Run Balina on truly small devices?


I already know that Balina is primarily designed to be used on moderately complex hardware like the Pi, Jetson, Cray, or other similarly complex devices. :wink:

My question is about truly tiny devices, where weight, size, or power consumption may be critical requirements.

Think things like Arduino, Adafruit’ Circuit Playground Express, or a WiFi/Cellular enabled feather.

The main assumption is that the device can communicate with the outside world in some way.

Applications might include small rockets, radio-sondes, wearable monitors, or other devices where size, weight, and very low power consumption are the critical constraints.

Can do?


Hello, it’s a fairly safe bet that if the device has an MCU and can run Linux we can provide support for it on balenaCloud. At lower levels, we have experimented with managing microcontrollers via a gateway device running balenaCloud and it’s a feature we’d love to develop further, however, as things stand now, we don’t have an official solution for this use case.


Do you have anything documented about this? Something in a github repo? Written documentation about what was done?

Hi Jim,

This LORA project done by my colleague Marc might interest you:

It’s about setting up a gateway for IoT devices to speak to. It’s not necessarily exactly what you’re after, but I think it offers some good insight.


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If I am understand this correctly, the Pi is a bridge between a bunch of my devices and the LoRa network, right? Or is the Pi a LoRa node itself communicating with the host network and my devices are LoRa themselves?

Unfortunately, the article is less than clear on this point - or maybe I misunderstood?


It’s the latter. Your Pi has a LoRa radio on it which will help it talk to other LoRa capable devices

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Huh? That’s news to me.

Which Pi’s have this?

the Pi itself does not have LoRa HW on it, you need to attach it. The project described in the blog post suggests a RAK2245 hat - . With it you can turn the Pi to a LoRa gateway. The LoRa devices would then communicate with the Pi and the Pi would be connected to balenaCloud.