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Balena CLI Documentation

The balena CLI (Command-Line Interface) allows you to interact with the balenaCloud and the balena API through a terminal window on Linux, macOS or Windows. You can also write shell scripts around it, or import its Node.js modules to use it programmatically. As an open-source project on GitHub, your contribution is also welcome!

Installation

Check the balena CLI installation instructions on GitHub.

Getting Started

Choosing a shell (command prompt/terminal)

On Windows, the standard Command Prompt (cmd.exe) and PowerShell are supported. We are aware of users also having a good experience with alternative shells, including:

  • MSYS2:
  • MSYS: select the msys-rsync and msys-openssh packages too
  • Git for Windows
    • During the installation, you will be prompted to choose between "Use MinTTY" and "Use Windows' default console window". Choose the latter, because of the same MSYS2 bug mentioned above (Git for Windows actually uses MSYS2). For a screenshot, check this comment.
  • Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). In this case, a Linux distribution like Ubuntu is installed via the Microsoft Store, and a balena CLI release for Linux is recommended. See FAQ for using balena CLI with WSL and Docker Desktop for Windows.

On macOS and Linux, the standard terminal window is supported. Optionally, bash command auto completion may be enabled by copying the balena-completion.bash file to your system's bash_completion directory: check Docker's command completion guide for system setup instructions.

Logging in

Several CLI commands require access to your balenaCloud account, for example in order to push a new release to your application. Those commands require creating a CLI login session by running:

$ balena login

Proxy support

HTTP(S) proxies can be configured through any of the following methods, in precedence order (from higher to lower):

  • The BALENARC_PROXY environment variable in URL format, with protocol (http or https), host, port and optionally basic auth. Examples:

    • export BALENARC_PROXY='https://bob:secret@proxy.company.com:12345'
    • export BALENARC_PROXY='http://localhost:8000'
  • The proxy setting in the CLI config file. It may be:

    • A string in URL format, e.g. proxy: 'http://localhost:8000'

    • An object in the format:

      proxy:
          protocol: 'http'
          host: 'proxy.company.com'
          port: 12345
          proxyAuth: 'bob:secret'
  • The HTTPS_PROXY and/or HTTP_PROXY environment variables, in the same URL format as BALENARC_PROXY.

Note: The balena ssh command has additional setup requirements to work behind a proxy.
Check the installation instructions.

Some installations of the balena CLI also include support for the BALENARC_NO_PROXY environment variable, which allows proxy exclusion patterns to be defined. The current support status is listed below. Eventually, all installation types will have support for it.

OS Installation type BALENARC_NO_PROXY environment variable support
Windows standalone zip Supported with CLI v11.24.0 and later
Windows native/GUI Not supported
macOS standalone zip Not supported
macOS native/GUI Supported with CLI v11.24.0 and later
Linux standalone zip Not supported
Any npm Supported with Node.js >= v10.16.0 and CLI >= v11.24.0

The format of the BALENARC_NO_PROXY environment variable is a comma-separated list of patterns that are matched against hostnames or IP addresses. For example:

export BALENARC_NO_PROXY='*.local,dev*.mycompany.com,192.168.*'

Matched patterns are excluded from proxying. Matching takes place before name resolution, so a pattern like '192.168.*' will not match a hostname like proxy.company.com even if the hostname resolves to an IP address like 192.168.1.2. Pattern matching expressions are documented at matcher.

By default, if BALENARC_NO_PROXY is not defined, all private IPv4 addresses and '*.local' are excluded from proxying. Other hostnames that may resolve to private IPv4 addresses are not excluded by default, as matching takes place before name resolution. In addition, localhost and 127.0.0.1 are always excluded from proxying, regardless of the value of BALENARC_NO_PROXY. These default exclusions only apply to the CLI installations where BALENARC_NO_PROXY is supported, as listed in the table above.

Support, FAQ and troubleshooting

If you come across any problems or would like to get in touch:

CLI Command Reference

API keys

api-key generate <name>

This command generates a new API key for the current user, with the given name. The key will be logged to the console.

This key can be used to log into the CLI using 'balena login --token ', or to authenticate requests to the API with an 'Authorization: Bearer ' header.

Examples:

$ balena api-key generate "Jenkins Key"

Application

app create <name>

Use this command to create a new balena application.

You can specify the application device type with the --type option. Otherwise, an interactive dropdown will be shown for you to select from.

You can see a list of supported device types with

$ balena devices supported

Examples:

$ balena app create MyApp
$ balena app create MyApp --type raspberry-pi

Options

--type, -t <type>

application device type (Check available types with balena devices supported)

apps

Use this command to list all your applications.

Notice this command only shows the most important bits of information for each app. If you want detailed information, use balena app instead.

Examples:

$ balena apps

app <name>

Use this command to show detailed information for a single application.

Examples:

$ balena app MyApp

app restart <name>

Use this command to restart all devices that belongs to a certain application.

Examples:

$ balena app restart MyApp

app rm <name>

Use this command to remove a balena application.

Notice this command asks for confirmation interactively. You can avoid this by passing the --yes boolean option.

Examples:

$ balena app rm MyApp
$ balena app rm MyApp --yes

Options

--yes, -y

confirm non interactively

Authentication

login

Use this command to login to your balena account.

This command will prompt you to login using the following login types:

  • Web authorization: open your web browser and prompt you to authorize the CLI from the dashboard.

  • Credentials: using email/password and 2FA.

  • Token: using a session token or API key from the preferences page.

Examples:

$ balena login
$ balena login --web
$ balena login --token "..."
$ balena login --credentials
$ balena login --credentials --email johndoe@gmail.com --password secret

Options

--token, -t <token>

session token or API key

--web, -w

web-based login

--credentials, -c

credential-based login

--email, -e, -u <email>

email

--password, -p <password>

password

logout

Use this command to logout from your balena account.

Examples:

$ balena logout

whoami

Use this command to find out the current logged in username and email address.

Examples:

$ balena whoami

Device

devices

Use this command to list all devices that belong to you.

You can filter the devices by application by using the --application option.

Examples:

$ balena devices
$ balena devices --application MyApp
$ balena devices --app MyApp
$ balena devices -a MyApp

Options

--application, -a, --app <application>

application name

device <uuid>

Use this command to show information about a single device.

Examples:

$ balena device 7cf02a6

device register <application>

Use this command to register a device to an application.

Examples:

$ balena device register MyApp
$ balena device register MyApp --uuid <uuid>

Options

--uuid, -u <uuid>

custom uuid

device rm <uuid>

Use this command to remove a device from balena.

Notice this command asks for confirmation interactively. You can avoid this by passing the --yes boolean option.

Examples:

$ balena device rm 7cf02a6
$ balena device rm 7cf02a6 --yes

Options

--yes, -y

confirm non interactively

device identify <uuid>

Use this command to identify a device.

In the Raspberry Pi, the ACT led is blinked several times.

Examples:

$ balena device identify 23c73a1

device reboot <uuid>

Use this command to remotely reboot a device

Examples:

$ balena device reboot 23c73a1

Options

--force, -f

force action if the update lock is set

device shutdown <uuid>

Use this command to remotely shutdown a device

Examples:

$ balena device shutdown 23c73a1

Options

--force, -f

force action if the update lock is set

device public-url enable <uuid>

Use this command to enable public URL for a device

Examples:

$ balena device public-url enable 23c73a1

device public-url disable <uuid>

Use this command to disable public URL for a device

Examples:

$ balena device public-url disable 23c73a1

device public-url <uuid>

Use this command to get the public URL of a device

Examples:

$ balena device public-url 23c73a1

device public-url status <uuid>

Use this command to determine if public URL is enabled for a device

Examples:

$ balena device public-url status 23c73a1

device rename <uuid> [newName]

Use this command to rename a device.

If you omit the name, you'll get asked for it interactively.

Examples:

$ balena device rename 7cf02a6
$ balena device rename 7cf02a6 MyPi

device move <uuid>

Use this command to move a device to another application you own.

If you omit the application, you'll get asked for it interactively.

Examples:

$ balena device move 7cf02a6
$ balena device move 7cf02a6 --application MyNewApp

Options

--application, -a, --app <application>

application name

device init

Use this command to download the OS image of a certain application and write it to an SD Card.

Notice this command may ask for confirmation interactively. You can avoid this by passing the --yes boolean option.

Examples:

$ balena device init
$ balena device init --application MyApp

Options

--application, -a, --app <application>

application name

--yes, -y

confirm non interactively

--advanced, -v

show advanced configuration options

--os-version <os-version>

exact version number, or a valid semver range, or 'latest' (includes pre-releases), or 'default' (excludes pre-releases if at least one stable version is available), or 'recommended' (excludes pre-releases, will fail if only pre-release versions are available), or 'menu' (will show the interactive menu)

--drive, -d <drive>

the drive to write the image to, like /dev/sdb or /dev/mmcblk0. Careful with this as you can erase your hard drive. Check balena util available-drives for available options.

--config <config>

path to the config JSON file, see balena os build-config

device os-update <uuid>

Use this command to trigger a Host OS update for a device.

Notice this command will ask for confirmation interactively. You can avoid this by passing the --yes boolean option.

Examples:

$ balena device os-update 23c73a1
$ balena device os-update 23c73a1 --version 2.31.0+rev1.prod

Options

--version <version>

a balenaOS version

--yes, -y

confirm non interactively

devices supported

List the supported device types (like 'raspberrypi3' or 'intel-nuc').

The --verbose option adds extra columns/fields to the output, including the "STATE" column whose values are one of 'beta', 'released' or 'discontinued'. However, 'discontinued' device types are only listed if the '--discontinued' option is used.

The --json option is recommended when scripting the output of this command, because the JSON format is less likely to change and it better represents data types like lists and empty strings (for example, the ALIASES column contains a list of zero or more values). The 'jq' utility may be helpful in shell scripts (https://stedolan.github.io/jq/manual/).

Examples:

$ balena devices supported
$ balena devices supported --verbose
$ balena devices supported -vj

Options

--discontinued

include "discontinued" device types

-j, --json

produce JSON output instead of tabular output

-v, --verbose

add extra columns in the tabular output (ALIASES, ARCH, STATE)

Environment Variables

envs

List the environment or configuration variables of an application, device or service, as selected by the respective command-line options. (A service is an application container in a "microservices" application.)

The --config option is used to list "configuration variables" that control balena platform features, as opposed to custom environment variables defined by the user. The --config and the --service options are mutually exclusive because configuration variables cannot be set for specific services.

The --all option is used to include application-wide (fleet), device-wide (multiple services on a device) and service-specific variables that apply to the selected application, device or service. It can be thought of as including "inherited" variables: for example, a service inherits device-wide variables, and a device inherits application-wide variables. Variables are still filtered out by type with the --config option, such that configuration and non- configuration variables are never listed together.

When the --all option is used, the printed output may include DEVICE and/or SERVICE columns to distinguish between application-wide, device-specific and service-specific variables. As asterisk in these columns indicates that the variable applies to "all devices" or "all services".

The --json option is recommended when scripting the output of this command, because the JSON format is less likely to change and it better represents data types like lists and empty strings. The 'jq' utility may be helpful in shell scripts (https://stedolan.github.io/jq/manual/). When --json is used, an empty JSON array ([]) is printed instead of an error message when no variables exist for the given query. When querying variables for a device, note that the application name may be null in JSON output (or 'N/A' in tabular output) if the application linked to the device is no longer accessible by the current user (for example, in case the current user has been removed from the application by its owner).

Examples:

$ balena envs --application MyApp
$ balena envs --application MyApp --all --json
$ balena envs --application MyApp --service MyService
$ balena envs --application MyApp --all --service MyService
$ balena envs --application MyApp --config
$ balena envs --device 7cf02a6
$ balena envs --device 7cf02a6 --all --json
$ balena envs --device 7cf02a6 --config --all --json
$ balena envs --device 7cf02a6 --all --service MyService

Options

--all

include app-wide, device-wide variables that apply to the selected device or service. Variables are still filtered out by type with the --config option.

-a, --application APPLICATION

application name

-c, --config

show configuration variables only

-d, --device DEVICE

device UUID

-j, --json

produce JSON output instead of tabular output

-v, --verbose

produce verbose output

-s, --service SERVICE

service name

env rm ID

Remove a configuration or environment variable from an application, device or service, as selected by command-line options.

Variables are selected by their database ID (as reported by the 'balena envs' command) and one of six database "resource types":

  • application (fleet) environment variable
  • application (fleet) configuration variable (--config)
  • application (fleet) service variable (--service)
  • device environment variable (--device)
  • device configuration variable (--device --config)
  • device service variable (--device --service)

The --device option selects a device-specific variable instead of an application (fleet) variable.

The --config option selects a configuration variable. Configuration variable names typically start with the 'BALENA_' or 'RESIN_' prefixes and are used to configure balena platform features.

The --service option selects a service variable, which is an environment variable that applies to a specifc service (application container) in a microservices (multicontainer) application.

The --service and --config options cannot be used together, but they can be used alongside the --device option to select a device-specific service or configuration variable.

Interactive confirmation is normally asked before the variable is deleted. The --yes option disables this behavior.

Examples:

$ balena env rm 123123
$ balena env rm 234234 --yes
$ balena env rm 345345 --config
$ balena env rm 456456 --service
$ balena env rm 567567 --device
$ balena env rm 678678 --device --config
$ balena env rm 789789 --device --service --yes

Arguments

ID

variable's numeric database ID

Options

-c, --config

select a configuration variable (may be used together with the --device option)

-d, --device

select a device-specific variable instead of an application (fleet) variable

-s, --service

select a service variable (may be used together with the --device option)

-y, --yes

do not prompt for confirmation before deleting the variable

env add NAME [VALUE]

Add an environment or config variable to an application, device or service, as selected by the respective command-line options. Either the --application or the --device option must be provided, and either may be be used alongside the --service option to define a service-specific variable. (A service is an application container in a "microservices" application.) When the --service option is used in conjunction with the --device option, the service variable applies to the selected device only. Otherwise, it applies to all devices of the selected application (i.e., the application's fleet). If the --service option is omitted, the variable applies to all services.

If VALUE is omitted, the CLI will attempt to use the value of the environment variable of same name in the CLI process' environment. In this case, a warning message will be printed. Use --quiet to suppress it.

'BALENA_' or 'RESIN_' are reserved variable name prefixes used to identify "configuration variables". Configuration variables control balena platform features and are treated specially by balenaOS and the balena supervisor running on devices. They are also stored differently in the balenaCloud API database. Configuration variables cannot be set for specific services, therefore the --service option cannot be used when the variable name starts with a reserved prefix. When defining custom application variables, please avoid the reserved prefixes.

Examples:

$ balena env add TERM --application MyApp
$ balena env add EDITOR vim --application MyApp
$ balena env add EDITOR vim --application MyApp --service MyService
$ balena env add EDITOR vim --device 7cf02a6
$ balena env add EDITOR vim --device 7cf02a6 --service MyService

Arguments

NAME

environment or config variable name

VALUE

variable value; if omitted, use value from this process' environment

Options

-a, --application APPLICATION

application name

-d, --device DEVICE

device UUID

-q, --quiet

suppress warning messages

-s, --service SERVICE

service name

env rename ID VALUE

Change the value of a configuration or environment variable for an application, device or service, as selected by command-line options.

Variables are selected by their database ID (as reported by the 'balena envs' command) and one of six database "resource types":

  • application (fleet) environment variable
  • application (fleet) configuration variable (--config)
  • application (fleet) service variable (--service)
  • device environment variable (--device)
  • device configuration variable (--device --config)
  • device service variable (--device --service)

The --device option selects a device-specific variable instead of an application (fleet) variable.

The --config option selects a configuration variable. Configuration variable names typically start with the 'BALENA_' or 'RESIN_' prefixes and are used to configure balena platform features.

The --service option selects a service variable, which is an environment variable that applies to a specifc service (application container) in a microservices (multicontainer) application.

The --service and --config options cannot be used together, but they can be used alongside the --device option to select a device-specific service or configuration variable.

Examples:

$ balena env rename 123123 emacs
$ balena env rename 234234 emacs --service
$ balena env rename 345345 emacs --device
$ balena env rename 456456 emacs --device --service
$ balena env rename 567567 1 --config
$ balena env rename 678678 1 --device --config

Arguments

ID

variable's numeric database ID

VALUE

variable value; if omitted, use value from this process' environment

Options

-c, --config

select a configuration variable (may be used together with the --device option)

-d, --device

select a device-specific variable instead of an application (fleet) variable

-s, --service

select a service variable (may be used together with the --device option)

Tags

tags

Use this command to list all tags for a particular application, device or release.

This command lists all application/device/release tags.

Example:

$ balena tags --application MyApp
$ balena tags --device 7cf02a6
$ balena tags --release 1234
$ balena tags --release b376b0e544e9429483b656490e5b9443b4349bd6

Options

--application, -a, --app <application>

application name

--device, -d <device>

device uuid

--release, -r <release>

release id

tag set <tagKey> [value]

Use this command to set a tag to an application, device or release.

You can optionally provide a value to be associated with the created tag, as an extra argument after the tag key. When the value isn't provided, a tag with an empty value is created.

Examples:

$ balena tag set mySimpleTag --application MyApp
$ balena tag set myCompositeTag myTagValue --application MyApp
$ balena tag set myCompositeTag myTagValue --device 7cf02a6
$ balena tag set myCompositeTag "my tag value with whitespaces" --device 7cf02a6
$ balena tag set myCompositeTag myTagValue --release 1234
$ balena tag set myCompositeTag --release 1234
$ balena tag set myCompositeTag --release b376b0e544e9429483b656490e5b9443b4349bd6

Options

--application, -a, --app <application>

application name

--device, -d <device>

device uuid

--release, -r <release>

release id

tag rm <tagKey>

Use this command to remove a tag from an application, device or release.

Examples:

$ balena tag rm myTagKey --application MyApp
$ balena tag rm myTagKey --device 7cf02a6
$ balena tag rm myTagKey --release 1234
$ balena tag rm myTagKey --release b376b0e544e9429483b656490e5b9443b4349bd6

Options

--application, -a, --app <application>

application name

--device, -d <device>

device uuid

--release, -r <release>

release id

Help and Version

help [command...]

Get detailed help for an specific command.

Examples:

$ balena help apps
$ balena help os download

Options

--verbose, -v

show additional commands

version

Display version information for the balena CLI and/or Node.js.

The --json option is recommended when scripting the output of this command, because the JSON format is less likely to change and it better represents data types like lists and empty strings. The 'jq' utility may be helpful in shell scripts (https://stedolan.github.io/jq/manual/).

Examples:

$ balena version
$ balena version -a
$ balena version -j

Options

-a, --all

include version information for additional components (Node.js)

-j, --json

output version information in JSON format for programmatic use

Keys

keys

Use this command to list all your SSH keys.

Examples:

$ balena keys

key <id>

Use this command to show information about a single SSH key.

Examples:

$ balena key 17

key rm <id>

Use this command to remove a SSH key from balena.

Notice this command asks for confirmation interactively. You can avoid this by passing the --yes boolean option.

Examples:

$ balena key rm 17
$ balena key rm 17 --yes

Options

--yes, -y

confirm non interactively

key add <name> [path]

Use this command to associate a new SSH key with your account.

If path is omitted, the command will attempt to read the SSH key from stdin.

Examples:

$ balena key add Main ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub
$ cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub | balena key add Main

Logs

logs <uuidOrDevice>

Use this command to show logs for a specific device.

By default, the command prints all log messages and exits.

To continuously stream output, and see new logs in real time, use the --tail option.

If an IP or .local address is passed to this command, logs are displayed from a local mode device with that address. Note that --tail is implied when this command is provided a local mode device.

Logs from a single service can be displayed with the --service flag. Just system logs can be shown with the --system flag. Note that these flags can be used together.

Examples:

$ balena logs 23c73a1
$ balena logs 23c73a1 --tail

$ balena logs 192.168.0.31
$ balena logs 192.168.0.31 --service my-service
$ balena logs 192.168.0.31 --service my-service-1 --service my-service-2

$ balena logs 23c73a1.local --system
$ balena logs 23c73a1.local --system --service my-service

Options

--tail, -t

continuously stream output

--service, -s <service>

Reject logs not originating from this service. This can be used in combination with --system or other --service flags.

--system, -S

Only show system logs. This can be used in combination with --service.

Network

scan

Examples:

$ balena scan
$ balena scan --timeout 120
$ balena scan --verbose

Options

--verbose, -v

Display full info

--timeout, -t <timeout>

Scan timeout in seconds

ssh <applicationOrDevice> [serviceName]

This command can be used to start a shell on a local or remote device.

If a service name is not provided, a shell will be opened on the host OS.

If an application name is provided, all online devices in the application will be presented, and the chosen device will then have a shell opened on in it's service container or host OS.

For local devices, the IP address and .local domain name are supported. If the device is referenced by IP or .local address, the connection is initiated directly to balenaOS on port 22222 via an openssh-compatible client. Otherwise, any connection initiated remotely traverses the balenaCloud VPN.

Examples: balena ssh MyApp

balena ssh f49cefd
balena ssh f49cefd my-service
balena ssh f49cefd --port <port>

balena ssh 192.168.0.1 --verbose
balena ssh f49cefd.local my-service

Warning: balena ssh requires an openssh-compatible client to be correctly installed in your shell environment. For more information (including Windows support) please check: https://github.com/balena-io/balena-cli/blob/master/INSTALL.md#additional-dependencies

Options

--port, -p <port>

SSH gateway port

--verbose, -v

Increase verbosity

--noproxy

Don't use the proxy configuration for this connection. This flag only make sense if you've configured a proxy globally.

tunnel <deviceOrApplication>

Use this command to open local ports which tunnel to listening ports on your balenaOS device.

For example, you could open port 8080 on your local machine to connect to your managed balenaOS device running a web server listening on port 3000.

You can tunnel multiple ports at any given time.

Examples:

# map remote port 22222 to localhost:22222
$ balena tunnel abcde12345 -p 22222

# map remote port 22222 to localhost:222
$ balena tunnel abcde12345 -p 22222:222

# map remote port 22222 to any address on your host machine, port 22222
$ balena tunnel abcde12345 -p 22222:0.0.0.0

# map remote port 22222 to any address on your host machine, port 222
$ balena tunnel abcde12345 -p 22222:0.0.0.0:222

# multiple port tunnels can be specified at any one time
$ balena tunnel abcde12345 -p 8080:3000 -p 8081:9000

Options

--port, -p <port>

The mapping of remote to local ports.

Notes

note <|note>

Use this command to set or update a device note.

If note command isn't passed, the tool attempts to read from stdin.

To view the notes, use $ balena device .

Examples:

$ balena note "My useful note" --device 7cf02a6
$ cat note.txt | balena note --device 7cf02a6

Options

--device, -d, --dev <device>

device uuid

OS

os versions <type>

Use this command to show the available balenaOS versions for a certain device type. Check available types with balena devices supported

Example:

$ balena os versions raspberrypi3

os download <type>

Use this command to download an unconfigured os image for a certain device type. Check available types with balena devices supported

If version is not specified the newest stable (non-pre-release) version of OS is downloaded if available, or the newest version otherwise (if all existing versions for the given device type are pre-release).

You can pass --version menu to pick the OS version from the interactive menu of all available versions.

Examples:

$ balena os download raspberrypi3 -o ../foo/bar/raspberry-pi.img
$ balena os download raspberrypi3 -o ../foo/bar/raspberry-pi.img --version 1.24.1
$ balena os download raspberrypi3 -o ../foo/bar/raspberry-pi.img --version ^1.20.0
$ balena os download raspberrypi3 -o ../foo/bar/raspberry-pi.img --version latest
$ balena os download raspberrypi3 -o ../foo/bar/raspberry-pi.img --version default
$ balena os download raspberrypi3 -o ../foo/bar/raspberry-pi.img --version menu

Options

--output, -o <output>

output path

--version <version>

exact version number, or a valid semver range, or 'latest' (includes pre-releases), or 'default' (excludes pre-releases if at least one stable version is available), or 'recommended' (excludes pre-releases, will fail if only pre-release versions are available), or 'menu' (will show the interactive menu)

os build-config <image> <device-type>

Use this command to prebuild the OS config once and skip the interactive part of balena os configure.

Example:

$ balena os build-config ../path/rpi3.img raspberrypi3 --output rpi3-config.json
$ balena os configure ../path/rpi3.img --device 7cf02a6 --config rpi3-config.json

Options

--advanced, -v

show advanced configuration options

--output, -o <output>

the path to the output JSON file

os configure IMAGE

Configure a previously downloaded balenaOS image for a specific device type or balena application.

Configuration settings such as WiFi authentication will be taken from the following sources, in precedence order:

  1. Command-line options like --config-wifi-ssid
  2. A given config.json file specified with the --config option.
  3. User input through interactive prompts (text menus).

The --device-type option may be used to override the application's default device type, in case of an application with mixed device types.

The --system-connection (-c) option can be used to inject NetworkManager connection profiles for additional network interfaces, such as cellular/GSM or additional WiFi or ethernet connections. This option may be passed multiple times in case there are multiple files to inject. See connection profile examples and reference at: https://www.balena.io/docs/reference/OS/network/2.x/ https://developer.gnome.org/NetworkManager/stable/nm-settings.html

The --device-api-key option is deprecated and will be removed in a future release. A suitable key is automatically generated or fetched if this option is omitted.

Examples:

$ balena os configure ../path/rpi3.img --device 7cf02a6
$ balena os configure ../path/rpi3.img --device 7cf02a6 --device-api-key <existingDeviceKey>
$ balena os configure ../path/rpi3.img --app MyApp
$ balena os configure ../path/rpi3.img --app MyApp --version 2.12.7
$ balena os configure ../path/rpi3.img --app MyFinApp --device-type raspberrypi3
$ balena os configure ../path/rpi3.img --app MyFinApp --device-type raspberrypi3 --config myWifiConfig.json

Arguments

IMAGE

path to a balenaOS image file, e.g. "rpi3.img"

Options

-v, --advanced

ask advanced configuration questions (when in interactive mode)

--app APP

same as '--application'

-a, --application APPLICATION

application name

--config CONFIG

path to a pre-generated config.json file to be injected in the OS image

--config-app-update-poll-interval CONFIG-APP-UPDATE-POLL-INTERVAL

interval (in minutes) for the on-device balena supervisor periodic app update check

--config-network CONFIG-NETWORK

device network type (non-interactive configuration)

--config-wifi-key CONFIG-WIFI-KEY

WiFi key (password) (non-interactive configuration)

--config-wifi-ssid CONFIG-WIFI-SSID

WiFi SSID (network name) (non-interactive configuration)

-d, --device DEVICE

device UUID

-k, --device-api-key DEVICE-API-KEY

custom device API key (DEPRECATED and only supported with balenaOS 2.0.3+)

--device-type DEVICE-TYPE

device type slug (e.g. "raspberrypi3") to override the application device type

--version VERSION

balenaOS version, for example "2.32.0" or "2.44.0+rev1"

-c, --system-connection SYSTEM-CONNECTION

paths to local files to place into the 'system-connections' directory

os initialize <image>

Use this command to initialize a device with previously configured operating system image.

Note: Initializing the device may ask for administrative permissions because we need to access the raw devices directly.

Examples:

$ balena os initialize ../path/rpi.img --type 'raspberry-pi'

Options

--yes, -y

confirm non interactively

--type, -t <type>

device type (Check available types with balena devices supported)

--drive, -d <drive>

the drive to write the image to, like /dev/sdb or /dev/mmcblk0. Careful with this as you can erase your hard drive. Check balena util available-drives for available options.

Config

config read

Use this command to read the config.json file from the mounted filesystem (e.g. SD card) of a provisioned device"

Examples:

$ balena config read --type raspberry-pi
$ balena config read --type raspberry-pi --drive /dev/disk2

Options

--type, -t <type>

device type (Check available types with balena devices supported)

--drive, -d <drive>

drive

config write <key> <value>

Use this command to write the config.json file to the mounted filesystem (e.g. SD card) of a provisioned device

Examples:

$ balena config write --type raspberry-pi username johndoe
$ balena config write --type raspberry-pi --drive /dev/disk2 username johndoe
$ balena config write --type raspberry-pi files.network/settings "..."

Options

--type, -t <type>

device type (Check available types with balena devices supported)

--drive, -d <drive>

drive

config inject <file>

Use this command to inject a config.json file to the mounted filesystem (e.g. SD card or mounted balenaOS image) of a provisioned device"

Examples:

$ balena config inject my/config.json --type raspberry-pi
$ balena config inject my/config.json --type raspberry-pi --drive /dev/disk2

Options

--type, -t <type>

device type (Check available types with balena devices supported)

--drive, -d <drive>

drive

config reconfigure

Use this command to reconfigure a provisioned device

Examples:

$ balena config reconfigure --type raspberry-pi
$ balena config reconfigure --type raspberry-pi --advanced
$ balena config reconfigure --type raspberry-pi --drive /dev/disk2

Options

--type, -t <type>

device type (Check available types with balena devices supported)

--drive, -d <drive>

drive

--advanced, -v

show advanced commands

config generate

Use this command to generate a config.json for a device or application.

Calling this command with the exact version number of the targeted image is required.

This is interactive by default, but you can do this automatically without interactivity by specifying an option for each question on the command line, if you know the questions that will be asked for the relevant device type.

In case that you want to configure an image for an application with mixed device types, you can pass the --device-type argument along with --app to specify the target device type.

Examples:

$ balena config generate --device 7cf02a6 --version 2.12.7
$ balena config generate --device 7cf02a6 --version 2.12.7 --generate-device-api-key
$ balena config generate --device 7cf02a6 --version 2.12.7 --device-api-key <existingDeviceKey>
$ balena config generate --device 7cf02a6 --version 2.12.7 --output config.json
$ balena config generate --app MyApp --version 2.12.7
$ balena config generate --app MyApp --version 2.12.7 --device-type fincm3
$ balena config generate --app MyApp --version 2.12.7 --output config.json
$ balena config generate --app MyApp --version 2.12.7 --network wifi --wifiSsid mySsid --wifiKey abcdefgh --appUpdatePollInterval 1

Options

--version <version>

a balenaOS version

--application, -a, --app <application>

application name

--device, -d <device>

device uuid

--deviceApiKey, -k <device-api-key>

custom device key - note that this is only supported on balenaOS 2.0.3+

--deviceType <device-type>

device type slug

--generate-device-api-key

generate a fresh device key for the device

--output, -o <output>

output

--network <network>

the network type to use: ethernet or wifi

--wifiSsid <wifiSsid>

the wifi ssid to use (used only if --network is set to wifi)

--wifiKey <wifiKey>

the wifi key to use (used only if --network is set to wifi)

--appUpdatePollInterval <appUpdatePollInterval>

how frequently (in minutes) to poll for application updates

Preload

preload <image>

Preload a balena application release (app images/containers), and optionally a balenaOS splash screen, in a previously downloaded balenaOS image file (or Edison zip archive) in the local disk. The balenaOS image file can then be flashed to a device's SD card. When the device boots, it will not need to download the application, as it was preloaded.

Warning: "balena preload" requires Docker to be correctly installed in your shell environment. For more information (including Windows support) check: https://github.com/balena-io/balena-cli/blob/master/INSTALL.md

Examples:

$ balena preload balena.img --app 1234 --commit e1f2592fc6ee949e68756d4f4a48e49bff8d72a0 --splash-image image.png
$ balena preload balena.img

Options

--app, -a <appId>

id of the application to preload

--commit, -c <hash>

The commit hash for a specific application release to preload, use "current" to specify the current release (ignored if no appId is given). The current release is usually also the latest, but can be manually pinned using https://github.com/balena-io-projects/staged-releases .

--splash-image, -s <splashImage.png>

path to a png image to replace the splash screen

--dont-check-arch

Disables check for matching architecture in image and application

--pin-device-to-release, -p

Pin the preloaded device to the preloaded release on provision

--add-certificate <certificate.crt>

Add the given certificate (in PEM format) to /etc/ssl/certs in the preloading container. The file name must end with '.crt' and must not be already contained in the preloader's /etc/ssl/certs folder. Can be repeated to add multiple certificates.

--docker, -P <docker>

Path to a local docker socket (e.g. /var/run/docker.sock)

--dockerHost, -h <dockerHost>

Docker daemon hostname or IP address (dev machine or balena device)

--dockerPort <dockerPort>

Docker daemon TCP port number (hint: 2375 for balena devices)

--ca <ca>

Docker host TLS certificate authority file

--cert <cert>

Docker host TLS certificate file

--key <key>

Docker host TLS key file

Push

push <applicationOrDevice>

This command can be used to start a build on the remote balena cloud builders, or a local mode balena device.

When building on the balenaCloud servers, the given source directory will be sent to the remote server. This can be used as a drop-in replacement for the "git push" deployment method.

When building on a local mode device, the given source directory will be built on the device, and the resulting containers will be run on the device. Logs will be streamed back from the device as part of the same invocation. The web dashboard can be used to switch a device to local mode: https://www.balena.io/docs/learn/develop/local-mode/ Note that local mode requires a supervisor version of at least v7.21.0. The logs from only a single service can be shown with the --service flag, and showing only the system logs can be achieved with --system. Note that these flags can be used together.

When pushing to a local device a live session will be started. The project source folder is watched for filesystem events, and changes to files and folders are automatically synchronized to the running containers. The synchronization is only in one direction, from this machine to the device, and changes made on the device itself may be overwritten. This feature requires a device running supervisor version v9.7.0 or greater.

The --registry-secrets option specifies a JSON or YAML file containing private Docker registry usernames and passwords to be used when pulling base images. Sample registry-secrets YAML file:

'my-registry-server.com:25000':
    username: ann
    password: hunter2
'':  # Use the empty string to refer to the Docker Hub
    username: mike
    password: cze14
'eu.gcr.io':  # Google Container Registry
    username: '_json_key'
    password: '{escaped contents of the GCR keyfile.json file}'

For a sample project using registry secrets with the Google Container Registry, check: https://github.com/balena-io-playground/sample-gcr-registry-secrets

If the --registry-secrets option is not specified, and a secrets.yml or secrets.json file exists in the balena directory (usually $HOME/.balena), this file will be used instead.

Examples:

$ balena push myApp
$ balena push myApp --source <source directory>
$ balena push myApp -s <source directory>

$ balena push 10.0.0.1
$ balena push 10.0.0.1 --source <source directory>
$ balena push 10.0.0.1 --service my-service
$ balena push 10.0.0.1 --env MY_ENV_VAR=value --env my-service:SERVICE_VAR=value
$ balena push 10.0.0.1 --nolive

$ balena push 23c73a1.local --system
$ balena push 23c73a1.local --system --service my-service

Options

--source, -s <source>

The source that should be sent to the balena builder to be built (defaults to the current directory)

--emulated, -e

Force an emulated build to occur on the remote builder

--dockerfile <Dockerfile>

Alternative Dockerfile name/path, relative to the source folder

--nocache, -c

Don't use cache when building this project

--noparent-check

Disable project validation check of 'docker-compose.yml' file in parent folder

--registry-secrets, -R <secrets.yml|.json>

Path to a local YAML or JSON file containing Docker registry passwords used to pull base images. Note that if registry-secrets are not provided on the command line, a secrets configuration file from the balena directory will be used (usually $HOME/.balena/secrets.yml|.json)

--nolive

Don't run a live session on this push. The filesystem will not be monitored, and changes will not be synchronized to any running containers. Note that both this flag and --detached and required to cause the process to end once the initial build has completed.

--detached, -d

When pushing to the cloud, this option will cause the build to start, then return execution back to the shell, with the status and release ID (if applicable).

When pushing to a local mode device, this option will cause the command to not tail application logs when the build has completed.

--service <service>

Reject logs not originating from this service. This can be used in combination with --system and other --service flags. Only valid when pushing to a local mode device.

--system

Only show system logs. This can be used in combination with --service. Only valid when pushing to a local mode device.

--env <env>

When performing a push to device, run the built containers with environment variables provided with this argument. Environment variables can be applied to individual services by adding their service name before the argument, separated by a colon, e.g: --env main:MY_ENV=value Note that if the service name cannot be found in the composition, the entire left hand side of the = character will be treated as the variable name.

--convert-eol, -l

On Windows only, convert line endings from CRLF (Windows format) to LF (Unix format). Source files are not modified.

Settings

settings

Use this command to display detected settings

Examples:

$ balena settings

Local

local configure <target>

Use this command to configure or reconfigure a balenaOS drive or image.

Examples:

$ balena local configure /dev/sdc
$ balena local configure path/to/image.img

local flash <image>

Use this command to flash a balenaOS image to a drive.

Examples:

$ balena local flash path/to/balenaos.img[.zip|.gz|.bz2|.xz]
$ balena local flash path/to/balenaos.img --drive /dev/disk2
$ balena local flash path/to/balenaos.img --drive /dev/disk2 --yes

Options

--yes, -y

confirm non-interactively

--drive, -d <drive>

drive

Deploy

build [source]

Use this command to build an image or a complete multicontainer project with the provided docker daemon in your development machine or balena device. (See also the balena push command for the option of building images in the balenaCloud build servers.)

You must provide either an application or a device-type/architecture pair to use the balena Dockerfile pre-processor (e.g. Dockerfile.template -> Dockerfile).

This command will look into the given source directory (or the current working directory if one isn't specified) for a docker-compose.yml file. If it is found, this command will build each service defined in the compose file. If a compose file isn't found, the command will look for a Dockerfile[.template] file (or alternative Dockerfile specified with the -f option), and if yet that isn't found, it will try to generate one.

The --registry-secrets option specifies a JSON or YAML file containing private Docker registry usernames and passwords to be used when pulling base images. Sample registry-secrets YAML file:

'my-registry-server.com:25000':
    username: ann
    password: hunter2
'':  # Use the empty string to refer to the Docker Hub
    username: mike
    password: cze14
'eu.gcr.io':  # Google Container Registry
    username: '_json_key'
    password: '{escaped contents of the GCR keyfile.json file}'

For a sample project using registry secrets with the Google Container Registry, check: https://github.com/balena-io-playground/sample-gcr-registry-secrets

If the --registry-secrets option is not specified, and a secrets.yml or secrets.json file exists in the balena directory (usually $HOME/.balena), this file will be used instead.

Examples:

$ balena build
$ balena build ./source/
$ balena build --deviceType raspberrypi3 --arch armv7hf --emulated
$ balena build --application MyApp ./source/
$ balena build --docker /var/run/docker.sock   # Linux, Mac
$ balena build --docker //./pipe/docker_engine # Windows
$ balena build --dockerHost my.docker.host --dockerPort 2376 --ca ca.pem --key key.pem --cert cert.pem

Options

--arch, -A <arch>

The architecture to build for

--deviceType, -d <deviceType>

The type of device this build is for

--application, -a <application>

The target balena application this build is for

--projectName, -n <projectName>

Specify an alternate project name; default is the directory name

--emulated, -e

Run an emulated build using Qemu

--dockerfile <Dockerfile>

Alternative Dockerfile name/path, relative to the source folder

--logs

Display full log output

--noparent-check

Disable project validation check of 'docker-compose.yml' file in parent folder

--registry-secrets, -R <secrets.yml|.json>

Path to a YAML or JSON file with passwords for a private Docker registry

--convert-eol, -l

On Windows only, convert line endings from CRLF (Windows format) to LF (Unix format). Source files are not modified.

--docker, -P <docker>

Path to a local docker socket (e.g. /var/run/docker.sock)

--dockerHost, -h <dockerHost>

Docker daemon hostname or IP address (dev machine or balena device)

--dockerPort, -p <dockerPort>

Docker daemon TCP port number (hint: 2375 for balena devices)

--ca <ca>

Docker host TLS certificate authority file

--cert <cert>

Docker host TLS certificate file

--key <key>

Docker host TLS key file

--tag, -t <tag>

The alias to the generated image

--buildArg, -B <arg>

Set a build-time variable (eg. "-B 'ARG=value'"). Can be specified multiple times.

--cache-from <image-list>

Comma-separated list (no spaces) of image names for build cache resolution. Implements the same feature as the "docker build --cache-from" option.

--nocache

Don't use docker layer caching when building

--squash

Squash newly built layers into a single new layer

deploy <appName> [image]

Usage: deploy <appName> ([image] | --build [--source build-dir])

Use this command to deploy an image or a complete multicontainer project to an application, optionally building it first. The source images are searched for (and optionally built) using the docker daemon in your development machine or balena device. (See also the balena push command for the option of building the image in the balenaCloud build servers.)

Unless an image is specified, this command will look into the current directory (or the one specified by --source) for a docker-compose.yml file. If one is found, this command will deploy each service defined in the compose file, building it first if an image for it doesn't exist. If a compose file isn't found, the command will look for a Dockerfile[.template] file (or alternative Dockerfile specified with the -f option), and if yet that isn't found, it will try to generate one.

To deploy to an app on which you're a collaborator, use balena deploy <appOwnerUsername>/<appName>.

When --build is used, all options supported by balena build are also supported by this command.

The --registry-secrets option specifies a JSON or YAML file containing private Docker registry usernames and passwords to be used when pulling base images. Sample registry-secrets YAML file:

'my-registry-server.com:25000':
    username: ann
    password: hunter2
'':  # Use the empty string to refer to the Docker Hub
    username: mike
    password: cze14
'eu.gcr.io':  # Google Container Registry
    username: '_json_key'
    password: '{escaped contents of the GCR keyfile.json file}'

For a sample project using registry secrets with the Google Container Registry, check: https://github.com/balena-io-playground/sample-gcr-registry-secrets

If the --registry-secrets option is not specified, and a secrets.yml or secrets.json file exists in the balena directory (usually $HOME/.balena), this file will be used instead.

Examples:

$ balena deploy myApp
$ balena deploy myApp --build --source myBuildDir/
$ balena deploy myApp myApp/myImage

Options

--source, -s <source>

Specify an alternate source directory; default is the working directory

--build, -b

Force a rebuild before deploy

--nologupload

Don't upload build logs to the dashboard with image (if building)

--projectName, -n <projectName>

Specify an alternate project name; default is the directory name

--emulated, -e

Run an emulated build using Qemu

--dockerfile <Dockerfile>

Alternative Dockerfile name/path, relative to the source folder

--logs

Display full log output

--noparent-check

Disable project validation check of 'docker-compose.yml' file in parent folder

--registry-secrets, -R <secrets.yml|.json>

Path to a YAML or JSON file with passwords for a private Docker registry

--convert-eol, -l

On Windows only, convert line endings from CRLF (Windows format) to LF (Unix format). Source files are not modified.

--docker, -P <docker>

Path to a local docker socket (e.g. /var/run/docker.sock)

--dockerHost, -h <dockerHost>

Docker daemon hostname or IP address (dev machine or balena device)

--dockerPort, -p <dockerPort>

Docker daemon TCP port number (hint: 2375 for balena devices)

--ca <ca>

Docker host TLS certificate authority file

--cert <cert>

Docker host TLS certificate file

--key <key>

Docker host TLS key file

--tag, -t <tag>

The alias to the generated image

--buildArg, -B <arg>

Set a build-time variable (eg. "-B 'ARG=value'"). Can be specified multiple times.

--cache-from <image-list>

Comma-separated list (no spaces) of image names for build cache resolution. Implements the same feature as the "docker build --cache-from" option.

--nocache

Don't use docker layer caching when building

--squash

Squash newly built layers into a single new layer

Platform

join [deviceIp]

Use this command to move a local device to an application on another balena server.

For example, you could provision a device against an openBalena installation where you perform end-to-end tests and then move it to balenaCloud when it's ready for production.

To move a device between applications on the same server, use the balena device move command instead of balena join.

If you don't specify a device hostname or IP, this command will automatically scan the local network for balenaOS devices and prompt you to select one from an interactive picker. This usually requires root privileges.

Examples:

$ balena join
$ balena join balena.local
$ balena join balena.local --application MyApp
$ balena join 192.168.1.25
$ balena join 192.168.1.25 --application MyApp

Options

--application, -a <application>

The name of the application the device should join

leave [deviceIp]

Use this command to make a local device leave the balena server it is provisioned on. This effectively makes the device "unmanaged".

The device entry on the server is preserved after running this command, so the device can subsequently re-join the server if needed.

If you don't specify a device hostname or IP, this command will automatically scan the local network for balenaOS devices and prompt you to select one from an interactive picker. This usually requires root privileges.

Examples:

$ balena leave
$ balena leave balena.local
$ balena leave 192.168.1.25

Utilities

util available-drives

Use this command to list your machine's drives usable for writing the OS image to. Skips the system drives.