Types of AuterionOS Images

Differences between the two image types for production and development purposes as well as signed and unsigned images

Skynodes that are shipped by Auterion as part of the evaluation kit come with unsigned development builds of AuterionOS pre-installed. Skynodes that are integrated by manufacturers into their final product are typically shipped with signed production builds of AuterionOS.

A summary of the two common use cases is shown in the following table:




Used on vehicles purchased by customers

Special case


Special case

Used during OEM integration only

Once a vehicle is distributed to end-users, the manufacturer should deploy signed production images only. The production image ensures that entry doors such as SSH are locked down and tampering is prevented. Signed images guarantee that no images from other sources than the manufacturer can be installed to cirvumvent the safety guards.

The sections below explain the differences between these image types in more detail:

Production versus Development Images

Depending on your particular circumstances you might receive access to the development or production builds of AuterionOS. Below are the differences between these two types of images, particularly for the case of Skynode:

FeatureProduction BuildDevelopment Build

AuterionOS Image Signature

These images are typically signed (see below for more details on signatures)

These images are typically not signed (see below for more details on signatures)


Access only with authorized keys that were included in AuterionOS before

Access to anyone with the default logins "root/auterion" and "auterion/auterion"

Serial Console of Flight Controller


Full Nuttx Shell

Serial Console of Mission Computer


Full TTY shell

Serial Console of Bootloader



User account "auterion"



APX4 Binary

"Production" APX4 binary on mission computer is used for flashing

"Development" APX4 binary on mission computer is used for flashing

APX4 Parameters

Only a "safe" subset of parameters can be changed

All APX4 parameters can be changed to arbitrary values, which can cause damage to the drone or harm people

Please submit a ticket if you are a manufacturer and need help setting up production builds, or if you are a developer required to work with a production build where you do not have SSH access.

Signed versus Unsigned Images

Installing a signed AuterionOS image prevents future installations of unsigned and therefore unauthorized images on this particular Skynode.

Both production and development images can be signed. Once a signed AuterionOS image is installed onto the device, it will only accept signed images in the future. For this reason developers often work with unsigned development images of AuterionOS and only sign the production images.

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