Intel® NUC

The official Mender documentation explains how Mender works. This is simply a board-specific complement to the official documentation.

Board description

The Intel® NUC is a powerful 4x4-inch mini PC with entertainment, gaming, and productivity features, including a customizable board that is ready to accept the memory, storage, and operating systems that you want. From fully configured, ready-to-use Mini PCs to kits and boards for do-it-yourselfers, find the Intel® NUC that is right for you.


Test results

The Yocto Project releases in the table below have been tested by the Mender community. Please update it if you have tested this integration on other Yocto Project releases:

Yocto Project Build Runtime
thud (2.6) :test_works: :test_works:
warrior (2.7) :test_works: :test_works:

Build Means that the Yocto Project build using this Mender integration completes without errors and outputs images.
Runtime Means that Mender has been verified to work on the board. For U-Boot-based boards, the integration checklist has been verified.

Getting started


  • A supported Linux distribution and dependencies installed on your workstation/laptop as described in the Yocto Mega Manual
    • NOTE. Instructions depend on which Yocto version you intend to use.
  • Google repo tool installed and in your PATH.

Configuring the build

Setup Yocto environment

Set the Yocto Project branch you are building for:

# set to your branch, make sure it is supported (see table above)
export BRANCH="thud"

Create a directory for your mender-nuc setup to live in and clone the
meta information.

mkdir mender-nuc && cd mender-nuc

Initialize repo manifest:

repo init -u \
           -m meta-mender-intel/scripts/manifest-intel.xml \
           -b ${BRANCH}

Fetch layers in manifest:

repo sync

Setup build environment

Initialize the build environment:

source setup-environment intel

Configure Mender server URL (optional)

This section is not required for a successful build but images that are generated by default are only suitable for usage with the Mender client in standalone mode, due to lack of server configuration.

You can edit the conf/local.conf file to provide your Mender server configuration, ensuring the generated images and Mender Artifacts are connecting to the Mender server that you are using. There should already be a commented section in the generated conf/local.conf file and you can simply uncomment the relevant configuration options and assign appropriate values to them.

Build for Hosted Mender:

# To get your tenant token:
#    - log in to
#    - click your email at the top right and then "My organization"
#    - press the "COPY TO CLIPBOARD"
#    - assign content of clipboard to MENDER_TENANT_TOKEN
MENDER_TENANT_TOKEN = "<copy token here>"

Configuring the root filesystem settings

The default settings for the root filesystem are set in the local.conf file come from the meta-mender-intel layer. These will likely need to be adjusted to match the hardware in your NUC. The defaults are as follows:

# Note that these settings have been verified for booting from a SD card.
# You might need to change the two latter settings if you are planning to
# boot from a different storage medium.
MENDER_STORAGE_DEVICE = "/dev/mmcblk2"

Building the image

You can now proceed with building an image:

MACHINE=intel-corei7-64 bitbake core-image-full-cmdline

Replace core-image-full-cmdline with your desired image target.

Using the build output

After a successful build, the images and build artifacts are placed in tmp/deploy/images/intel-corei7-64/.

The disk image (with .uefiimg suffix) is used to provision the device storage for devices without Mender running already. Please proceed to the official documentation on provisioning a new device for steps to do this.

On the other hand, if you already have Mender running on your device and want to deploy a rootfs update using this build, you should use the Mender Artifact files, which have .mender suffix. You can either deploy this Artifact in managed mode with the Mender server (upload it under Releases in the server UI) or by using the Mender client standalone mode.

Booting from USB

The default settings assume that you will write the uefiimg to the ssd disk. To be able to do this you must boot the system using a USB flash drive.

You can create an image suitable to boot from USB flash drive by changing the following in your local.conf :




This will will produce an uefiimg that you can write to a USB flash drive which you can use as a live disk image for provisioning the ssd disk, e.g:

zcat tmp/deploy/images/intel-corei7-64/core-image-full-cmdline-intel-corei7-64.uefiimg.gz | sudo dd of=<device to write>

WARNING! Double check the device name in above command, to avoid overwriting your running system.

Booting from on-board SSD disk

To build an image suitable to flash on on the on-board SSD disk you must set the following in your local.conf and re-build:


Once the system is booted from the USB flash drive you must transfer the core-image-full-cmdline-intel-corei7-64.uefiimg.gz file, e.g using scp:

scp tmp/deploy/images/intel-corei7-64/core-image-full-cmdline-intel-corei7-64.uefiimg.gz root@

NOTE! Replace IP address from the example to the actual IP address of your device

Once the file is transferred you need to write the uefiimg to the on-board SSD disk by running the following command:

zcat /tmp/core-image-full-cmdline-intel-corei7-64.uefiimg.gz | dd of=/dev/sda

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This image doesn’t seems to be working. It is falling into grub on boot

My guess is that your machine uses a different device type than /dev/mmcblk2. I know the NUCs have different models, some with NVME drives, some with SATA drives, etc. You may need to boot Ubuntu or some other distro off of USB and use ‘lsblk’ or other utilities to figure out exactly what the block devices are on your system.