and Whisper in one integration.

        Whisper and Piper integration

        • Whisper converts speech into text.
        • Piper converts text into speech.
        • Wyoming is the protocol they are both using to communicate.
  2. Setup your assistant.

    • Go to Settings > Voice assistants and select Add assistant. Enter a name for your voice assistant

      • Troubleshooting: If you do not see any assistants here, you are not using the default configuration. In this case, you need to add the following to your configuration.yaml file:

        # Example configuration.yaml entry
    • Enter a name. You can pick any name that is meaningful to you.

    • Select the language that you want to speak.

    • Under Conversation agent, select Home Assistant.

    • Under Speech-to-text, select faster-whisper.

    • Under Text-to-speech, select piper.

    • Depending on your language, you may be able to select different language variants.

  3. That’s it. You ensured your voice commands can be processed locally on your device.

  4. If you haven’t done so yet, expose your devices to Assist.

    • Otherwise you won’t be able to control them by voice.

Fine-tuning Whisper and Piper for your setup

You would like to tweak the configuration for better performance or accuracy? View some of the options in the video below. Explained by Mike Hansen, creator of Rhasspy, Piper, and Wyoming.

The options are also documented in the add-on itself. Go to the Whisper or the Piper add-on and open the Documentation page.