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Configuration Management

thin-edge.io implements an operation to manage device configuration files.

  • The tedge-agent enables configuration management on its running device and, combined with a cloud mapper, extends this capability to enable configuration management from the cloud.
  • This management is bi-directional:
    • A device can act as a reference, with all the managed files being uploaded to the tedge file transfer repository and stored there as a configuration snapshot.
    • A configuration update can be pushed from the tedge file transfer repository to any devices of the same type, i.e. supporting the same kind of configuration files.
  • On each device running the agent, the device owner defines the list of files to be managed (usually configuration files, but not necessarily).
  • The configuration of this feature itself can be managed both locally and from the cloud, meaning, the device owner can update the list of files to be managed from the cloud using the cloud mapper.
  • The configuration files are managed according to their type, a name chosen by the device owner to categorize each configuration. By default, the full path of a configuration file on the device is used as its type.
  • When files are downloaded from the tedge file transfer repository to the target device, these files are stored in the target path with a temporary name first. They are atomically renamed, only after a fully successful download to avoid breaking the system with half-downloaded files.
  • When a downloaded file is copied to its target, the Unix user, group and mode are preserved.
  • Once an update has been downloaded from the tedge file transfer repository to the target device, the agent publishes an operation status update message on the local thin-edge.io MQTT bus. The device software must subscribe to these messages if any action is required, such as checking the content of the file, to pre-processing it, or restarting a daemon.

In summary, the responsibilities of the agent regarding configuration management are:

  • to define the list of files under configuration management,
  • to notify the local MQTT bus when this list is updated,
  • to upload these files to the tedge file transfer repository on demand,
  • to download the files pushed from the tedge file transfer repository,
  • to ensure that the target files are atomically updated after a successful download,
  • to notify the device software when the configuration is updated.

By contrast, the agent is not responsible for:

  • checking that the uploaded files are well-formed,
  • restarting the configured processes,
  • establishing any direct connection to clouds.

A user-specific component installed on the device can implement more sophisticated configuration use-cases by:

  • listening for configuration updates on the local thin-edge.io MQTT bus,
  • restarting the appropriate processes when needed,
  • declaring intermediate files as the managed files, to have the opportunity to check or update their content before moving them to the actual targets.

Configuration

The configuration file used by the agent for configuration management is stored by default under /etc/tedge/plugins/tedge-configuration-plugin.toml.

This TOML file defines the list of files to be managed by the agent. Each configuration file is defined by a record with:

  • The full path to the file.
  • An optional configuration type. If not provided, the path is used as type. This type is used to declare the supported configuration file and then to trigger operations on that file. All the configuration types are declared as the supported config list to the local MQTT bus on startup and on changes to the plugins/tedge-configuration-plugin.toml file.
  • Optional unix file ownership: user, group and octal mode. These are only used when a configuration file pushed via a config_update command doesn't exist on the device, and a new one is created with these ownership parameters. When a configuration file is already present on the device, the agent preserves its existing ownership, ignoring these parameters.
file: /etc/tedge/plugins/tedge-configuration-plugin.toml
files = [
{ path = '/etc/tedge/tedge.toml', type = 'tedge.toml' },
{ path = '/etc/tedge/mosquitto-conf/c8y-bridge.conf', type = 'c8y-bridge' },
{ path = '/etc/tedge/mosquitto-conf/tedge-mosquitto.conf', type = 'tedge-mosquitto' },
{ path = '/etc/mosquitto/mosquitto.conf', type = 'mosquitto', user = 'mosquitto', group = 'mosquitto', mode = 0o644 }
]

On start and whenever this file is updated, the agent sends the supported config types declaration message with a retained flag to the config_snapshot and config_update command topics with the set of types listed in that configuration file (implicitly adding the tedge-configuration-plugin type also to that set). The message can be observed over the MQTT bus of the thin-edge.io device.

Given that mqtt.topic_root and mqtt.device_topic_id are set to te and device/main// for the main device, the message to declare the supported configuration types is as follows.

tedge mqtt pub -r 'te/device/main///cmd/config_snapshot' '{
"types": [
"tedge-configuration-plugin",
"tedge.toml",
"/etc/tedge/mosquitto-conf/c8y-bridge.conf",
"/etc/tedge/mosquitto-conf/tedge-mosquitto.conf",
"mosquitto"
]
}'
tedge mqtt pub -r 'te/device/main///cmd/config_update' '{
"types": [
"tedge-configuration-plugin",
"tedge.toml",
"/etc/tedge/mosquitto-conf/c8y-bridge.conf",
"/etc/tedge/mosquitto-conf/tedge-mosquitto.conf",
"mosquitto"
]
}'
note
  • The file /etc/tedge/plugins/tedge-configuration-plugin.toml itself doesn't need to be listed. This is implied, so the list can always be configured. The type for this self configuration file is tedge-configuration-plugin.
  • If the file /etc/tedge/plugins/tedge-configuration-plugin.toml is not found, empty, ill-formed or not-readable then only tedge-configuration-plugin.toml is declared as a supported configuration type.

The behavior of the agent is also controlled by the configuration of thin-edge.io:

  • tedge config get mqtt.bind.address: the address of the local MQTT bus.
  • tedge config get mqtt.bind.port: the TCP port of the local MQTT bus.
  • tedge config get mqtt.topic_root: the root of the MQTT topic scheme to publish and subscribe.
  • tedge config get mqtt.device_topic_id: the identifier of the MQTT topic scheme to publish and subscribe.

Handling config snapshot commands

During a config snapshot operation, the agent uploads a requested configuration file to the tedge file transfer repository.

The agent subscribes to config snapshot commands on the <root>/<identifier>/cmd/config_snapshot/+ MQTT topics. For example, it subscribes to the following topic for the main device.

tedge mqtt sub 'te/device/main///cmd/config_snapshot/+'

To start a new config snapshot with the ID "1234" on the device named "example", a component has to publish the following message over MQTT:

tedge mqtt pub -r 'te/device/main///cmd/config_snapshot/1234' '{
"status": "init",
"tedgeUrl": "http://127.0.0.1:8000/tedge/file-transfer/example/config_snapshot/mosquitto-1234",
"type": "mosquitto"
}'
note

The tedgeUrl is an optional field. If the user does not provide the URL, the agent will create it, and the link will be added while the operation is being processed.

Upon receiving a configuration snapshot command, the agent performs the following actions:

  1. The agent uses the type information (mosquitto) to look up the target path from the tedge-configuration-plugin.toml file and retrieves the requested configuration content from the corresponding path(/etc/mosquitto/mosquitto.conf).
  2. It then performs a PUT request to the tedgeUrl specified in the command's payload to upload the content.

Throughout the process, the agent updates the command status via MQTT by publishing a retained message to the same <root>/<identifier>/cmd/config_snapshot/<id> topic where the command is received. The payload contains all the received data along with the path information.

When the agent receives a new config snapshot command, it updates the status to executing. After successfully uploading the file to the file transfer repository, the agent updates the status to successful. If any unexpected error occurs, the agent updates the status to failed, providing a comprehensive reason for the failure.

As a result, the operation status update message for the example above looks like this:

tedge mqtt pub -r 'te/device/main///cmd/config_snapshot/1234' '{
"status": "successful",
"tedgeUrl": "http://127.0.0.1:8000/tedge/file-transfer/example/config_snapshot/mosquitto-1234",
"type": "mosquitto",
"path": "/etc/mosquitto/mosquitto.conf"
}'

Flow

Handling config update commands

During a config update operation, the agent downloads a requested configuration file from the tedge file transfer repository and moves it to the target path.

The agent subscribes to config update commands on the <root>/<identifier>/cmd/config_update/+ MQTT topics. For example, it subscribes to the following topic for the main device.

tedge mqtt sub 'te/device/main///cmd/config_update/+'

To start a new config update with the ID "1234" on the device named "example", a component has to publish the following message over MQTT:

tedge mqtt pub -r 'te/device/main///cmd/config_update/1234' '{
"status": "init",
"tedgeUrl": "http://127.0.0.1:8000/tedge/file-transfer/example/config_update/mosquitto-1234",
"remoteUrl": "http://www.my.url",
"type": "mosquitto"
}'

Upon receiving a configuration update command, the agent performs the following actions:

  1. It performs a GET request to the tedgeUrl specified in the command to retrieve the content.
  2. The agent then uses the type information (mosquitto) to to look up the target path from the tedge-configuration-plugin.toml file and applies the new configuration content to the corresponding path(/etc/mosquitto/mosquitto.conf).

Throughout the process, the agent updates the command status via MQTT by publishing a retained message to the same <root>/<identifier>/cmd/config_update/<id> topic where the command is received. The payload contains all the received data along with the path information.

Upon receiving a new config update command, the agent updates the status to executing. After successfully completing all operation steps, the agent updates the status to successful. If any unexpected error occurs, the agent updates the status to failed along with a comprehensive reason for the failure.

As a result, the operation status update message for the example above looks like this.

tedge mqtt pub -r 'te/device/main///cmd/config_update/1234' '{
"status": "successful",
"tedgeUrl": "http://127.0.0.1:8000/tedge/file-transfer/example/config_update/mosquitto-1234",
"remoteUrl": "http://www.my.url",
"type": "mosquitto",
"path": "/etc/mosquitto/mosquitto.conf"
}'

Flow