Mender Debian image on Ubuntu Server mini PC / VMware

Hi guys,

I am new to Mender, so please bear with me :smile:

We would like to use the Mender Debian image on an Ubuntu Server box / mini PC, would the procedure be the same as in the documentation?

Also, we would like to try it first on an Ubuntu Server running on VMware, is this also the same as above?

Would greatly appreciate links that you can share, thanks!

Welcome to mender forum. Which documentation you’re referring to? IMO if you want to run mender on debian based x86 platform you need first convert debian to suppoprt 2x rootfs + data + add various stuff to grub. For non-x86 board (arm) there is mender-convert project but it doesn’t have yet support for x86 (@mirzak pls correct me if I’m wrong). Thanks.

@MarekBelisko Thanks, below is the section of the documentation I’m referring to:

https://docs.mender.io/1.7/devices/debian-family

I have also checked the requirements / general requirements, it seems that Mender or mender-convert do only officially support BeagleBoard and Raspberry Pi.

Does anybody know if x86 + Ubuntu Server can be used? I’ve seen at least one “Intel x86 NUC” thread here but so far I cannot make any sense out of it (I guess it was not using Ubuntu).

I have found the Intel NUC thread here:

It uses Yocto and Yocto is supported on Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS):

https://www.yoctoproject.org/docs/current/mega-manual/mega-manual.html#detailed-supported-distros

Does it mean I can follow above to replicate it with Ubuntu on VMware? Just would like to test it first on a VM.

I have also checked the requirements / general requirements, it seems that Mender or mender-convert do only officially support BeagleBoard and Raspberry Pi.

mender-convert only supports BeagleBoard and Raspberry Pi. We support numerous other boards in Yocto. But not sure that this is what you are looking for.

It uses Yocto and Yocto is supported on Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS):

This means that you can run the Yocto tool on Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS), but Yocto is a tool generate custom distribution meaning that the resulting distribution will not be Ubuntu/Debian.

It is still unclear to me what you are trying to accomplish. What OS do you want to run on your device?

Hi @mirzak, yes sorry, I’m very new to Mender.

My use case is that, instead of BeagleBoard Black or Raspberry Pi, I would like to use an Intel mini PC running Ubuntu Server LTS as my client device / or “embedded Linux device”. Is this possible?

Hi @mirzak, yes sorry, I’m very new to Mender.

It is ok :slight_smile:, I just want to understand your use-case to be able to provide answers.

My use case is that, instead of BeagleBoard Black or Raspberry Pi, I would like to use an Intel mini PC running Ubuntu Server LTS as my client device / or “embedded Linux device”. Is this possible?

It is definitely possible, but we do not have anything out-of-the-box yet for this specific case.

The closest thing we have is the mender-convert tool, but as you have noticed this only supports BBB and RPi. Though is where you would add support for Ubuntu, meaning that you would need to adopt the mender-convert tool for you specific needs.

We do plan on extending mender-convert with Ubuntu support but I can not say when this will be done.

Thanks, it’s clear to me now :smile:

I am curious about one thing, do you generate your own Ubuntu images e.g using a tool similar to mkosi or do you run trough installation process on the device?

@mirzak Thanks for bringing it up :smile:

In extending the use case I stated earlier, basically what I need is:

Having OTA capability of delivering custom software apps to remote devices from a central location. And this is where I would like to use Mender with.

I just need to have a platform where I could run my apps the easiest way possible, so I don’t plan of creating custom Ubuntu images, I just want to use the official ones.

The hardware/OS I have settled upon for the client/remote devices is x86 (miniPC) + Ubuntu Server LTS, but Mender does not support Ubuntu. Can I use Mender if say, with x86 + Debian?

Thanks again!

(PS: Also using x86 in this case allows me to quickly test it on VMWare.)

Hi, I am working on this project with my buddy Cheesequality. What we are trying to do is setup and manage edge devices running Ubuntu Server LTS 18.04.2. Our servers are collecting some information, running MySQL and suppose to securely transfer that up to a MySQL DB in GCP, securely :slight_smile:

I see that Mender appears to work at a lower level which is fine, but I am wondering if this is the wrong tool for our application. References to boards where we are dealing with already packaged offerings. We are just trying to manage a bunch of linux boxes to ensure we have security updates and be able to deliver updates to our software application reliably.

Is there another way to do this? Has anyone done anything like this before?

I see that Mender appears to work at a lower level which is fine, but I am wondering if this is the wrong tool for our application. References to boards where we are dealing with already packaged offerings. We are just trying to manage a bunch of linux boxes to ensure we have security updates and be able to deliver updates to our software application reliably.

If you want to do this in a robust way then Mender could be the tool for you.

I wrote an article way back which describes different update strategies,

https://mkrak.org/2018/01/10/updating-embedded-linux-devices-part1/

Mender utilizes the “dual-copy” strategy.

Is there another way to do this? Has anyone done anything like this before?

We have customers/users using Ubuntu/CentOS/Debian on x86_64 boxes together with Mender meaning it is possible.

But unfortunately we do not have yet this support out-of-the-box and our users/customers have either done the integration them self or utilizes our professional services.

This is helpful, thank you