Custom device tree overlay on already deployed devices

Hello all,

I recently came across this post Preload Device Tree Overlays? - #8 by spanceac that explains how to modify a balena image to add a custom device tree.

Is there a way to add a custom device tree to already deployed devices in the field??

Thank you,


Hello @kmilmuza

Welcome to the balena Forums.

You haven’t said which device you are using - for Raspberry Pi devices you can set device tree overlays and parameters via the Fleet Variables or Device Configuration sections of the balenaCloud dashboard. Details on this feature are available here - Advanced boot settings - Balena Documentation

Hello @markcorbinuk

The device tree that I’m using for my project is not “approved” so that method won’t work because it’s not present in the overlay folder. I think I confused you with the word custom as most of the DT overlays are custom. I’m talking about a devicetree that is not included with balena and it’s not present in the rpi linux kernel dts folder.


I think it might be possible to add your own custom.dtbo to the boot partition (/mnt/boot/overlays in HostOS) and then add the dtoverlay=custom parameter.
I haven’t tried this myself though.

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Hello @kmilmuza
I have contacted our devices team to see if they can help you with this.

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Hi, for the device tree overlays to appear on BalenaOS images please create a pull request to the GitHub - balena-os/balena-raspberrypi: Balena support for RaspberryPI boards and we will add it to our next releases.

Thank you, and everyone that chimed in, I will PR the device tree, and hopefully, it gets included.