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Updating an MBL image

There are two ways to update an MBL image:


You can find installation and general usage instructions for MBL CLI in the application development section.

  1. Prepare a tar file containing rootfs.tar.xz as explained in the manifest tool section above.

  2. Transfer the rootfs update tar file to the /scratch partition on the device:

    $ mbl-cli put <rootfs update payload> <destination on device under the /scratch partition> [address]

    For example, if payload.tar is the name of the payload file for the rootfs update, and is a link-local IPv4 address on the device:

    $ mbl-cli put payload.tar /scratch
  3. Use the MBL CLI shell command to get shell access on the device:

    $ mbl-cli shell [address]

    For example:

    $ mbl-cli shell
  4. Inside the shell, run the mbl-firmware-update-manager script to install the rootfs:

    $ mbl-firmware-update-manager -i <full path to TAR file under /scratch>

    For example:

    $ mbl-firmware-update-manager -i /scratch/payload.tar

    The rootfs is updated.

  5. The device automatically reboots.

We recommend deleting the old tar files from the scratch partition after updates finish.

Using the manifest tool

  1. Create an update payload file: Make a tar file containing the root file system archive from the MBL build artefacts.

    A symlink to the root file system archive can be found in the build environment at /path/to/artifacts/machine/<MACHINE>/images/mbl-image-development/images/mbl-image-development-<MACHINE>.tar.xz


    • /path/to/artifacts is the output directory specified for all build artefacts. See the build tutorial for more information.
    • <MACHINE> is the value that was given to the build script for the --machine option. See the build tutorial to determine which value is suitable for the device in use.

    Note: The file inside the update payload must be named rootfs.tar.xz and must be in the tar's root directory, not a subdirectory.

    For example, to create an update payload file at /tmp/payload.tar containing a Warp7 root file system image tar file with the path build-mbl/tmp-mbl-glibc/deploy/images/imx7s-warp-mbl/mbl-image-production-imx7s-warp-mbl.tar.xz, run:

    user01@dev-machine:~$ tar -cf /tmp/payload.tar -C /path/to/artifacts/machine/imx7s-warp-mbl/images/mbl-image-development/images '--transform=s/.*/rootfs.tar.xz/' --dereference mbl-image-development-imx7s-warp-mbl.tar.xz

    The --transform option renames all files added to the payload to rootfs.tar.xz and the --dereference option is used so that tar adds the actual root file system archive file rather than the symlink to it.

  2. Find the device ID in the mbl-cloud-client log file at /var/log/mbl-cloud-client.log, using the following command on the device's console:

    root@mbed-linux-os-1234:~# grep -i 'device id' /var/log/mbl-cloud-client.log  

    If you only have one registered device, or if each devices has a been assigned a descriptive name in Portal, you can go to Device Management Portal > Device Directory to find the device ID.

  3. Identify which root file system partition is currently active to compare it to the active partition after the update. You can use the lsblk command explained later.

  4. Change the current working directory to the directory where the manifest tool was initialized. You initialized the manifest tool when you created the update_default_resources.c file.

  5. Run the following command:

    user01@dev-machine:manifests$ manifest-tool update device --device-id <device-id> --payload <payload-file> --api-key <api-key>


     * `<device-id>` is the device ID.
     * `<payload-file>` is the update payload (`.tar` file).
     * `<api-key>` is the Pelion API key you generated as a prerequisite.

    The process can take a long time, depending on your file size and network bandwidth.

A reboot is automatically initiated to boot into the new firmware. Identify the currently active root file system and verify it was different pre-update. You can use the lsblk command explained later.

Identifying the active root file system partition

To verify that a root system update succeeded, you can check which root file system partition is active before and after the update. If the update succeeded, the active partition changes.

To identify the active root file system partition:

root@mbed-linux-os-1234:~# lsblk --noheadings --output "MOUNTPOINT,LABEL" | awk '$1=="/" {print $2}'

This command prints the label of the block device currently mounted at /, which is rootfs1 if the first root file system partition is active, or rootfs2 if the second root file system partition is active.

For example, when the first root file system partition is active, you see:

root@mbed-linux-os-1234:~# lsblk --noheadings --output "MOUNTPOINT,LABEL" | awk '$1=="/" {print $2}'

Monitoring progress

  • You can monitor the update payload download progress by tailing the mbl-cloud-client log file:

    root@mbed-linux-os-1234:~# tail -f /var/log/mbl-cloud-client.log
  • You can monitor the update payload installation progress by tailing:

    • /var/log/arm_update_activate.log: for messages about the overall progress of the installation, and messages specific to rootfs updates.
    • /var/log/mbl-app-update-manager-daemon.log: for messages about application updates.
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