Custom BalenaOS - add OS image to application


I had to make a custom build of BalenaOS for my hardware because Intel NUC OS image doesn’t have the kernel that I require for my device… After building successfully, I now need to make my image work with my application automatically (same way Balena does with images downloaded from BalenaCloud)…

How can I make it work? Is there details steps guide for this?

Thanks in advance!

Hello @eeb,

The best way to achieve that would be trough the CLI. In this case, you could use the same config file from one of the balenaCloud downloaded images and put it in your custom image. There’s more information on how to do that here.

I’m not sure how host OS updates would play out if you go this path though (see this post for more information). I’ve reached out to our OS team to see if there have been any developments.


Thanks @ntzovanis!

I’ll test it and post here my results as well any other questions…

Hi there,

Since that post my colleague linked to was written, there have been a number of changes to the host OS update system, so your mileage may vary from those steps. Ultimately it’s best to stay as close to the native balenaOS releases as possible, for future compatibility’s sake.

You mention the Intel NUC image’s kernel not being current enough for you, but what features or kernel revision do you require? If we are planning to update the kernel for that device type to accommodate whatever you need, you may be best served in the long run to wait for that update to take place.

Please let us know!

Hi @xginn8,

We have a requirement (due to the usage of hardware more recent than June 2019) of using Linux Kernel version 5.8 or higher for Intel NUC… Our Ethernet controller mostly is the one being problematic with this, that requires 5.9 I understand the concerns with the OS update, but we have a deadline for the end of the next month.

The majority of our needs will be covered by 5.8, but the Realtek ethernet driver has one straggler (addition of the device ID for our variant). Would you be able to include a patch from us to backport this one change into the upcoming kernel build for Intel NUC?

Our device fleet is growing by day, and we would really appreciate any help on this… My colleague @klh knows more about this, he is the one in charge of the hardware development…

Thanks in advance!

Hi Eugenio, I have inquired with the OS team to see if that is possible. We’ll let you know how feasible that is once we have a look, thanks.

Thanks @dtischler! That’s something that we really need, mostly with our growing fleet of devices… We would like to avoid at all cost the usage of a customOS build…


Hey Eugenio,
I see you have another thread open regarding NUC image - 10th generation hardware support which feels like the same image you are trying to provision with balenaCloud that my colleague, Florin is responding to. As Matthew suggested above we should stay as close to native balenaOS releases as possible. I think if we can make it work there for NUC images then building a custom build won’t be necessary. Till then, I am closing this thread for the discussion to remain in one place. Feel to ping us here if that’s not the case. Happy to help!

Hi @vipulgupta2048,

Sure, that’s what we are trying to do, but with the kernel version on current balena-intel images being 5.2 there is not much we can do… I’m fine keeping the discussion in the other thread.