This section presents the basic terms used throughout the documentation.
Accepted device - An authorized device that can connect to the Mender server and receive software updates.
Add-on (also Mender Add-on)- An optional extension to Mender for supporting use cases beyond core OTA updates features, e.g. Remote terminal. Install Mender first, before installing any add-ons
Application update - An update which is not an Operating System update.
Artifact - An archive containing everything needed for an update of a device, including the Artifact Payload itself and metadata such as signatures. See the documentation on Artifact for more information.
Artifact Name - A human-readable string uniquely describing an Artifact, used by the UI and Server-side API for identification purposes.
Artifact Payload - Actual data installed on a device, stored inside a Mender Artifact. It could be a rootfs image, package, container, or other. See the documentation on Artifact for more information.
Authentication Set - A combination of an identity and public key for a device, determining if a given device can check for- and apply software updates from the Mender server. A given device identity can have multiple Authentication sets and each can be in one of the following states:
Binary delta - The binary difference between two Operating System images. See the documentation on Delta updates for more information.
Board integration - The low-level integration required to enable Operating System updates with Mender on a board. Often includes OS bootloader and storage integration and requires customization based on the hardware and OS.
Container update - An Application update for containerized software running on the devices.
Deployment - The process of delivering software to devices. It consists of at least a group of devices and an Artifact name.
Device, Mender Client Device - A single unit that is able to connect to the Mender server, usually an independent product. Represented on the server by its identity and authentication data.
Device-side API - The collection of APIs exposed by the Mender components running on the device. The Device-side API constitutes the only public programmatic interface of the Mender client. It is a thin layer that receives messages over D-Bus, processes them, transmits them to the Mender client, receives the results from the client, and transmits a response on the D-Bus.
Device ID - A single string uniquely identifying a device in the Mender server, used in Server-side APIs to specify an individual device. See the documentation on device Identity for more information.
Device type - The type of device, used to ensure compatibility between the hardware and software. See the documentation on Artifact for more information.
System - A System is a group of devices belonging to the same product or logical entity connected to a Mender Gateway instance. Devices in a System usually require coordination during the update process.
Mender Client - A user space application installing updates to a device it is running on. It uses the Mender Server-side API to connect to the Mender Server to authenticate, get the artifacts, report inventory, log the progress and status of the installations.
Mender Connect - A user space application providing the add-ons framework, as well as implementation of particular add-ons which you can enable or disable as per configuration. It integrates with the Mender Client over a well-defined and portable Device-side API.
Mender Hub Integration(s) - A contribution on Mender Hub of a Mender Board integration for a specific board.
Mender Gateway - An application that enables managing and deploying OTA updates to devices on the local network. The gateway acts as a proxy with the ability to understand and serve client requests locally.
Mender Server - An application implementing the Server-side Mender API, and the web UI, providing updates to devices.
Operating System update - An update which replaces the operating system's filesystem thanks to the A/B partitioning schema. The Mender Client writes a new filesystem image to the inactive partition and updates the bootloader configuration to flip the active and inactive partition.
Organization - A single customer environment in the Mender server. Also known as a Tenant. Note that multi-tenancy is only supported in Mender Enterprise.
Pending device - A device that has already sent an authorization request to the Mender server and is not yet authorized through preauthorization or user authorization.
Preauthorized device - A device given by authorization set, that will change into "accepted" state automatically when it requests authorization.
Reference board - A board officially supported by Mender, used as a reference when porting to new boards.
Rejected device - A device that has already sent an authorization request to the Mender server, which has been explicitly rejected by the user. A device in this state is not allowed to communicate with the Mender server and will not receive any updates.
Release - A set of one or more Artifacts with the same Artifact name. Used by the Mender server to assign the right Artifact to a given Device based on software and hardware compatibility.
Server-side API - The collection of HTTP-based APIs exposed by the Mender Server. They include management end-points, consumed by users and the UI, device end-points, consumed by the Mender components running on the devices, and internal end-points.
Signing system - A separated and not publicly accessible part of an IT infrastructure used to cryptographically sign Artifacts or other items, in the asymmetric encryption model.
Update Module - An extension to the Mender client for supporting a new type software update, such as a package manager, container or bootloader.
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