This is the documentation for the latest (main) development branch of Zephyr. If you are looking for the documentation of previous releases, use the drop-down menu on the left and select the desired version.

UpdateHub embedded Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) update


UpdateHub is an enterprise-grade solution which makes it simple to remotely update all your embedded devices. It handles all aspects related to sending Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) updates with maximum security and efficiency, while you focus on adding value to your product. It is possible to read more about at

This sample shows how to use UpdateHub in both a polling and manual update mode.

Polling mode runs automatically on a predefined period, probing the server for updates and installing them without requiring user intervention.

Manual mode requires the user to call the server probe and then, if there is an available update, also requires the user to decide if it is appropriate to update now or later.

You can access the sample source code at samples/subsys/mgmt/updatehub/src/main.c.


  • The Zephyr port of UpdateHub was initially developed to run on a Freedom-K64F kit using the ethernet connectivity. The application should build and run for other platforms with same connectivity.

  • The sample provides overlay files to enable other technologies like WIFI, 802.15.4 or OpenThread. These technologies depends on hardware resources and the correspondent overlay was designed to be generic instead full optimized.

  • It is important understand that some wireless technologies may require a gateway or some sort of border router. It is out of scope provide such configuration in details.

  • The MCUboot bootloader is required for UpdateHub function properly. Before chose a platform to test, make sure that SoC and board have support to it. UpdateHub currently uses two slots to perform the upgrade. More information about Device Firmware Upgrade subsystem and MCUboot can be found in MCUboot.

  • UpdateHub acts like a service on Zephyr. It is heavily dependent on Zephyr sub-systems and it uses CoAP over UDP.

Building and Running

The below steps describe how to build and run the UpdateHub sample in Zephyr. Open a terminal terminal 1 and navigate to your Zephyr project directory. This allows to construct and run everything from a common place.

bootloader  modules  tools  zephyr

Step 1: Build/Flash MCUboot

The MCUboot can be build following the instructions in the MCUboot documentation page. Flash the resulting image file using west on terminal 1.

# From the root of the zephyr repository
west build -b frdm_k64f -d build/mcuboot-frdm_k64f bootloader/mcuboot/boot/zephyr
west flash -d build/mcuboot-frdm_k64f

Step 2: Start the UpdateHub Server

Step 2.1: UpdateHub-CE (Community Edition)

The Zephyr sample application is configured by default to use the UpdateHub-CE server edition. This version implies you need run your own server. The UpdateHub-CE is distributed as a docker container and can be on your local network or even installed on a service provider like Digital Ocean, Vultr etc. To start using the UpdateHub-CE simple execute the docker command with the following parameters on another terminal terminal 2.

docker run -it -p 8080:8080 -p 5683:5683/udp --rm

Step 2.2: UpdateHub Cloud

The UpdateHub Cloud is an enterprise-grade solution. It provides almost same resources than UpdateHub-CE with the DTLS as main diferential. For more details on how to use the UpdateHub Cloud please refer to the documentation on The UpdateHub Cloud has the option to use CoAPS/DTLS or not. If you want to use the CoAPS/DTLS, simply add the overlay-dtls.conf when building the sample. You can use the provided certificate for test this example or create your own. The below procedure instruct how create a new certificate using openssl on a Linux machine on terminal terminal 2.

openssl genrsa -out privkey.pem 512
openssl req -new -x509 -key privkey.pem -out servercert.pem

The servercert and privkey files must be embedded in the application by certificates.h file. The following procedure can be used to generated the required der files:

openssl x509 -in servercert.pem -outform DER -out servercert.der
openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -inform PEM -outform DER -nocrypt -in privkey.pem
  -out privkey.der

The der files should be placed on the sample source at certificates directory.


When using UpdateHub Cloud server it is necessary update your own overlay-prj.conf with option CONFIG_UPDATEHUB_CE equal n.

Step 3: Configure UpdateHub Sample

The updatehub have several Kconfig options that are necessary configure to make it work or tune communication.

Set CONFIG_UPDATEHUB_CE select between UpdateHub edition. The y value will select UpdateHub-CE otherwise n selects UpdateHub Cloud.

Set CONFIG_UPDATEHUB_SERVER with your local IP address that runs the UpdateHub-CE server edition. If your are using a service provider a DNS name is a valid option too. This option is only valid when using UpdateHub-CE.

Set CONFIG_UPDATEHUB_POLL_INTERVAL with the polling period of your preference, remembering that the limit is between 0 and 43200 minutes (30 days). The default value is 1440 minutes (24h).

Set CONFIG_UPDATEHUB_PRODUCT_UID with your product ID. When using UpdateHub-CE the valid is available at overlay-prj.conf.example file.

Step 4: Build UpdateHub App

In order to correctly build UpdateHub the overlay files must be use correctly. More information about overlay files in Important Build System Variables.


It is out of scope at this moment provide support for experimental features. However, the configuration and use is similar to the start point indicated on the experimental network interface.

Step 4.1: Build for Ethernet

The ethernet depends only from base configuration.

west build -b [ frdm_k64f | nucleo_f767zi ] -d build/app zephyr/samples/subsys/mgmt/updatehub -- -DEXTRA_CONF_FILE=overlay-prj.conf

Step 4.2: Build for WiFi

For WiFi, it needs add overlay-wifi.conf. Here a shield provides WiFi connectivity using, for instance, arduino headers. See ESP-8266 Modules for details.

west build -b [ frdm_k64f | nrf52840dk/nrf52840 | nucleo_f767zi ] -d build/app zephyr/samples/subsys/mgmt/updatehub -- -DSHIELD=esp_8266_arduino -DEXTRA_CONF_FILE="overlay-wifi.conf;overlay-prj.conf"


The board disco_l475_iot1 is not supported. The es-WIFI driver currently doesn’t support UDP.

Step 4.3: Build for IEEE 802.15.4 [experimental]

For IEEE 802.15.4 needs add overlay-802154.conf. This requires two nodes: one will be the host and the second one will be the device under test. The validation needs a Linux kernel >= 4.9 with all 6loWPAN support. The start point is try reproduce the Zephyr 802.15.4 USB. It is out of scope at this moment provide support since it is experimental. The gateway was tested with both native linux driver and atusb and with wpanusb sample.

west build -b nrf52840dk/nrf52840 -d build/app zephyr/samples/subsys/mgmt/updatehub -- -DEXTRA_CONF_FILE="overlay-802154.conf;overlay-prj.conf"
west build -b [ frdm_k64f | nucleo_f767zi ] -d build/app zephyr/samples/subsys/mgmt/updatehub -- -DSHIELD=atmel_rf2xx_arduino -DEXTRA_CONF_FILE="overlay-802154.conf;overlay-prj.conf"

Step 4.4: Build for OpenThread Network [experimental]

The OpenThread requires the overlay-ot.conf. It requires two nodes: one will be the host NCP and the second one will be the device under test. The validation needs a Linux kernel >= 4.9 with optional NAT-64 support. The start point is try reproduce the OpenThread Router. It is out of scope at this moment provide support since it is experimental. The gateway was tested using two boards with OpenThread 1.1.1 on NCP mode.

west build -b nrf52840dk/nrf52840 -d build/app zephyr/samples/subsys/mgmt/updatehub -- -DEXTRA_CONF_FILE="overlay-ot.conf;overlay-prj.conf"

Step 5: Sign the app image

The app image is the application itself that will be on the board. This app will connect to UpdateHub server and check for new images. The image will be loaded on the board with version 1.0.0. It is important check what file format you SoC tools uses. In general, Zephyr can create images with binary (.bin) image format or Intel’s (.hex) image format.

The Zephyr provide the west tool that simplify the signing process. Just call west with proper parameter values:

west sign -t imgtool -d build/app -- --version 1.0.0 --pad
  --key bootloader/mcuboot/root-rsa-2048.pem

=== image configuration:
partition offset: 131072 (0x20000)
partition size: 393216 (0x60000)
rom start offset: 512 (0x200)
=== signing binaries
unsigned bin: <zephyrdir>/build/app/zephyr/zephyr.bin
signed bin:   <zephyrdir>/build/app/zephyr/zephyr.signed.bin

Step 6: Flash the app image

west flash -d build/app --bin-file build/app/zephyr/zephyr.signed.bin


Command variation to flash a hex file: west flash -d build/app --hex-file build/app/zephyr/zephyr.signed.hex

At this point you can access a third terminal terminal 3 to check if image is running. Open the terminal 3 and press reset on your board:

minicom -D /dev/ttyACM0

Step 7: Signing the binary test image

The test image needs different parameters to add the signature. Pay attention to make sure you are creating the right signed image. The test image will be created with version 2.0.0 in this tutorial:

west sign --no-hex --bin -B build/zephyr-2.0.0.bin -t imgtool -d build/app --
  --version 2.0.0 --key bootloader/mcuboot/root-rsa-2048.pem

=== image configuration:
partition offset: 131072 (0x20000)
partition size: 393216 (0x60000)
rom start offset: 512 (0x200)
=== signing binaries
unsigned bin: <zephyrdir>/build/app/zephyr/zephyr.bin
signed bin:   build/zephyr-2.0.0.bin

Step 8: Create a package with UpdateHub Utilities (uhu)

First, install UpdateHub Utilities (uhu) on your system, using:

pip3 install --user uhu

After installing uhu you will need to set the product-uid. The value for UpdateHub-CE can be found at overlay-prj.conf.example file. For UpdateHub Cloud, you need copy the value from the web interface.

uhu product use "e4d37cfe6ec48a2d069cc0bbb8b078677e9a0d8df3a027c4d8ea131130c4265f"

Then, add the package and its mode (zephyr):

uhu package add build/zephyr-2.0.0.bin -m zephyr

Then inform what version this image is:

uhu package version 2.0.0

And finally you can build the package by running:

uhu package archive --output build/zephyr-2.0.0.pkg

The remaining steps are dedicated to UpdateHub-CE. If you are using UpdateHub Cloud you can find the proper procedure at

Step 9: Add the package to server

Now, add the package to the updatehub server. Open your browser to the server URL, <your-ip-address>:8080, and logging into the server using admin as the login and password by default. After logging in, click on the package menu, then UPLOAD PACKAGE, and select the package built in step 8.

Step 10: Register device on server

If you chose Manual, register your device at updatehub server by using the terminal session where you are debugging the board terminal 3. Type the following command:

updatehub run

If everything is alright, it will print on the screen No update available.

For Polling mode, the system will automatically register your device after CONFIG_UPDATEHUB_POLL_INTERVAL minutes. The updatehub run can be used to speed-up.


The message Could not receive data means that the application was not able to reached the updatehub server for some reason. The most common cases are server down, missing network routes and forget to change the content of overlay-prj.conf file.

Step 11: Create a rollout

In the browser where the UpdateHub-CE is open, click on menu Rollout and then CREATE ROLLOUT. Select the version of the package that you added in step 9. With that, the update is published, and the server is ready to accept update requests.

Step 12: Run the update

Back in the terminal session that you used for debugging the board, type the following command:

updatehub run

And then wait. The board will probe the server, check if there are any new updates, and then download the update package you’ve just created. If everything goes fine the message Image flashed successfully, you can reboot now will be printed on the terminal. If you are using the Polling mode the board will reboot automatically and Step 13 can be skipped.

Step 13: Reboot the system

In the terminal you used for debugging the board, type the following command:

kernel reboot cold

Your board will reboot and then start with the new image. After rebooting, the board will automatically ping the server again and the message No update available will be printed on the terminal. You can check the newer version using the following command:

uart:~$ updatehub info
Unique device id: acbdef0123456789
Firmware Version: 2.0.0
Product uid: e4d37cfe6ec48a2d069cc0bbb8b078677e9a0d8df3a027c4d8ea131130c4265f
UpdateHub Server: <server ip/dns>


The below list of hardware have been used by UpdateHub team.


Network Interface

Shield / Device











IEEE 802.15.4 (6loWPAN)

Native, RF2XX


OpenThread Network



Network Interface


1, 2, 3, 4

nRF52840 DK

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

ST Nucleo F767ZI

1, 2, 3, 4