We hope 2020 is off to a great start! This month we’re talking Container Contracts, Software-Defined Radio (SDR), and figuring out how to get the most from our edge devices.

“By the beard of Zeus– what’s a container contract?!” we hear you cry, but fear not– we cover the feature in this blog post on how to make conditional updates to your fleet. If you’re curious about SDR, check out this guide to set up your own remote radio monitoring station. Finally, if you’re finding your fleet is feeling flippantly underutilized, we take a look into analysing and making the most of your device’s hardware.

As always, we have content from the balena team, community spotlights and, as always, a new fleet owner tip from Charlie.

On to the good stuff… see you next month!

News from balena

Introducing Container Contracts by balena

We’re excited to put a spotlight on our Container Contracts feature. Set rules that prevent devices from getting upgrades that make them fail — and keep fleets healthy. Check out our announcement post for details on how we’re reducing even more friction for fleet owners.

The latest from our blog

Use utilization data to pick boards that fit your project

So many boards, so many choices! Boards like the balenaFin, Raspberry Pi 3 and 4, and NVIDIA are powerful multi-core microcomputers with plenty of horsepower to spare. Learn how to decide which is best for your upcoming project.

Set up your own software-defined radio monitoring

Tired of the same ole stations on the radio? Aspire to create your own pirate radio station? Use this project to detect surrounding radio spectrum and stream its audio all from a Raspberry Pi, software-defined radio, and balena.

Charlie’s Tips ‘n’ Tricks

Every month, Charlie the Unicorn takes a break from the CLI and lets us in on some power user moves.

This month, we discovered how to pass service and environment variables when pushing code to a device. This is particularly helpful when developing in local mode. Check out the docs for more information!

Community projects of the month

Every month we like to feature a few projects built by the community, this month it’s:

Build a GPS Tracker with balenaOS

Huge thanks to SCRobotics for their detailed post on how to create a GPS Tracker on an embedded device using balenaOS. Check out the guide to try it out.

Create an on-the-go, Pi-powered Minecraft server with balena

Interested in using balena to spin up and provision a portable Minecraft server off of a Raspberry Pi? See how @AlexProgrammerDE does it on GitHub. Stay tuned for a full project post on this soon.

Job spotlight: Internal Software Engineer

We’re looking for a talented Software Engineer to help us take our internal tooling to the next level. The vision: CI tooling purpose-built for IoT workflows. Could this be you?

Check out all our available job openings as well.


Here are some upcoming events you might like to check out. If you see the balena logo next to an event, that means we’ll be there – come and say hello!

HashiTalks Online – Virtual Event Feb 20, 2020
Embedded World Nuremberg, DE February 25-27, 2020
Scale18x Pasadena, CA, USA Mar 5-8, 2020
Nvidia GPU Technology Conference San Jose, CA, USA March 22-26, 2020
KubeCon + CloudNative, Europe Amsterdam, NL March 30 – April 2, 2020
Internet of Things World San Jose, CA, USA April 6-9, 2020
Hackaday Belgrade Belgrade, Serbia May 9, 2020