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How to do delta (differential) updates with Mender

Using binary deltas for applying updates is a more efficient mechanism for updating software over-the-air (OTA) which enables faster downloads and bandwidth cost saving for metered networks. When using cellular (e.g. 4G/LTE) or other bandwidth constrained networks, the impact is even greater. With the recently announced commercial editions, Mender offers the ability to generate and only deploy the binary difference (delta) between the software version already on the devices and the new version with robust and atomic rollback approach.

To utilize binary delta updates with Mender, there are some requirements:

  • Mender board integration is only provided for Yocto Project. If you are interested in support for other platforms, please email contact@mender.io.
  • Device needs to be configured to run with the root filesystem in “read-only” mode.
  • Mender client version 2.0.0 or newer integrated as part of the disk image.
  • Mender Artifact version 3.1.0 installed on your development machine.
  • Mender-binary-delta and mender-binary-delta-generator which contain the binaries needed to generate and apply deltas
  • A device using SD/eMMC as storage medium. Raw NAND flash is not yet supported.

We provide binaries for ARM and Intel x86_64 architectures and also binaries for other platform architectures on a need basis.

See a tutorial on how to do delta updates with Raspberry Pi 3. Learn more in detail about Mender Enterprise and its key features here.