This section presents the basic terms used throughout the documentation.
Accepted device - An authorized device that can connect to the Mender server and receive software updates.
Add-on (also Mender Add-on)- An optional extension to Mender for supporting use cases beyond core OTA updates features, e.g. Remote terminal. Install Mender first, before installing any add-ons
Artifact - An archive containing everything needed for an update of a device, including the Artifact Payload itself and metadata such as signatures. See the documentation on Artifact for more information.
Artifact Name - A human-readable string uniquely describing an Artifact, used by UI and API for identification purposes.
Artifact Payload - Actual data installed on a device, stored inside a Mender Artifact. It could be a rootfs image, package, container, or other. See the documentation on Artifact for more information.
Authentication Set - A combination of an identity and public key for a device, determining if a given device is allowed to check for- and apply software updates from the Mender server. A given device identity can have multiple Authentication sets and each can be in one of the following states, where only one can be accepted at a given time:
Binary delta - The binary difference between two filesystem images. See the documentation on Delta updates for more information.
Board integration - The low-level integration required to enable system updates with Mender on a board. Often includes OS bootloader and storage integration and requires customization based on the hardware and OS.
Deployment - The process of delivering software to devices. It consists of at least a group of devices and an Artifact name.
Device, Mender Client Device - A single unit that is able to connect to the Mender server, usually an independent product. Represented on the server by its identity and authentication data.
Device ID - A single string uniquely identifying a device in the Mender server, used in APIs to specify an individual device. See the documentation on Identity for more information.
Device type - The type of device, used to ensure compatibility between the hardware and software. See the documentation on Artifact for more information.
Mender Client - A user space application installing updates to a device it is running on. It uses the Mender API to connect to the Mender Server to authenticate, get the artifacts, report inventory, log the progress and status of the installations.
Mender Connect - A user space application providing the add-ons framework, as well as implementation of particular add-ons which can be enabled or disabled as per configuration. It is integrated with the Mender Client over a well-defined and portable DBus API.
Mender Hub Integration(s) - A contribution on Mender Hub of a Mender Board integration for a specific board.
Mender Server - An application implementing Mender API, and the web UI, providing updates to devices.
Organization - A single customer environment in the Mender server. Also known as a Tenant. Note that multi-tenancy is only supported in Mender Enterprise.
Pending device - A device that has already sent an authorization request to the Mender server and is not yet authorized through preauthorization or user authorization.
Preauthorized device - A device given by authorization set, that will change into "accepted" state automatically when it requests authorization.
Reference board - A board officially supported by Mender, used as a reference when porting to new boards.
Rejected device - A device that has already sent an authorization request to the Mender server, which has been explicitly rejected by the user. A device in this state is not allowed to communicate with the Mender server and will not receive any updates.
Release - A set of one or more Artifacts with the same Artifact name. Used by the Mender server to assign the right Artifact to a given Device based on software and hardware compatibility.
Signing system - A separated and not publicly accessible part of an IT infrastructure used to cryptographically sign Artifacts or other items, in the asymmetric encryption model.
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