Debian / Ubuntu package and repo for Homebridge

Debian Package For Homebridge

This project builds and publishes a debian-based package that can be installed using apt on Ubuntu / Debian / Raspberry Pi OS based Linux systems.

The project aims to deploy Homebridge and the Homebridge UI in a secure and stable way, with no dependencies outside those available in the standard distribution repos. It comes bundled with it's own Node.js runtime and runs Homebridge in an isolated environment as a service user with no sudo / admin priviledges.

Supported architectures:

  • x86_64
  • i386
  • armhf (armv6 / armv7)
  • aarch64 (arm64)

Using APT

Add package source:

# make sure the tools needed to add the repo exist
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y curl gpg

# add the homebridge gpg key
curl -sSfL | sudo gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/homebridge.gpg  > /dev/null

# add the homebridge repo
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/homebridge.gpg] stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/homebridge.list > /dev/null

Update and install:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install homebridge


sudo apt-get remove homebridge

Purge (this will delete /var/lib/homebridge):

sudo apt-get purge homebridge

Manual Install

Download the correct file for your system from

dpkg -i homebridge_x.x.x_xxxx.deb


dpkg --remove homebridge

Purge (this will delete /var/lib/homebridge):

dpkg --purge homebridge


This package contains a self-contained Node.js installation and environment for Homebridge to run in.

The bundled Node.js runtime is isolated and not exposed on the default PATH.

To assist in debugging, a shell command hb-shell is added to the default PATH to allow the user to enter the Homebridge Shell Environment. When in the Homebridge Shell, users will have access to node and pnpm as they would expect.

# Node.js and package scripts are stored in /opt/homebridge

  |-- bin
  |   |-- corepack
  |   |-- node
  |   |-- npm 
  |   |-- npx
  |   |-- pnpm
  |   |-- pnpx
  |-- lib
  |   |-- node_modules
  |       |-- npm
  |       |-- pnpm
  |       |-- corepack
  |-- bashrc
  |-- bashrc-hb-shell
  |-- hb-shell

# "hb-shell" command to allow user access to the Homebridge env from the cli
  |-- hb-shell -> /opt/homebridge/hb-shell

# homebridge storage directory, plugins are stored in node_modules
  |-- node_modules
  |   |-- homebridge
  |   |-- homebridge-config-ui-x
  |   |-- homebridge-dummy
  |   |-- homebridge-hue
  |-- accessories
  |-- persist
  |-- config.json

Customising the Systemd Service File

You should not edit the service file included with the package as any changes made here will be overwritten during updates.

You should use a systemd override file to make any changes.

To preview the current unit file run:

cat /lib/systemd/system/homebridge.service

Use systemctl to create an override file at /etc/systemd/system/homebridge.service.d/override.conf:

sudo systemctl edit homebridge

Add the config items you want to override. You should only add the settings you want to change.

For example, to change the user the service runs as:

User=pi    # replace with the user you want to run the service as

Or to add additional startup flags to Homebridge:

ExecStart=                               # a blank ExecStart is required to override
ExecStart=/opt/homebridge/ -T    # disable timestamps

Save the file and restart Homebridge:

sudo systemctl restart homebridge

To revert any changes run:

sudo systemctl revert homebridge

Packaging Notes

Package scripts workflow (preinst, postinst, postrm etc.):


Copyright (C) 2022 oznu

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

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Apr 30, 2022