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Feature Request: HC2 boot slots and boot menu


SmartStart
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Hello all (and especially Fibaro Developers

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Got "infected" by the Fibaro "virus" some months agon and start to build up my home automation with HC2 now.

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/emoticons/default_smile.png" alt=":)" srcset="https://forum.fibaro.com/uploads/emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" /> Great system with many options. I like it a lot!

 

Since I got the impression that with each firmware update there are - well .... let's say "issues"

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/emoticons/default_wink.png" alt=";)" srcset="https://forum.fibaro.com/uploads/emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" /> with the new version maybe it would be helpfull for all to implement a boot menu and boot slots.

Use cases:

- system provides at least two boot slots to store new and actual firmware and version(s)

- user can choose in which slot to install a new firmware version

- user can choose at boot time which slot to boot from

- by reboot and choosing another slot, user can boot different firmware version

- all conffiguration parameters stay untouched (if possible) or - if new parameters are introduced with new firmware - are stored in the same slot as belonging firmware

 

By that I think we all could test new versions (also new betas) more easily and give feedback without the danger to "brick" the active home managment system (with all problems belonging to that - heating, alarm, running around in the dark home etc....).

In case a new firmware creates problems, user can reboot and choose to start older (stable) version.

 

Guess most of us using the HC2 to really control the home and not playing around. Therefore all system updates should be in a state to guarantee that the system continue to work. Since no developer gives that guarantee I think this option with boot slots helps us users a lot and reduce our(!) risks to do an update.

 

What you think?

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Regards to all and may LUA be with us ....

 

 

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Interesting idea and probably a concept/method frequently used in network switches which allows the option to configure next boot's firmware version.

 

Just to help illustrate what SmartStart is trying to propose, here is a screenshot of my switch with this functionality:

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+1

 

I'm getting to the stage where my HC2 'runs the house' and a bad fw update could set me back a good bit...

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  • 5 months later...
  • Topic Author
  • @Fibaro:

     

    Do you might also consider this suggestion?

    I still think it would make it much more easier for us to go and test new BETA versions (at least those of us who not have "many" HC2s

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    /emoticons/default_wink.png" alt=";)" srcset="https://forum.fibaro.com/uploads/emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" /> ).

    If we would have a chance to just restart our HC2 with the stable boot-configuration in case things went downhill with the BETA, a lot more user might try BETAs and you might get ven better (since broader) feedback.

     

    Thanks for considering.

     

    And..... may LUA be with us

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    two boot slots? hmm, the recovery process is wiping out whole partition, that means one would need then 3 partitions - one boot and two with system. And how would this works? Boot partition with keyboard support and dummy user? No way, Fibaro will not allow that (that will be additional security hole). Via Web Interface, with apache and "reboot/boot to" menu? Too complex, most users wish just to boot and not wait minutes to get it running. What about changes made to z-wave network? There will be no sync between both versions once one changed something in z-wave network on the one platform.

     

    Honestly, Beta is Beta, when one install it (or even if stable is not working), there is WORKING solution to get it back working: just do recovery, install the fw version you wish to have installed and restore settings - ready. No need to change anything, no risk, and fully supported by Fibaro.

     

    Btw, you will not fix it with "many HC2s", you need a physical clone, which where you have to pay for (Fibaro will not provide you a way to do it, but we can clone your system), but then still you have to remember changes to z-wave network and you have anyway to play with backup sync and recovery mode, so no time win (this is only good solution in case of hardware fail, to have backup solution).

     

    "Many HC2s" to be able to play with new firmware only will not fix as well modules issues, nor potential environment issues, you will need to have same spare house/flat to be able to play all options. To test only few modules second HC2 is ok, but do you really wish extra costs for playing only? I don't think so.

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    I like your propousal alot SmartStart!

    Granted, my voice means little but hey more people throwing support towards this idea means higher probability that Fibaro notice this thread and or participates.

     

    Problem as mentioned above is with rokie users. i would have this boot up choice not openly appear but have it be activatable by specific command or something simillar (allright fine i am thinking fo window's booting choices but hey its good way to resolve this rokie access thing).

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    Problem as mentioned above is with rokie users. i would have this boot up choice not openly appear but have it be activatable by specific command or something simillar (allright fine i am thinking fo window's booting choices but hey its good way to resolve this rokie access thing).

     

    from our experience not only rokie, but most users. For the other, even if i provide them root access, the problem with z-wave and backup sync remains. Sure, Fibaro could implement something, but probably not before v4.5 (and still z-wave sync problem will remain).

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  • Topic Author
  • two boot slots? hmm, the recovery process is wiping out whole partition, that means one would need then 3 partitions - one boot and two with system. And how would this works? Boot partition with keyboard support and dummy user? No way, Fibaro will not allow that (that will be additional security hole). Via Web Interface, with apache and "reboot/boot to" menu? Too complex, most users wish just to boot and not wait minutes to get it running. What about changes made to z-wave network? There will be no sync between both versions once one changed something in z-wave network on the one platform.

     

    Honestly, Beta is Beta, when one install it (or even if stable is not working), there is WORKING solution to get it back working: just do recovery, install the fw version you wish to have installed and restore settings - ready. No need to change anything, no risk, and fully supported by Fibaro.

     

    Btw, you will not fix it with "many HC2s", you need a physical clone, which where you have to pay for (Fibaro will not provide you a way to do it, but we can clone your system), but then still you have to remember changes to z-wave network and you have anyway to play with backup sync and recovery mode, so no time win (this is only good solution in case of hardware fail, to have backup solution).

     

    "Many HC2s" to be able to play with new firmware only will not fix as well modules issues, nor potential environment issues, you will need to have same spare house/flat to be able to play all options. To test only few modules second HC2 is ok, but do you really wish extra costs for playing only? I don't think so.

     

    What about having 3 partitions:

    #1 for stable FW

    #2 for BETA

    #3 for all configuration data including data about Z-Wave Modules, IDs etc. (not an expert on this matter... just thinking loud...)

     

    Partition #1 and #2 have access to #3.

     

    When BETA Version is available, user can choose if he/she want to use it. If yes, the BETA is automatically stored in #2. Then user can choose to boot system and from which partition the next(!) boot should be performed.

    By that USER could "play around" with a BETA but also has a chance to reboot from #1.

    In case BETA cause severe issues and web client is not accessible anymore, restart of HC2 by hardware switch automatically let HC2 boot from #1 no matter what was selected in user interface before.

    By that no direct Screen/Keyboard connection to HC2 would be necessary.

     

    Security issues can be addressed by creating Fibaro signed FW which is the only FW accepted by HC2.

     

    By using partition #3 for all config data, changes made in one mode are usable in the other as well.

    Of course if BETA offers totally new internal database structures, new Z-Wave structures etc. this concept has its limits and one have to use a BETA without stable because stabe version might not be able to use the new structures (but even then it might be thinkable to create a second set of config data on #3 with the restriction that in this case changes made are lost when returning to stable config).

     

    E.g. transformation from FW 3.6xx to 4.xxx introduced such a situation.

    But I guess those complete redesigns are not happen that often and in between users are able to use the boot slots.

     

    Again, I am no expert in the internals of HC2 and maybe there are some technical restritions which prevent this idea from being realized.

    But maybe not

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    Cheers and again, I like it a lot when we actively discuss this issue. Actual backup function status is not a one to let me get sound sleep

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    @Tinman: Possible to explain more on the cloning part?

    (I am also from Germany

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    from our experience not only rokie, but most users. For the other, even if i provide them root access, the problem with z-wave and backup sync remains. Sure, Fibaro could implement something, but probably not before v4.5 (and still z-wave sync problem will remain).

    Even smart people have bad day when they blow their damned backup eh? well i can understand that it is not best solution but still having everythign neatly on your FDD(flash drive device not floppy disk XD) is much more helpfull than having it all bound to HC2 only and suffer massive waiting times whenever something goes utterly devastatingly wrong.

     

    What about having 3 partitions:

    #1 for stable FW

    #2 for BETA

    #3 for all configuration data including data about Z-Wave Modules, IDs etc. (not an expert on this matter... just thinking loud...)

     

    Partition #1 and #2 have access to #3.

     

    When BETA Version is available, user can choose if he/she want to use it. If yes, the BETA is automatically stored in #2. Then user can choose to boot system and from which partition the next(!) boot should be performed.

    By that USER could "play around" with a BETA but also has a chance to reboot from #1.

    In case BETA cause severe issues and web client is not accessible anymore, restart of HC2 by hardware switch automatically let HC2 boot from #1 no matter what was selected in user interface before.

    By that no direct Screen/Keyboard connection to HC2 would be necessary.

     

    Security issues can be addressed by creating Fibaro signed FW which is the only FW accepted by HC2.

     

    By using partition #3 for all config data, changes made in one mode are usable in the other as well.

    Of course if BETA offers totally new internal database structures, new Z-Wave structures etc. this concept has its limits and one have to use a BETA without stable because stabe version might not be able to use the new structures (but even then it might be thinkable to create a second set of config data on #3 with the restriction that in this case changes made are lost when returning to stable config).

     

    E.g. transformation from FW 3.6xx to 4.xxx introduced such a situation.

    But I guess those complete redesigns are not happen that often and in between users are able to use the boot slots.

     

    Again, I am no expert in the internals of HC2 and maybe there are some technical restritions which prevent this idea from being realized.

    But maybe not

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    /emoticons/default_smile.png" alt=":)" srcset="https://forum.fibaro.com/uploads/emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />

     

    Cheers and again, I like it a lot when we actively discuss this issue. Actual backup function status is not a one to let me get sound sleep

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    /emoticons/default_smile.png" alt=":)" srcset="https://forum.fibaro.com/uploads/emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />

     

    @Tinman: Possible to explain more on the cloning part?

    (I am also from Germany

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    i like where this is going .)

    just keep on adding bootup segments/partitions XD

     

    In my arogant opinion users should define however manny they need. here is my line of thinking: first two are obvious and you named them than one or more for experimentation and one for backup for experimentation?

    thats one for each experiment .P

    than again i know nothing about how to do bootup propertly (i dont even remember if its F6 or F8 on windows :/)

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