Provisioning a new device


After building a Mender Yocto Project image, you need to write the disk image to the flash of the device. There are two ways to accomplish that:

  1. Write the image to the storage directly
  2. Boot from removable media and flash the image from there

Depending on the build configuration the disk image will have one of the following suffixes: sdimg, uefiimg, biosimg, or gptimg. All disk images are created by the meta-mender layer and by default contain four partitions (boot, 2× rootfs, data). They are meant to be written directly to the device storage.

If booting from removable media in order to flash the image from there, be aware that booting with the image produced by meta-mender may not always work because Mender uses preconfigured storage locations. These will typically match the on-board storage, not the removable media. Use a standard, non-Mender configured image instead, and include the Mender image as a file.

If the image is compressed, you first need to decompress it first with one of the commands below:

# For gz compressed images.
gunzip <IMAGE-NAME>.img.gz

# For xz compressed images.
unxz <IMAGE-NAME>.img.xz

# For zip compressed images.
unzip <IMAGE-NAME>


A physical device to provision that uses SD cards

In this initial provisioning you will flash and overwrite everything on the given device storage.

There are several methods to flash storage, and the simplest case is if your device uses a SD card. We will make this assumption here, but you can use the same disk image for flashing any block device. See Flash memory types for the definition of block device used here.

Write the disk image to the SD card

Be careful! If you point to the wrong <DEVICE> when executing the command below, you risk overwriting your workstation's local or connected storage devices.

Assuming you are in the same directory as your disk image, you can write it to the the SD card using the following command (sdimg is used as an example):

sudo dd if=<PATH-TO-IMAGE>.sdimg of=<DEVICE> bs=1M && sudo sync

This may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the image.

<DEVICE> depends on what device name the Operating System assign to your SD-card. Normally, on Linux, the device is usually on the form /dev/mmcblk[0-9] or /dev/sd[a-z]. If you are unsure how to find the correct device, the Raspberry Pi Foundation provides some nice references that can help you for Linux, Mac OSX, Windows.

We welcome contributions to improve this documentation. To submit a change, use the Edit link at the top of the page or email us at .