Blog

Mender 2.1 released: Deploy your first application easily

19th Sep 2019

We are happy to announce the new Mender release: Mender 2.1.0!

The focus for Mender 2.1 is Application-based onboarding. The goal is that you can deploy your own application within 15 minutes when starting from scratch!

The key features of Mender 2.1 are covered below, and you can see the detailed items in the Mender 2.1.0 release notes.

New onboarding

The previous Mender release, 2.0, introduced support for Update Modules, which enables Mender to support application updates and more.

Mender 2.1 leverages this functionality to ease the onboarding experience which now also works on most devices without the need for any device integration! After you bring up your Mender 2.1 server or sign up for Hosted Mender, simply follow the tooltips in the UI to be guided through the process.

Onboarding -- connect device

The onboarding enables you to deploy your own changes to a simple web application running on your device and make it ready to easily receive any type of update going forward!

Community-supported Update Modules

Mender Hub, the home of the Mender community, now contains a dedicated category for sharing and using existing Update Modules.

This helps you take the next step to deploying any software you want after completing onboarding.

When you write your own Update Module, please consider sharing it on Mender Hub for the community to benefit and help maintaining it! Simply use this a template to share your work.

Prebuilt Mac binary of mender-artifact

mender-artifact is an essential workstation tool to package your software into Mender Artifact Payloads for use with Update Modules.

We provide a pre-built mender-artifact binary for Mac users, in addition to the existing 64-bit Linux build. Head over to the new downloads section in the documentation to get it!

Trigger sending of inventory

While developing or running Mender in constrained environments, it is useful to be able to trigger the Mender client to connect to the Mender server at the right time.

The previous Mender 1.6 release introduced the -check-update command-line option. This has been complemented with -send-inventory in Mender 2.1.

Now you can both ask the Mender client to check for updates and send inventory at any given time!

Artifact size easily available

When bandwidth is constrained, it is useful to know how large an Artifact is. This is now easily available under the Releases tab.

Artifact size in UI

Signing improvements

There were some issues with signing small and Update Module based Artifacts in past releases, where the Artifacts would get corrupted. This was not a security issue, nor a robustness issue, as the resulting Artifacts would get rejected before being installed.

However it made signature support limited to large system updates and these issues are now resolved, so signatures work properly on all Artifact types.

mender-cli works with readonly home

mender-cli makes it easier to integrate the Mender server with third party services like CI systems. Some of these CI systems are limited in terms of access rights, for example AWS CodePipeline does not allow writing to the home directory (e.g. for configuration).

To address this issue, mender-cli now supports writing to the XDG Basedir Spec Cache-directory.

Yocto Project support

Mender 2.1 continues to support the thud (2.6) release of the Yocto Project.

Yocto Project warrior (2.7) was released at the end of April 2019, and this is planned to be supported in meta-mender in a later release.

Try Mender 2.1

The documentation has a new 2.1 section that includes all the necessary resources. To test the new features, start with these pages:

Sign up for Hosted Mender

Hosted Mender is a secure Mender server we host for you, so you do not have to spend time maintaining scalability, security, certificates, uptime, upgrades and compatibility of the Mender server. To use it, simply point your Mender clients to our server! The service is inexpensive and priced comparatively with the cost of self-hosting a Mender server.

Hosted Mender is already updated and include the Mender 2.1 features!

Sign up and get your $120 free credit up to one year for Hosted Mender today.

Support for your board

If you are getting started with OTA updates, or do not have time to integrate the Mender client with your board for robust A/B system updates, there are several resources available to you!

The Board Integrations category in Mender Hub is a community site to contribute, reuse and maintain Mender board integrations.

We are also happy to help with consulting services to enable verified Mender support for your board!

Share your feedback

We appreciate your general feedback on Mender, be it positive or need for improvement, in the Mender Hub General Discussions forum. Your continued feedback ensures Mender will meet your needs even better in the future!

If you believe you have encountered a bug, please submit your report at the Mender JIRA issue tracker.

We hope you enjoy the new features and are looking forward to hearing from you!