accessing balena-engine cli from a container

Is it possible to access balena-engine cli in BalenaOS host system, from a container running inside it.
We have a no internet scenario for many devices and want to use it as way to update software with one of the deployed container acting as a software (container) updater. In this case BalenaFin boards will get an alternate communication available from an attached hardware (RF communication) they come as MQTT messages but no internet.

Hi Chery,

Your scenario sounds quite complex, and the short answer is that using MQTT via RF communications is not going to work for software updates. However, I think the broader issue is that you need a strategy for updating devices with no internet connectivity. Could you tell us some more details about your fleet, how it’s set up and what you’re trying to achieve? It’s possible we can raise an internal feature request to try and find a solution for these types of use cases.


@phil-d-wilson This is a project using v2x technology and will be used in multiple mining sites were vehicles, locomotives, portable generators, boom gates, boats, ships, signal posts etc will be installed with v2x hardware or with v2x and BalenaFin. Primary communication between these devices is v2x technology, for advanced operations and calculations BalenaFin is used here. We have a data rate of 10mbps or more available and any device can be reached from a remote station using this communication. We don’t want to put an overhead cost of gsm to these devices and want to push updates to application containers using this existing communication. Its easy to do in BalenaFin running with raspberry pi, not sure how this could be achieved in BalenaOS without using BalenaCloud.

Something like,

  • send updated containers as tar files over v2x (Received by a running container managing software updates)
  • stop and remove the existing container to be updated (BalenaOS)
  • load the updated container and start it

Hi again - thanks for getting back to me. Your setup sounds very interesting and I want to make sure that we explore it as much as possible to see if there is a way we can support you updating your app. I have contacted some colleagues in Balena who are more experienced with complex setups, and asked them to look at this thread.

Please bear with us - we’ll try our best to help.

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thanks @phil-d-wilson we are really looking forward to use BalenaFind and BalenaOS

@chjose I have pinned this for a discussion with our architecture team but my suspicion is that it might be incredibly difficult since so much of the infrastructure for containers and balenaOS rely on having a TCP/IP stack and being able to use HTTPS, but we will see what the engineering gurus think.