Modify an Artifact


It is possible to modify an Artifact after it has been created. There two types of modifications available: Header modification and content modification. Header modification is supported for all Artifact types, while content modification is only supported for rootfs-image Artifacts.


All modifications require the mender-artifact tool. If you do not yet have this tool, it can be downloaded from our Downloads section.

Header modification

Header modification allows you to change the name, as well as certain other attributes, of an Artifact.

It is also possible to change the name of disk images (files ending with img), except for .ubimg images.

To change the name of an Artifact, execute the following command:

mender-artifact modify -n new-name <PATH-TO-ARTIFACT>

Certain other attributes of Artifacts are also possible to change using mender-artifact, but these are a lot less common. Please refer to the mender-artifact modify --help screen for more information.

Content modification

The mender-artifact tool supports copying files in and out of Artifacts.

Content modification is only possible on Artifacts with the rootfs-image payload type.

It is also possible to copy files in and out of disk images (files ending with img), except for .ubimg images. If copying into a disk image, the standard Mender paths, /boot/efi, /boot/grub, /data and /uboot, will map to the correct partitions where these are normally mounted.

Copy a file into an Artifact

Copying file(s) into an artifact will result in an updated rootfs.img checksum. Additionally, if the artifact was signed, signature will be lost on artifact modification.

To copy a file into an Artifact, use the following command:


For example, to update the /etc/motd file in the Artifact, use these commands:

echo "Welcome to this Mender device!" > motd
mender-artifact cp motd ${ARTIFACT}:/etc/motd

Note that the operation may sometimes take a few minutes even though the file is small. This is because the Artifact is uncompressed and unpacked, and then re-packed and re-compressed afterwards.

Copy a file out of an Artifact

To fetch a file from an Artifact so that you can modify it and copy it back, use this command:


Afterwards you can modify the file to suit your needs and copy it back by reversing the arguments.

We welcome contributions to improve this documentation. To submit a change, use the Edit link at the top of the page or email us at .