Migrating live devices to Mender

Hi! We are planning on using mender on a large number of devices that we have all around. The issue is that lot of devices are already deployed and therefore, we need a robust way to migrate to Mender (including the dual repartition etc)

Lot of devices are present in remote areas and we need a way to do it over SSH.

I see that there was a huge discussion in an old post : How to migrate live devices to Mender?
which resulted in this : Dual rootfs live repartitioner

To my surprise, this post is close to 4 years old with no activity on it for years. Is there a more stable and recommended method to do this now? given that it has been years since this topic was brought up? because I am sure a lot of people would be facing this issue of migration of live devices to Mender.

Hi @saransh09,

No, there has not been any further activity here. The key reason is that this generalizes very, very badly. Most ARM-based devices have a more or less customized boot flow and loader, which requires patching and compilation per device type.
Together with the fact that such an operation is always highly error prone, there is little value in creating a one-size-fits-all solution.

I know of a number of approaches that have been successfully carried out, often leveraging some hardware specific tricks or capabilities. If you can share details on the board and setup then we can try to help here. If this is considered confidential, then please get in touch with contact@mender.io.


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We encountered a similar issue with several RPI 2 zero W devices that we were unable to retrieve for an update. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a way to cleanly update to an A/B partition system. However, we did find that the module update with a custom module would work well for these devices, and we are planning to have both systems on our platform.

I hope this information is helpful.

  • ARP

Thanks a lot! I contacted on the email you just provided me.

I am sorry I did not follow what you meant by “However, we did find that the module update with a custom module would work well for these devices”

Could you please elaborate? Thanks a lot :smiley:

Well, to update our device, we implemented a custom module update using the steps described in the documentation here: Create-a-custom-update-module | Mender documentation. With this approach, we send a folder.tar.bz2 and perform some actions on our firmware. While it may not be as efficient as an A/B partition system or a delta update, it is currently working for us.


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