NUC image - 10th generation hardware support


In our devices we are using Intel NUC image, which seems to work fine with Intel x86 CPU boards, not only the NUC device. We are currently trying to update our hardware but noticed that the Intel NUC image does not work with 10th generation hardware, including motherboard, network adapters, etc… We found that if the kernel version is updated (from 5.2 currently I believe) to the latest the interaction with the hardware is better. So I have a few questions…

  1. Is it possible to update the kernel in the OS image?
  2. Is there a timeline for updates like this?
  3. Is there a workaround for stuff like this?

And a bit unrelated, but we need to install Nvidia drivers as well, because we need GPU interaction, and this is regularly installed at the OS level, have you ever tried install drivers from a container?

Thanks in advance!

Hi, we have plans to update to kernel 5.8. It should be in the next 3-4 weeks I would say.
As for installing additional gpu drivers, we are working on a solution called host extensions that will allow to add the drivers in a separate container and treat it like it’s part of the OS. But that is not done yet.
Until the above is ready, we currently guide users to this example project that would allow you to add the drivers in the container:

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Hi, thanks for timelines! Quick question regarding the kernel version, I understand that the latest kernel version is 5.9, is it possible to use 5.9 instead of 5.8?

We are planning to update our current boards and we are planning on using Realtek components that require 5.9 as the kernel version…


Not sure if it’s going to be 5.9 in the next 2 months unfortunately. What timeline are you looking at from your side?

Our timeline is for the end of November, that a proof of concept device has to be presented… We could try a custom build of BalenaOS on our side for a POC and then switch devices… Is there a way that after a BalenaOS is custom built, to make it work with BalenaCloud?


Hi there, if you are prepared to bake your own image, then it will have all the same components included by default with balenaOS, including the /usr/bin/os-config binary, which takes config.json and turns an unmanaged balenaOS into balenaCloud connected to your app(s).

Hi Floion,
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?

Thanks, ab77. We were able to build a custom image with kernel 5.9 and use this to verify that our application functions with BalenaCloud on 10th gen hardware. This works well for testing, but for deployment we’ll need a solution that is directly supported within BalenaCloud. I think Floion’s timeline of a couple months to 5.8 can work for us if it includes a backport for our ethernet controller.

Hi, sorry for the late reply. Yes. we can include the backport once we move to kernel 5.8 or newer

Hi @floion,

No worries, thanks for the reply… Do you need something from our side to include the backport?


Not yet. We’ll keep you in the loop once we get the 5.8 kernel and then continue from there

Hi @floion,

Is there a timeline for this? We really need to know what we should focus and we depend a lot on the Balena having kernel 5.8

Also, is there some way that we could download the kernel_modules_headers for BalenaOS built with kernel 5.8? We would like to test it, even if it’s not production ready…


Hey, we don’t have a specific timeline unfortunately, but we will get back to you once we have something for testing.

Hello @eeb

The latest balena OS release for Intel boards (v2.68.1) now has support for the 10th generation Intel NUC.

Hi @markcorbinuk , thanks! we will try it out!