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Core concepts

Device

An internet-connected, single-board computer running balenaOS and provisioned with the balena platform.

Release

A snapshot of code collected into one or more Docker images.

Fleet

A group of devices sharing the same releases, variables, configuration, settings and members.

Service

A component of a release, packaged into a Docker image and run as a container.

Device supervisor

Balena's agent on the device, responsible for managing fleet updates and reporting device status.

BalenaOS image

A versioned build of the host OS, specific to a fleet and device type.

Base image

A specific combination of a Linux distribution and additional packages, used as the base operating environment for a service.

Previously called balenaVPN, this is the connection that allows balena to have a secure tunnel to the device. Cloudlink uses openVPN as an underlying technology to enable features like SSH access, the public device URL, and the web terminal in balenaCloud.