Remote Host Upgrade by moving to Balena Cloud

Since remote host upgrades are available on balenaCloud, but not openBalena, can I move a device from openBalena to balenaCloud, then remotely upgrade the host OS, and then move it back to openBalena?

My devices are on balenaOS 2.48.0+rev1 and my openBalena is on v2.x.

Hey @mv1, did you tried your workaround out? Could work but none of us has tried that out yet.

No, I have not tried it yet. I was just trying to figure out if that is a potential route. I would like to upgrade to openBalena 3.x at some point, but I have a number of devices in the field on balenaOS 2.48. I’m trying to figure out what the safest route is to upgrade the devices to a version compatible with the current version of openBalena.

I was able to move a device from my openBalena deployment to balenaCloud and back using the following steps:

  1. Log in to balenaCloud
  2. Create a new fleet
  3. Add Device > Download configuration file > new-config.json
  4. ssh into device
  5. copy /mnt/boot/config.json > old-config.json (save this for later)
  6. os-config join ‘json from new-config.json’
  7. Select device in new fleet when it appears
  8. Open Terminal to Host OS
  9. os-config join ‘json from old-config.json’

I am also able to move a device from openBalena to balenaCloud and update balenaOS on the device.
However, I did not try to move the updated device back to my openBalena 2.x.x deployment since it does not support newer versions of balenaOS.

This is the next thing I will test:

  1. Setup new openBalena 2.x.x
  2. Add a device with balenaOS 2.48.0+rev1
  3. Upgrade to openBalena 3.x.x
  4. Move device to balenaCloud
  5. Update device to latest balenaOS
  6. Move device back to openBalena

This seems like it may be a viable upgrade path if there are no other options. However it would be awfully slow since I have a number of devices to upgrade.

If/when the remote host update feature comes to openBalena, will I be able to update my balenaOS 2.48.0 devices that way, or will they need to be updated to a newer version of balenaOS before they can receive remote OS updates?

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Thank you @mv1 for confirming that the workaround works and the step-by-step to reproduce it.

Let us know if everything works once you can move back the device to openBalena once you upgrade the version of the openBalena :slight_smile:

Hello @mv1 did you find time to move back the device to openBalena once your upgraded your version?

Let us know your results!

Let’s stay connected

No, I haven’t had time yet. I’ve had to shift my focus to other projects, but upgrading our openBalena to 3.x is still on my radar. I’ll update if I get the chance to test this out. I’d be happy to hear from anyone else if they’ve tried this upgrade path or something similar.
The problem is that I have a very large number of devices in the field on 2.48. Moving them to balenaCloud and back to upgrade them remotely might work, but it would take a long time. We would likely have to have people in the field to swap out SD cards. Unless anyone has found a better way. Or unless remote host OS upgrades are coming to openBalena anytime soon.