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Pick the Right Software Update Solution for Your Product

Live Webinar:

Software Update Mechanisms: Selecting the Best Solution for Your Embedded Linux Device

August 18, 2022 at 1 pm EDT/7pm CET

Get the foundation you need to make an informed decision on the right solution for your software update needs. Leon Anavi of Konsulko Group and Jeff Tranter of ICS will examine several different industry approaches, including A/B updates with a dual-redundant scheme, delta updates, container-based updates and combined strategies, as well as the leading technologies that support these approaches.

You can find complete information and register here for the free webinar on the ICS website. Hope you’ll join us on August 18.

Konsulko Group speaking at Embedded Linux Conference Austin

Konsulko Group engineers will make two presentations at the Embedded Linux Conference North America (ELC) in Austin, Texas (and virtual), June 21-24, 2022.

Software Update Mechanisms

On Wednesday, June 22 at 2:35pm CDT (Texas time), Leon Anavi will present How to Choose a Software Update Mechanism for Embedded Linux Devices.

This talk will look at the advantages and disadvantages of widely-used industry approaches: A/B updates with dual redundant scheme, delta updates, container-based updates and combined strategies. Open source technologies such as Mender, RAUC and libostree-based solutions implement these strategies and provide tools to manage updates of multiple devices. Leon will discuss how to choose an appropriate open source solution to implement for a specific project.

Edge Computing with RISC-V and Linux

On Thursday, June 23 at 2:55pm CDT, Vitaly Vul and Maria Vul will present Edge Computing with RISC-V Platforms Running XIP Linux.

XIP stands for eXecute In Place, allowing code to be executed directly from flash without copying the code to RAM first, making it possible to run Linux on such RISC-V devices as Kendryte K210, which has only 8 MB of SRAM, not only for demonstration purposes but for real applications as well. This talk will cover running edge computing specifically on K210 under Linux with XIP enabled.

Part of Open Source Summit North America

These and many other excellent presentations at ELC are part of the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit. We hope you will join us in June.

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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