Unable to create artefacts from Ubuntu 18.04 x64 image using mender-convert-next


For the past few days i’ve been trying to use mender-convert-next on a Ubuntu 18.04 image. Initially I made contact with mender at contact@mender.io where i got the following instructions:

  1. Install: https://github.com/mendersoftware/mender-convert/tree/next

  2. Make an image. (They even gave me access to an image from their own s3 account, named: Ubuntu-Bionic-x86-64.img.gz. This image was subsequently extracted and put in an input directory.)

  3. To generate the mender artefacts, the following should be run:

     MENDER_ARTIFACT_NAME=release-1 ./mender-convert \
         --disk-image input/Ubuntu-Bionic-x86-64.img  \
        --overlay rootfs_overlay_demo \
        --config configs/qemux86-64_config

Quote mender support: "This should create two output Artifacts of interest:

  • An “.sdimg” file which you will use to provision a device
  • An “.mender” file that you will e.g upload to the Mender server to deploy OTA updates."

The process starts. but does not create any output. Here is my entire output from the terminal:

Terminal Output

fatal: not a git repository (or any of the parent directories): .git
Running mender-convert-extract: --disk-image input/Ubuntu-Bionic-x86-64.img --overlay rootfs_overlay_demo --config configs/qemux86-64_config
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] Using configuration file: configs/mender_convert_config
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] Using configuration file: configs/qemux86-64_config
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] Validating disk image
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] Disk parsed succesfully
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] NUMBER OF PARTS: 2 TYPE: gpt
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] PART 1: SIZE: 256M TYPE: c12a7328-f81f-11d2-ba4b-00a0c93ec93b
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] PART 1: extracting to work/part-1.fs
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] PART 2: SIZE: 1,9G TYPE: 4f68bce3-e8cd-4db1-96e7-fbcaf984b709
2019-11-06 15:06:03 [INFO] [mender-convert-extract] PART 2: extracting to work/part-2.fs
Running mender-convert-modify: --disk-image input/Ubuntu-Bionic-x86-64.img --overlay rootfs_overlay_demo --config configs/qemux86-64_config
2019-11-06 15:06:07 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Using configuration file: configs/mender_convert_config
2019-11-06 15:06:07 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Using configuration file: configs/qemux86-64_config
2019-11-06 15:06:08 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Installing Mender client and related files
2019-11-06 15:06:09 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Found Linux kernel image: 


2019-11-06 15:06:09 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Found initramfs image: 


2019-11-06 15:06:09 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Installing GRUB
2019-11-06 15:06:09 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] GRUB EFI: bootx64.efi
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Installing a custom /etc/fstab (see work/convert.log for more info)
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Performing platform specific modifications (if any)
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [INFO] [mender-convert-modify] Applying rootfs overlay: rootfs_overlay_demo
mender-convert-modify has finished. Cleaning...
Running mender-convert-package: --disk-image input/Ubuntu-Bionic-x86-64.img --overlay rootfs_overlay_demo --config configs/qemux86-64_config
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [INFO] [mender-convert-package] Using configuration file: configs/mender_convert_config
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [INFO] [mender-convert-package] Using configuration file: configs/qemux86-64_config
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [WARN] [mender-convert-package] The allocated boot part size 40 MiB is too small.
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [WARN] [mender-convert-package] The actual boot part size is 256 MiB
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [WARN] [mender-convert-package] Will adjust MENDER_BOOT_PART_SIZE_MB automatically
2019-11-06 15:06:10 [WARN] [mender-convert-package] Considered adjusting the configuration file to avoid this message
2019-11-06 15:06:11 [INFO] [mender-convert-package] Creating a file-system image from: work/rootfs/data/
2019-11-06 15:06:11 [INFO] [mender-convert-package] Creating a file-system image from: work/rootfs/
2019-11-06 15:06:19 [INFO] [mender-convert-package] Copying root filesystem image to deploy directory
2019-11-06 15:06:20 [INFO] [mender-convert-package] Writing Mender artifact to: deploy/qemux86_64-release-1.mender
2019-11-06 15:06:20 [INFO] [mender-convert-package] This can take up to 20 minutes depending on which compression method is used
modules/run.sh: line 26: mender-artifact: command not found
mender-convert-package has finished. Cleaning..

Firstly, i noticed the “fatal: not a git repository (or any of the parent directories): .git”, which i could not make sense of. I also see that: mender-artifact: command not found. I tried git cloning the repo mender-artifact to see if i could spot any missing dependencies without any luck.

Therefore, in the lack of a solution, I was hoping someone could help me work through this issue? And in general, explain how to configure mender to make a “.mender” and “.sdimg” from a Ubuntu 18.04 x64 image.

Best regards,

Edit: @mirzak: formatting.

Indeed, this is the root cause of it failing. You need to have the mender-artifact binary installed on your PC and it needs to available in PATH.

You can download a pre-built binary of mender-artifact here:


One alternative, to avoid installing this is to utilize the “Dockerized” version of the mender-convert tool, which will run the mender-convert tool inside a Docker container which has all the dependencies installed already. Instructions can be found here,

So in you case, once you have built the docker image you would run,

 MENDER_ARTIFACT_NAME=release-1 ./docker-mender-convert \
     --disk-image input/Ubuntu-Bionic-x86-64.img  \
    --overlay rootfs_overlay_demo \
    --config configs/qemux86-64_config

The only difference from you original command is, mender-convert -> docker-mender-convert

And this error,

is because we try to parse the git revision of of the mender-convert repository which is output when using mender-convert --version.

I suspect that you have downloaded the mender-convertrepository as a tar archive, instead of running e.g:

git clone -b next https://github.com/mendersoftware/mender-convert.git

Though this is something that we should fix, avoiding to print this confusing message.

You were absolutely right, running it from within docker solved it. And yes, i did download the .zip file, which explains the: “fatal: not a git repository (or any of the parent directories): .git”.

I now have a “.sdimg” and “.mender”-file from my Ubuntu image. Thank you!