Open source software to manage connected IoT devices

Use our building blocks to host your own device deployment and management server.
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Tools to manage your fleet

Deploy and manage one device, or one million.
Powerful API & SDK
Extend openBalena to fit your needs
Easy updates
Remotely update the software on your devices with a single command
Benefit from the power of virtualization, optimized for the edge.
Built-in VPN
Access your devices regardless of their network environment
Simple provisioning
Adding devices to your fleet is a breeze.


Why OpenBalena?

OpenBalena is a platform to deploy and manage connected devices. Devices run balenaOS, a host operating system designed for running containers on IoT devices, and are managed via the balena CLI, which you can use to configure your application containers, push updates, check status, view logs, and so forth. OpenBalena’s backend services, composed of battle-tested components that we’ve run in production on balenaCloud for years, can store device information securely and reliably, allow remote management via a built-in VPN service, and efficiently distribute container images to your devices.
With openBalena, we want to give developers the ability to manage fleets of devices on their own. One of our primary motivations in releasing openBalena is to mitigate fears of lock-in and remove barriers to exit (and entry!). We also hope to encourage contributions to the codebase so that users can fix issues and add features themselves. We will continue evolving openBalena in lockstep with balenaCloud, with much of our development process taking place in the open, so that together we can keep improving both the open source project and the hosted service.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my device will work with openBalena?

Any device that can run balenaOS will work with openBalena. BalenaOS supports many different device types and multiple architectures. Check out the full list of supported devices here. Note that for the beta release, openBalena will only support the Raspberry Pi family, the Intel NUC, the NVIDIA Jetson TX2, and the balenaFin.

What are the requirements for my development machine to run openBalena?

To run openBalena server, your machine will need the following:
Docker >= 18.05.0
Docker Compose >= 1.11
OpenSSL >= 1.0.0python >= 2.7 or >=3.4

To control an existing openBalena instance with the CLI:
node.js >= 6
Docker >= 18.05.0

What’s the difference between openBalena and balenaCloud?

Whilst openBalena and balenaCloud share the same core technology, there are some key differences. First, openBalena is self-hosted, whereas balenaCloud is hosted by balena and therefore handles security, maintenance, scaling, and reliability of all the backend services. OpenBalena is also single user, whereas balenaCloud supports multiple users and organizations. OpenBalena also lacks some of the commercial features that define balenaCloud, such as the web-based dashboard and updates with binary container deltas.

How do I move from openBalena to balenaCloud and vice versa?

We’ve added a feature to balenaOS giving devices the ability to join and leave a server. In practice, this means that balena customers will always have the option of setting up an open source server and no longer using the cloud service, while open source users can always migrate to balenaCloud if they need a ready-to-use, commercially supported platform. At balena, we want our relationship to be defined by the value we provide, not by the lockin that is created by the inability to move. We see openBalena as a big step towards removing those barriers to exit (and entry!).

Why should I use containers in my IoT project?

Linux containers have become a standard tool in cloud development and deployment workflows. The benefits are numerous, including portability across platforms, easy dependency management, minimal overhead, and more control for developers over how their code runs. The popularity of containers continues to grow: Docker, an open source container engine, has seen especially high traction, with one study showing a 40% increase in adoption over the course of a year. It’s clear that containers matter, and we think they matter even more for the Internet of Things.

How can I contribute to openBalena?

All of openBalena is hosted on GitHub. The best place to start is by visiting the central repository and check for open issues. You can also contribute to openBalena’s client-side software such as balenaOS, balenaEngine the balena CLI, and the balena SDK.

Device deployment and management infrastructure, hosted by balena.

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The container-based platform for deploying IoT fleets

Easily develop and deploy IoT fleets, and remotely update and monitor your devices and code from anywhere in the world.
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Manage at scale