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Signing and Pushing TorizonCore Packages to Torizon OTA

 

Article updated at 03 May 2022
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Introduction

The Torizon Platform Services allows customers to push their own customized versions of TorizonCore (OS updates) and Docker Compose (application updates) to our hosted service. It means that, after customizing an image or creating your application, you must sign and push it to Torizon OTA.

In this article, you will learn how to use the TorizonCore Builder Tool for signing and pushing packages to the Torizon Platform Services.

This is a feature available on prime-tiers of the Torizon Platform Services. If you want to learn more about the Torizon Platform Services pricing and plans, please contact us.

Request access to evaluate the Torizon Platform Services premium features

This article complies to the Typographic Conventions for Torizon Documentation.

Prerequisites

The prerequisites to complete these instructions are:

Make sure your working directory has the following structure, including credentials.zip, splash.png, docker-compose.yml, and a directory called image containing the uncompressed TorizonCore installation image:

$ tree
.
├── credentials.zip
├── image
│   ├── image.json
│   ├── marketing.tar
│   ├── prepare.sh
│   ├── SPL
│   ├── toradexlinux.png
│   ├── torizon-core-docker-apalis-imx6.ota.tar.zst
│   ├── u-boot.img
│   ├── u-boot-initial-env-spl
│   └── wrapup.sh
└── splash.png
└── docker-compose.yml

Also make sure you can run TorizonCore Builder:

$ torizoncore-builder --help

Generating a customized TorizonCore image

Let's modify a TorizonCore image. In this example, we will apply a custom splash screen to illustrate the process.

To install TorizonCore Builder, follow the instructions below, in order.

Create and enter a working directory where your customization will be stored:

$ mkdir ~/tcbworkdir
$ cd ~/tcbworkdir

Use the setup script named tcb-env-setup.sh, available on the Toradex Github, to setup TorizonCore Builder:

$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/toradex/tcb-env-setup/master/tcb-env-setup.sh
$ source tcb-env-setup.sh

For advanced usage, run source tcb-env-setup.sh -h, or see the project README.

If using Windows, you must pass extra parameters to the script when using the following commands:

Tip: The setup script installs a bash completion script for TorizonCore Builder, making it possible to autocomplete commands and parameters by just pressing the TAB key.

Verify that the command torizoncore-builder is available:

$ torizoncore-builder --help

Warning: Make sure to: (1) source the script, (2) every time you open a new terminal, (3) inside the working directory you have previously created. Otherwise, it will not work as intended and, most importantly, the torizoncore-builder alias will not be created properly.

Applying Customization

Apply the custom splash screen image – when using torizoncore-builder versions 3.0.0 or later:

torizoncore-builder splash splash.png

Or, if using versions of the tool before 3.0.0:

torizoncore-builder splash --image splash.png

Now create a new TorizonCore OSTree image – when using torizoncore-builder versions 3.0.0 or later:

torizoncore-builder union my-custom-image

Or, if using versions of the tool before 3.0.0:

torizoncore-builder union --union-branch my-custom-image

Note: For a more detailed description of splash, union and other TorizonCore Builder commands, see TorizonCore Builder Tool article.

Signing and pushing the image to Torizon OTA

The command platform push from TorizonCore Builder can be used to push a new TorizonCore image to Torizon OTA.

The command requires the credentials.zip file from Torizon OTA and a reference to the OSTree repository that should be pushed to the OTA server.

torizoncore-builder platform push --credentials <credentials file> <ostree reference>

In our example, the OSTree reference is called my-custom-image (defined in the union command above), so the command below will push the customized image to Torizon OTA:

torizoncore-builder platform push --credentials credentials.zip my-custom-image

Now, if you log in to Torizon OTA and initiate an update, you should see the customized image, ready to be used to update a device:


  • Torizon OTA customized image

    Torizon OTA customized image

And, if everything went fine with the update, you shall see your board rebooting when the process is completed, and the splash screen shown in the device initialization will be the one defined in the new image.

There are also some additional arguments that can be passed to further customize this image update package.

torizoncore-builder platform push --credentials <credentials file> --package-name <name for this image update> --package-version <version for this image update> <ostree reference> --hardwareid <supported hardware for this image update>

The --package-name argument will apply whatever is passed as the name for this image update package. Simply put, this is the name that your update will appear under in our Torizon OTA web UI. However, this argument is optional and, if not used, will default to the OSTree reference.

The --package-version argument is the version that this image update package will show up as in the web UI. This doesn't have to be a numerical version and can be any legitimate string. This argument is optional, and if not used, the version will default to the OSTree subject.

The --hardwareid argument defines which hardware IDs the image to be uploaded will be compatible with. This argument can be repeated multiple times, adding extra supported hardware IDs to the image. It's important to notice this argument will override the default image's hardware ID. Under the Supported Hardware tab at the Torizon OTA web UI, you can confirm the changes. This argument is optional, and if not used, the supported hardware ID will default to the original image's hardware ID.

Signing and pushing the docker-compose file to Torizon OTA

The command platform push can also be used to push docker-compose files to Torizon OTA.

For this credentials.zip is also required along with the path to the docker-compose file. Your compose file can have any name, as long as it ends in .yml, or .yaml. If it does not have either of these file endings then the command will assume you passed an OSTree reference instead.

torizoncore-builder platform push --credentials <credentials file> <path to docker-compose file>

There are also some additional arguments that can be passed to further customize this update package

torizoncore-builder platform push --credentials <credentials file> --package-name <name for this update> --package-version <version for this update> --canonicalize <path to docker-compose file>

The --package-name argument will apply whatever is passed as the name for this updated package. Simply put, this is the name that your update will appear under in our Torizon OTA web UI. However, this argument is optional and, if not used, will default to the pushed file's name.

The --package-version argument is the version that this package will show up as in the web UI. This doesn't have to be a numerical version and can be any legitimate string. This argument is also optional and, if not used, will default to the date of upload at UTC time in the format of yyyy-mm-dd.

The --canonicalize argument generates a canonicalized version of the docker-compose file, changing its extension to '.lock.yml' or '.lock.yaml' before pushing it to Torizon OTA. If no other package name is provided, using the --package-name argument, the default package name will be the generated file's name when using the canonicalize argument.

Note: For a docker-compose file to be suitable for use with offline-updates it must be in canonical form.

For example running the following command:

torizoncore-builder platform push --credentials credentials.zip --package-name tcb-test --package-version 1.1 docker-compose.yml

Will result in the following appearing in your account's web UI:


  • Torizon OTA docker-compose package

    Torizon OTA docker-compose package

Lockfiles and Canonical Docker Compose Files

When pushing a docker-compose file to Torizon OTA, TorizonCore Builder will:

  • Canonicalize the docker-compose file
  • Save a copy of the canonicalized docker-compose file with .lock.yml or .lock.yaml extension (depending on how you named your docker-compose file)
  • If the --canonicalize option was provided, send the canonicalized docker-compose file to Torizon OTA.

Note: Canonicalizing a docker-compose file basically means putting it into a specific YAML format, removing comments (lines starting with a # or any word included after a # character), and associating HASH values to Docker images.

This way, it would be easier to track changes to this docker-compose file and also make your deployment more secure since we are pulling down images based on HASHES instead of tags.