OpenBalena in production 2020 - additional questions

Hello we are highly interested in making an use from OpenBalena and BalenaOS
It looks great, it resolves a lot of issues (read only system, containerization, etc)

I saw few topics about using OpenBalena in production, but i have some additional ones:

  1. Some of our clients doesn’t like devices in internet, we are planning to make them choice between hotspot and wifi.
    Is there an option to disable all functionalities that requires internet - VPN (i saw environment variable to do that), disable update poll? Is update poll also updates device configuration?
  2. Related to 1. - can we achieve with preload functionality a system that contains all containers?
  3. Related to 1. - Is there an balenaOS with cutted off cloud functionality? Just bare-system like that with balena-engine
  4. Can we with OpenBalena publish port, when VPN is enabled?
  5. Is there any documentation on OpenBalena API atm?
  6. How far are you with HostOS update?
  7. Is balenaOS sending any analytics?

Thank you very much!

Great project.


thanks for reaching out for support.
Regarding your questions:

  1. Yes you can run balena devices offline. Some functionalities like logging and vpn can be disabled in the dashboard but with the device being offline it will not show up in the dashboard anyway.
  2. When using preload ( see ) you should be able to place devices that never connect to the internet and yet run all containers that you have preloaded.
  3. We do not have an offline version of balena but balena will still work even if it can not access cloud functionality.
  4. Could you elaborate on this point ?
  5. Documentation on the balena api can be found here
  6. Host OS updates work but there is currently no way that I am aware off to update the host OS offline.
  7. There are a couple of projects on sending analytics from within an application container ( eg. ) but there is no builtin functionality.

I think I created a little confusion here. Obviously there is no UI in openBalena and I have been informed that host os updates are only supported in openBalena.

And the confusion continues :innocent:
I think you mean cloudBalena :slight_smile:

Thanks for fast answer!

  1. Great!
  2. Great!
  3. Okay, but then it will constantly try to pull something from internet + have unused running features. That it’s not a real problem if only it’s super lightweight
    Do you have somewhere an architectural overview what balena supervisor actually does?
    So the question is - how much resources balena supervisor and other services consumes/
  4. So you have functionality on the main dashboard, when i can expose port 80 from device to the internet
    Can i achieve it with current openbalena setup with some api call, or something?
  5. Great, thanks. I saw it before, but didn’t saw this page -
  6. Okay, so HostOS is only supported in CloudBalena right? There is no estimation to do it in OpenBalena?
  7. Thanks! My answer was more - is Balena sending any analytics to your servers, like device usage, device type, etc.


Let me follow up on some questions:

  1. When talking about internet, we mean connecting to the balena server it is regsitered on. So if you deploy an on premise openBalena instance at your customers site, it will try to poll this instance locally for updates. We don’t have functionality to disable polls at all, because if we can’t connect to the device anymore (when the VPN is disabled) and it does not check in anymore, it becomes lost.

  2. No, we don’t ship the backend service, that provides these features in openBalena.

  3. HostOS updates are only supported on balenaCloud, we do have plans to also support it in openBalena in the future, but this requires some architectural changes first. We will definitley annouce this, once we have it.

  4. No we don’t ship any code with openBalena that sends analytics to our cloud service.

Everything is totally understood for us now, i think that OpenBalena fits 90% in our plan
Thank you for answers!

Have a great day!