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At Yocto Project Summit: A/B Linux updates with RAUC

Konsulko Group Senior Software Engineer Leon Anavi will be speaking about A/B Linux updates with RAUC and meta-rauc-community: now and in the future at the Yocto Project Virtual Summit on December 1, 2021 at 12:20 (UTC).

About the presentation

RAUC is a safe and secure open source software solution for A/B updates of embedded Linux devices. It supports the Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded, Buildroot and PTXdist. Upgrades are performed through RAUC bundles which can be installed either through the network or the old-fashioned way with a USB stick.

In 2020, the layer meta-rauc-community was created to provide examples of how to integrate the lightweight update client RAUC on various machines. Leon will talk about the evolution of meta-rauc-community and provide guidelines for porting to new machines using Yocto and OpenEmbedded BSP layers.

About the Summit

The Yocto Project Summit is a 3-day virtual technical conference for engineers, open source technologists, students and academia in the OSS space. The classes will be presented in Zoom. It will be highly interactive, with chat sessions, side rooms, teaching assistants, and hands-on exercises with live class accounts. Registration is $40 for the entire conference.

We hope you will be able to join us at this always important event.

How Mender works

by Tom Rini, VP Engineering

Software Update solutions are a key part of our services offering. For open source over-the-air updates, we often we recommend and work with mender.io. In fact, Konsulko Group is a Mender Authorized Referral Partner. Recently, a prospective customer expressed an interest in knowing more about how Mender works. Here’s the brief, informal introduction to member.io that I prepared, and now I’m sharing with you.

As a high level starting point, https://mender.io/how-it-works provides a good overview of what’s supported and what it covers. In short, Mender starts off by providing support for a traditional “A/B” approach to system updates, where if the update isn’t marked as valid (and there’s hooks for the application(s) to verify the system before this is done), it’s assumed invalid and the system will roll-back automatically. While “OTA” implies over the network, it can just as easily be done by providing (and validating) a USB key that contains an update.

One of the reasons we recommend Mender is that it has very good in-depth documentation. The starting point for all of that is https://docs.mender.io/2.4/ which covers all of the topic starting from how to implement Mender support in a device and including how to create your own server infrastructure if you don’t want to use their paid service. While there are a number of important pages there, one that I like to highlight is https://docs.mender.io/2.4/artifacts/state-scripts as it shows the state machine for an update and talks about some of the common use cases that come up for user interaction or dealing with failures.

Another place I want to call out is https://docs.mender.io/2.4/devices/update-modules which is also mentioned in the first link. This is how Mender is extended to provide updates for other parts of the system that are not the rootfs itself.  Since updating a Docker container is something that has been mentioned before I want to also note https://hub.mender.io/t/docker/324 as it is a well supported module for this specific case.

I hope you find this information useful. Please contact us if you have specific questions. We’re looking forward to talking to you about your own specific OTA needs.

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