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balena CLI Installation Instructions for Linux

These instructions are suitable for most Linux distributions on Intel x86, such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux and other glibc-based distributions. For the ARM architecture and for Linux distributions not based on glibc, such as Alpine Linux, follow the NPM Installation method.

Selected operating system: Linux

  1. Download the latest zip file from the latest release page. Look for a file name that ends with "", for example:

  2. Extract the zip file contents to any folder you choose, for example /home/james. The extracted contents will include a balena-cli folder.

  3. Add that folder (e.g. /home/james/balena-cli) to the PATH environment variable. Check this StackOverflow post for instructions. Close and reopen the terminal window so that the changes to PATH can take effect.

  4. Check that the installation was successful by running the following commands on a terminal window:

    • balena version - should print the CLI's version
    • balena help - should print a list of available commands

To update the balena CLI to a new version, download a new release zip file and replace the previous installation folder. To uninstall, simply delete the folder and edit the PATH environment variable as described above.

sudo configuration

A few CLI commands require execution through sudo, e.g. sudo balena scan.
If your Linux distribution has an /etc/sudoers file that defines a secure_path setting, run sudo visudo to edit it and add the balena CLI's installation folder to the pre-existing secure_path setting, for example:

Defaults   secure_path="/home/james/balena-cli:<pre-existing entries go here>"

If an /etc/sudoers file does not exist, or if it does not contain a pre-existing secure_path setting, do not change it.

If you also have Docker installed, ensure that it can be executed without sudo, so that CLI commands like balena build and balena preload can also be executed without sudo. Check Docker's post-installation steps on how to achieve this.

Additional Dependencies

build, deploy

These commands require Docker or balenaEngine to be available on a local or remote machine. Most users will follow Docker's installation instructions to install Docker on the same workstation as the balena CLI. The advanced installation options document describes other possibilities.

balena ssh

The balena ssh command requires the ssh command-line tool to be available. Most Linux distributions will already have it installed. Otherwise, sudo apt-get install openssh-client should do the trick on Debian or Ubuntu.

The balena ssh command also requires an SSH key to be added to your balena account: see SSH Access documentation. The balena key* command set can also be used to list and manage SSH keys: see balena help -v.

balena scan

The balena scan command requires a multicast DNS (mDNS) service like Avahi, which is installed by default on most desktop Linux distributions. Otherwise, on Debian or Ubuntu, the installation command would be sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon.

balena preload

Like the build and deploy commands, the preload command requires Docker, with the additional restriction that Docker must be installed on the local machine (because Docker's bind mounting feature is used).