Remote USB Flashing

Hey guys… I’m new to Balena, Etcher & Fin and wanted to run this idea by you all. We have remotely located equipment that receive periodic updates via USB sticks. We literally snail mail the USB sticks where they are inserted into machines for updates. The thought was to use a fleet of Fin’s (running Etcher… if that’s possible?) to image or copy files to USB’s at the remote locations. The process of creating these USBs has to be dead simple as this is not IT personnel doing the software updates on the machines.


Hey @spiro

This is definitely doable, but would require some engineering work on your part.

Firstly, I’m interested to know what your equipment is that needs the updates via USB stick? balenaCloud was born to solve this problem. We have been able to migrate existing fleets to the platform for some of our customers, and just have devices update over the air, circumventing the need to use USB sticks for updates.

Secondly, if you’re stuck with this method, you could build a fleet of Fins that takes a specified image and automatically flashes it onto any USB stick when it’s plugged in. We have the Etcher SDK that may help with this. I’m thinking you could build an app that automatically flashes an image to a USB device, then when you need to roll out an update, you deploy the app with the new image and ask your personnel to plug in the stick again to get the latest. You could even put an indicator (e.g. LEDs, or a small LCD screen) on the device to show there’s a new update available.