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FAQ & Troubleshooting

This document contains some common issues, questions and answers related to the balena CLI.

Where is my configuration file?

The per-user configuration file lives in $HOME/.balenarc.yml or %UserProfile%\_balenarc.yml, in Unix based operating systems and Windows respectively.

The balena CLI also attempts to read a balenarc.yml file in the current directory, which takes precedence over the per-user configuration file.

How do I point the balena CLI to staging?

The easiest way is to set the BALENARC_BALENA_URL=balena-staging.com environment variable.

Alternatively, you can edit your configuration file and set balenaUrl: balena-staging.com to persist this setting.

How do I make the balena CLI persist data in another directory?

The balena CLI persists your session token, as well as cached images in $HOME/.balena or %UserProfile%\_balena.

Pointing the balena CLI to persist data in another location is necessary in certain environments, like a server, where there is no home directory, or a device running balenaOS, which erases all data after a restart.

You can accomplish this by setting BALENARC_DATA_DIRECTORY=/opt/balena or adding dataDirectory: /opt/balena to your configuration file, replacing /opt/balena with your desired directory.

After burning to an sdcard, my device doesn't boot

  • The downloaded image is not complete (download was interrupted).

Please clean the cache (%HOME/.balena/cache or C:\Users\<user>\_balena\cache) and run the command again. In the future, the CLI will check that the image is not complete and clean the cache for you.

I get a permission error when burning to an sdcard

  • The SDCard is locked.

I get EINVAL errors on Cygwin

The errors look something like this:

net.js:156
    this._handle.open(options.fd);
                 ^
Error: EINVAL, invalid argument
  at new Socket (net.js:156:18)
  at process.stdin (node.js:664:19)
  at Object.Interface.createInterface (C:\cygwin\home\Juan Cruz Viotti\Projects\balena-cli\node_modules\inquirer\node_modules\readline2\index.js:31:43)
  at PromptUI.UI (C:\cygwin\home\Juan Cruz Viotti\Projects\balena-cli\node_modules\inquirer\lib\ui\baseUI.js:23:40)
  at new PromptUI (C:\cygwin\home\Juan Cruz Viotti\Projects\balena-cli\node_modules\inquirer\lib\ui\prompt.js:26:8)
  at Object.promptModule [as prompt] (C:\cygwin\home\Juan Cruz Viotti\Projects\balena-cli\node_modules\inquirer\lib\inquirer.js:27:14)

I get Invalid MBR boot signature when configuring a device

This error, accompanied with something like: Expected 0xAA55, but saw 0x29FE usually indicates a corrupted device operating system image in the cache, due to bad a internet connection during the download process.

Try clearing the cache with the following command and trying again:

$ rm -rf $HOME/.balena/cache

Or in Windows:

> del /s /q %UserProfile%\_balena\cache

I get EACCES: permission denied when logging in

The balena CLI stores the session token in $HOME/.balena or C:\Users\<user>\_balena in UNIX based operating systems and Windows respectively. This error usually indicates that the user doesn't have permissions over that directory, which can happen if you ran the balena CLI as root, and thus the directory got owned by him.

Try resetting the ownership by running:

$ sudo chown -R <user> $HOME/.balena
You can’t perform that action at this time.