Mender Artifact Creation Tool for OTA upgrades
We at AiKaan labs are a proud contributor and consumer of Mender open-source OTA upgrade framework. Truly appreciate the hard work team Mender has put in to create such a wonderful tool for the community.
With Meder adoption, one of the challenges our customers were facing is to create artifacts. Here is how we solved the problem and helped our customers and mender community with this “Artifact Creation Tool“. Like Mender, its a free and Open source tool. you can also contribute, fork it on Gitlab.
What is an Artifact?
Artifact could be a text file, config file, script file, Debian packages, android apks in case of android or full firmware packaged in a specific file format.
Depending on the version and type of the Artifact used, the metadata might be different, but must contain:
- Name of the software build, so that software is not redeployed if it is already installed at the device.
- Device types the software is compatible with, so that software is not deployed to incompatible hardware (e.g. CPU architecture, hardware floating-point support, peripheral drivers).
- Checksum of the root file system, so that software is not run if it gets corrupted during transit or storage.
What are the different types of OTA upgrades supported?
Considering almost all the scenarios, you may want to perform OTA upgrade of your IoT devices with one of the below:
- File – This could be any data or database file, to be pushed and stored to a group of remotely deployed IoT edge devices. A good example of this could be simply updating the configuration file of installed packages.
- Script – To execute any script or commands on the IoT edge devices.
- Debian Package – For upgrading existing or deploying new Debian packages on a fleet of remotely deployed IoT edge devices.
- Android Applications (APK) – Install or upgrade APKs for android based IoT edge devices.
- Custom Applications – Upgrading custom applications on Linux devices with application binary and a script. The script file is the installation instruction, taking care of both pre and post-execution setups and cleanups.
- Root File system Upgrade – Upgrading complete root file system on a targetted IoT edge device.
How to create an Artifact for upgrade
Just follow the steps to create a Mender Artifact:
Step – 1 Access Artifact creation tool.
Step – 2 Select the artifact type, details of which are mentioned in the above section.
Step – 3 Provide the necessary inputs like Artifact name, device type, and other specifics based on the chosen artifact type.
Step -4 Upload the necessary file/s.
Step – 5 As an output get the artifact file with the suffix as “mender”. Use this file to perform OTA upgrades to remotely deployed IoT devices.
Kindly use the tool to create mender artifacts and do share your feedback. Also, comment on any other challenges you are facing while performing Over the air (OTA) upgrades. We will definitely get back to you on them as well.
Sign-up now for application orchestration & device management to a fleet of remotely deployed IoT edge devices.