OTA Connect Developer Guide

Build Configuration Options

Configuration variables in meta-updater

Here, we provide reference documentation on how to configure meta-updater. Below are the variables that you can set in your local.conf to control the finer points of your build process.

Table 1. OTA-related options for building disk images
Option Description


OSTree branch name. Defaults to ${SOTA_HARDWARE_ID}. Particularly useful for grouping similar images. Should only contain characters from the character set [a-zA-Z0-9_-].


Path to your OSTree repository. Defaults to ${DEPLOY_DIR_IMAGE}/ostree_repo


OS deployment name on your target device. For more information about deployments and osnames see the OSTree documentation. Defaults to "poky".


Message attached to OSTree commit. Empty by default.


Commit subject used by OSTree. Defaults to Commit-id: ${IMAGE_NAME}


Set this to '1' to update summary of OSTree repository on each commit. '0' by default.


Set this to '1' to include devicetree(s) to boot.


A list of device tree blob(s) to include in the OSTree image. Defaults to ${KERNEL_DEVICETREE}.


Set this to '1' to automatically fetch the last version of the garage tools installed by the aktualizr-native. Otherwise use the fixed version specified in the recipe.


Target name used in the Uptane metadata. Defaults to ${OSTREE_BRANCHNAME}.


Sets the --url parameter of garage-sign targets add, which sets a custom URL for the Image repository targets.


Use this option to have the metadata expire after a fixed date and time.

Specify the time as a UTC instant like in the following example:

GARAGE_TARGET_EXPIRES = "2018-01-01T00:01:00Z"

More detail is available in the metadata expiry page.


Use this option to have the metadata expire after an elapsed period of time.

Specify the number of years, months and days like in the following example:


More detail is available in the metadata expiry page.


The initramfs/initrd image that is used as a proxy while booting into OSTree deployment. Do not change this setting unless you are sure that your initramfs can serve as such a proxy.


When set, your OSTree commit will be pushed to a remote repo as a bitbake step. This should be the path to a zipped credentials file in the format accepted by garage-push.


When set to '1' (default value), deploys credentials to the built image. Override it in local.conf to built a generic image that can be provisioned manually after the build.


Which provisioning method to use. Valid options are aktualizr-shared-prov, aktualizr-device-prov, and aktualizr-device-prov-hsm. See the client provisioning methods page for more information on these provisioning methods. The default is aktualizr-shared-prov. This can also be set to an empty string to avoid using a provisioning recipe.


Extensions to aktualizr. The only valid options are hsm (to build with HSM support), ubootenv (to enable rollback support in U-Boot; currently only supported for Raspberry Pi), and serialcan (to enable serial CAN support).


A file containing JSON configuration for Secondaries. It will be installed into /etc/sota/ecus on the device and automatically provided to aktualizr. See the guide on bitbaking POSIX Secondaries for more details.


A custom hardware ID that will be written to the aktualizr config. Defaults to MACHINE if not set.


The base device tree to use with the kernel. Used together with FIT images. You can change it, and the device tree will also be changed after the update.


A whitespace-separated list of used device tree overlays for FIT image. This list is OSTree-updateable as well.


Extra configuration fragments for FIT image.


Controls maximum resource usage of the aktualizr service, when aktualizr-resource-control is installed on the image. See aktualizr service resource control for details.


Sets polling interval for aktualizr to check for updates if aktualizr-polling-interval is included in the image.

Custom aktualizr versions

You can override the version of aktualizr included in your image. This requires that the version you wish to run is pushed to the aktualizr github repo. You can then use these settings in your local.conf to simplify the development process:

Option Effect

require classes/sota_bleeding.inc

Build the latest head (by default, using the master branch) of Aktualizr

BRANCH_pn-aktualizr = "mybranch"

BRANCH_pn-aktualizr-native = "mybranch"

Build mybranch of Aktualizr. Note that both of these need to be set. This is normally used in conjunction with require classes/sota_bleeding.inc

SRCREV_pn-aktualizr = "1004efa3f86cef90c012b34620992b5762b741e3"

SRCREV_pn-aktualizr-native = "1004efa3f86cef90c012b34620992b5762b741e3"

Build the specified revision of Aktualizr. Note that both of these need to be set. This can be used in conjunction with BRANCH_pn-aktualizr and BRANCH_pn-aktualizr-native but will conflict with require classes/sota_bleeding.inc

TOOLCHAIN_HOST_TASK_append = " nativesdk-cmake "

Use with bitbake -c populate_sdk core-image-minimal to build an SDK. See the aktualizr repo for more information.

Overriding target version

Warning: overriding target version is a dangerous operation, make sure you understand this section completely before doing it.

Every time you build an image with SOTA_PACKED_CREDENTIALS set, a new entry in your Uptane metadata is created and you can see it in the OTA Garage UI if you’re using one. Normally this version will be equal to OSTree hash of your root file system. If you want it to be different though you can override is using one of two methods:

  1. Set GARAGE_TARGET_VERSION variable in your local.conf.

  2. Write a recipe or a bbclass to write the desired version to ${STAGING_DATADIR_NATIVE}/target_version. An example of such bbclass can be found in classes/target_version_example.bbclass.

Please note that [target name, target version] pairs are expected to be unique in the system. If you build a new target with the same target version as a previously built one, the old package will be overwritten on the update server. It can have unpredictable effect on devices that have this version installed, and it is not guaranteed that information will be reported correctly for such devices or that you will be able to update them (we’re doing our best though). The easiest way to avoid problems is to make sure that your overriding version is as unique as an OSTree commit hash.