Hey @msherman sorry I didn’t see your post earlier!
The answer here is two-fold. Firstly, multiple device types are definitely supported within a single open fleet, with the significant caveat that they need to share the same architecture. I’m assuming you’re thinking about multi-architecture so I’ll go into that in a moment but to start with let’s look at the functionality we have today.
When you create a fleet in the balenaCloud dashboard and choose a default device type, that fleet is set up for the architecture of that device type, and hence when you go to add a device (again, within balenaCloud), the device types that are offered to you are ones that support that architecture. This also includes backward-compatible device types. For example, if you create a Pi Zero based fleet, you’ll be able to add a whole bunch of different devices including the full range of Pis and Jetson devices. This is because they’re all backward-compatible with the Pi Zero. However if you were to create for example a Jetson Nano fleet, you would only be able to add aarch64-compatible devices, of which the Pi Zero and other older devices are not, so you’d have less choice here.
The above functionality translates directly to balenaHub with some additional functionality. If we again take the example that I create a Pi Zero fleet in the dashboard, the available device types will be the same as above (i.e. include all supported devices) but on balenaHub this list will be filtered by the list of ‘supportedDeviceTypes’ that is provided in the
balena.yml file pushed with the release. The idea behind this is that you may have only added support for specific device types to your fleet and so do not want users adding other devices where the software may not work correctly.
In addition, it looks like you’ve correctly identified that you can support multiple different architectures by using Dockerfile templates and multiple fleets, but you do not have to have a separate repo per-fleet. You’ll see on balenaHub, especially when it comes to blocks, there are many examples where the architecture variations have been published but they’re all based on the same underlying repo.
So, taking these examples, you have the option of supporting all the device types within a single, backward-compatible-architecture-based fleet or you can create a separate fleet for each architecture and use the same repo and push the exact same code to each fleet.
Aside from all of this, we’re aware that we need to support true multi-architecture fleets, and that’s definitely something that’s in the roadmap for hub. Think of the future feature to be something that essentially decouples supported architectures from a fleet, so you can have one fleet and turn on support for all different architectures. That way when you push your release, the builders will know to build not only for the architecture of the default device type, and on the open-fleet side on hub it will be presented as a fleet that you can join with a much larger list of available device types.
I hope this helps clarify how things are working, and thanks for using balenaHub! Let me know if you have any more questions