NUC as Rhasspy Base?

What do you think: Is it viable to use as Rhasspy Base a Raspberry Pi 4 (which runs at the same time my Home Assistant setup and an instance of Node Red)?

Or should I think about a NUC as Base to have a good user experience? (I dream of something close to Alexa or Google Home - but of course without sending my data anywhere.)

If so: What configuration should I choose and what cost should I expect? I literally have no clue about NUCs.

Why not just give your Pi a try?

There’s no clear answer to your questions imo, as ressources beeing consumed by Rhasspy vary much dependend on it’s configuration. With default settings, Rhasspy is running fine on smaller machines as well.
You may easily port your configuration in case you really need (or want) more powerfull hardware in the end.

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It really depends on how big the system you intend to build is.

If only a small number of devices and a small number of sentences in rhasspy then you may get away with a raspberry pi but don’t skimp on memory.

I run the above and more on a nuc with a Core-i3 gen 5 CPU and it runs very well but I have hundreds of devices and a very large set of sentences and slots in rhasspy.

As @rejoe2 says why not give your PI a try, if you already have one.
Migration of rhasspy, node-red and homeassistant are all fairly easy if it turns out to be too little.

If you don’t already have a Pi, then you may be able to find a reasonably priced NUC second hand that will pretty much future proof your setup wrt performance.
One common mistake people make is to assume because the above will run well for a few devices when they first start out, that it will scale to almost any size.

When you say you have no clue about NUCs, they are basically just small form-factor Intel based PCs.
They are generally fairly power efficient as they use similar speced components as laptops.
There biggest advantages are lower power consumption than a normal PC, run off a standard Intel CPU so basically everything will run without needing cross-compiled ARM versions (although the things you listed above all work fine on ARM). They will also allow you to run additional things that may not be ARM compatible.
The downside is they are more expensive than ARM based boards and a bit more power hungry.

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Okay, thank you both!

I tried installing Rhasspy on my Pi 4 a few months ago, but ran into problems. In hindsight one of them may have been that I had too many custom words. For a whole lot of online radio stations, for every possibility of weather forecasts, for every number…
But even with a few sentences the performance was pretty laggish - if it worked at all.

Since then I had no time to retry, so I thought about trying next time on a NUC. I think I will look for a second hand device. But what do I need to look for? And what OS do you recommend? Windows 10?

To my ears this report about the trial some months ago sound more like a general configuration issue, either with Rhasspy or with the PI OS itself, but to be honest, apart from some testing I never really ran Rhasspy on a Pi platform (but some older AMD based Thin Clients, one of them still acting as “base”).

As OS, I’d never ever opt for Windows and would recommend to do a “headless” Linux installation (but for any NUC, make sure the type you choose is known to be Linux compatible; there’s been some models causing trouble in the past).

Okay thank you! Then I will google which NUC is Linux compatible.

It may be possible that my problems with my earlier trial was a configuration issue. For example I had a lot of problems with respeaker’s 4-mic hat. Also the connection to Home Assistant was (or is) not that easy for beginners like me.

Not really sure, but imho, you should give the Pi another try, maybe using one with bigger RAM.
I personally dislike Pi’s, but it’s a platform used by quite a lot people, so chance is much higher to find a solution once you run into problems.
Once you are more familiar with Linux, you may opt for something else?

Wrt. to the Home Automation software, you may check what’s used by the core developers here, as this may be the best supported way? I myself use FHEM: The RHASSPY module offers a very straight forward way to configure things, but as FHEM itself is very powerful, “changing horses” would also require a lot of learning.

All the Nuc’s are Linux compat as basically just a small form factor Intel PC where the debian or ubuntu iso’s will just install.

You can pick up some real nuc bargains as I got a Intel NUC 8GB RAM 120GB SSD model D54250WYK & Microsoft Wireless Keyboard &W10 for ÂŁ85.
Did the usual with an old PC gave the heatsink/fans a good clean and new thermal past on the cpu and works great.

The D54250WYK is a Haswell so has the AVX2 instructions that do provide much boost and overall much faster than a Pi4.

I did some general benchmarks and posted in.

Pi400 is just a Pi4 with a 2Ghz OC
The haswell nuc was approx 300% faster for a 15watt device is the Pi4 5 watt (I have forgot) both negligible really.

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Ha! I had the same thing. Home Assistant recommend their Home Assistant OS on Ras Pi - which is good and I still use it myself - but be warned that the combination of Home Assistant OS and reSpeaker HAT on the same machine will not work.

The 2 main approaches are either:

  • Use the Base-Satellite configuration discussed in server-with-satellites. I had another RasPi sitting around, or you could use an old PC or NUC for the Base station. In the longer term you are likely to want more than a RasPi4 for your Base station anyway to speed up the processing of voice commands, especially as your system grows.

  • Use one of the other Home Assistant installation methods, where you install Debian on your RasPi and add Home Assistant and Rhasspy. You can install the reSpeaker driver and you just have to make sure Rhasspy can see it if you’re using Docker or other virtual environment.

Also, I am still getting the hang of configuring the words and sentences - but I would be very surprised if you cannot arrange your commands into fewer sentences with parameters, which will reduce processing.

I have using on RPI 4. I am on HA supervisor install. And hence it gives me full access to the RPI OS. So the Rhasspy is running as a container along with 20 other containers (HA supervisor included). I have no issues or any lag with Rhasspy. I am using PS eye as a mic input. Output is a speaker connected to 3.5 jack.

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Thank you all!

Maybe the performance wasn’t convincing too because I only own a Pi 4 with 2GB RAM?

I am now looking for a replacement anyway because I am pretty sure it’s broken. Not long after I insert a fresh Image-SD with Pi OS - I lose the SSH-Connection with it and it disappears permanently from my Wifi.

Are you connecting by Wi-Fi ?

I usually connect with LAN cables, so it was only preparing a couple of RasPi’s for deployment as Rhasspy satellites that I encountered this problem. iwconfig shows “Power Management:on” which means that the RasPi will turn off the Wi-Fi to save power when it hasn’t been used for a while. When the Wi-Fi is turned off, doing a ping from the RasPi takes time to start (in my case the first ping takes 1800 and the second 800 before settling down to the 8-17 range). But while Wi-Fi is off, it cannot receive any messages. This makes sense for a laptop where it can sleep when the user is away from the keyboard … but not for something supposed to run 24/7. Incidentally this affects Windows and linux PCs, not just RasPi.

You can turn Power Management off from the command line, but this only lasts the current session with
sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off

The simplest long-term solution i have found is to execute automatically as part of power-on by
sudo nano /etc/rc.local
and add at the end (just before the “exit 0”)
iwconfig wlan0 power off

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