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This page describes how to install the Mender client in an existing Linux system. Installing this way does not offer a full Mender integration. However, it is possible to use Update Modules and update parts of the system.

If full board integration is desired, follow the device documentation on Yocto Project or Debian family.

Install from source

It is possible to install the Mender client from source by following the guidelines outlined in the of the Mender client source repository.

Install Mender provided Debian package

A Debian package (.deb) is provided for convenience to install on e.g Debian, Ubuntu or Raspbian. We provide packages for the following architectures:

  • armhf (ARM-v6)
    • Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone and other ARM based devices.

Download the package:


Install the package:

sudo dpkg -i mender-client_2.1.3-1_armhf.deb


After successfully installing the Mender client Debian package, some initial setup is required.

Mender configuration file

First, we have to configure the Mender client using the configuration file at /etc/mender/mender.conf.

Use demo settings (optional)

By default Mender uses production-grade configuration settings. However, if this is a test or development device, it is recommended to use the demo settings to get shorter polling intervals.

Copy the demo configuration file:

sudo cp /etc/mender/mender.conf.demo /etc/mender/mender.conf
Configuration for hosted Mender server

To configure the Mender client for hosted Mender, you need to edit /etc/mender/mender.conf and insert your Tenant Token where it says "Paste your Hosted Mender token here".

Set the TENANT_TOKEN variable:


Update configuration file with your token:

sudo sed -i "s/Paste your Hosted Mender token here/$TENANT_TOKEN/" /etc/mender/mender.conf

Device type

The device type is a string that defines your device and is used to ensure software compatibility by comparing the device type set in a Mender Artifact with the string on the device.

In below example we will set the device type to raspberrypi3, adjust according to your desired device type identifier.

Create Mender client state directory:

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/mender

Create the device type file:

echo "device_type=raspberrypi3" | sudo tee /var/lib/mender/device_type

Start up

Now you have the Mender client installed and properly setup in your device.

Start the Mender client in managed mode and enable autostart of the Mender service on subsequent boots:

sudo systemctl enable mender && sudo systemctl restart mender

After a few minutes, take a look at the Devices tab in your Mender server. You should see your new device under "Pending". Click "Accept" to authorize it to join your Mender server. You are now ready to deploy updates to your device!

If your device does not show up, follow the troubleshooting section on Mender Server Connection Issues.

Additional information

There are security implications to connecting a client and server for the first time, also known as bootstrapping. If a client and server have not exchanged any information in advance, they need to accept each other on trust this first time, with the risk that the information the other party presents is spoofed. To mitigate this risk, the Mender client preinstalls the TLS certificate of the server when it is provisioned, as part of the Yocto Project image build. So it is not possible for a rogue server to intercept the connection from a client or pretend to be a different server, assuming server's private TLS key is securely managed. A rogue device can still spoof the information it sends to the server in order to be authorized, and this is why Mender asks you to make the authorization decision. However, the risk of letting the server manage a rogue device is much lower than the risk of a rogue server managing devices.