Using balenaEngine with Supervisor and balenaCloud without balenaOS

I have a requirement that restricts me to build on Ubuntu 16 as the operating system. However, I would love to still use balenaCloud, along with balenaEngine and the Supervisor. Is this possible?

Is there good documentation for using the Supervisor with my own containers on my own os while still leveraging all the goodies that come with the balenaCloud and dashboard?

Heya ! Maybe using a custom base image would be a solution for you ?

This does not give me very much information. Are you saying that the custom base image is needed to interact with the Supervisor?

Hi @cnr,

I suspect there was some confusion on our part with regards to your question. If I understand you correctly, you need the hostOS to be Ubuntu 16 exactly. Are you able to share more about that restriction, such that we can help think of ways to accommodate you? I am unaware of any easy way to reconstruct balenaOS on a different hostOS, but I am asking around internally as well.


I may not communicating well. I would like to be able to run the balena machinery (balenaEngine running the balenaSupervisor, communicating with balenaCloud). But I am not sure whether that is possible on something other than balenaOS.

I’m not sure I’m stuck with Ubuntu 16, I just know I can get packages I rely on to work on Ubuntu OS. Furthermore, I’m already familiar with dropping the balenaEngine binaries on my system and proceeding as if I had just installed Docker, I did so for a prior project. I had some notion that perhaps I could get other parts of the balena world with as much ease as I did balenaEngine. I of course recognize the value of balenaOS, but I’m concerned it might be difficult to fully containerize my build.

The reason I’m concerned about fully containerizing my build is that I am running on a Jetson Tx2 and I had a hell of a time trying to get our current Dockerized system running Darknet while interfacing with the CUDA compute platform. I now have a somewhat fragile setup script that gets the job done, and I would like to move it to the balena platform. I’m wondering if I can shortcut the headache that comes with switching from a Ubuntu setup script + containerization build to a balenaOS fully containerized build by just pulling a balenaSupervisor container that would enable my device to be controlled through the balenaCloud. I understand that I might not be able to have all the features of balenaCloud, for example, it might not be possible to restart my devices remotely, but even just some of the features of the cloud might be worth it for me.

Of course, the other option is that I might manage to get a fully functioning Dockerfile up and running and find my way around this CUDA issue, but I don’t know how difficult that will be so I’m looking for other options.