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Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

[ Edited ]

With the LTS support ending for Wheezy in May, I was curious if we could expect a supported upgrade path for our UVC-NVRs? I know I can install Ubuntu or a later Debian release on my NVR, but I'm looking for an officially supported release. Thanks in advance. 

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

I decided to attempt an inplace upgrade of Jessie over Weezy last night. And while I was able to successfully upgrade to Jessie unifi-video did not survive the upgrade. Rather than purge unifi-video and attempt to reinstall I reverted to my backup and continue trudging along with Weezy. I say trudging along because well long term support is ending on that Debian release in a few short months - otherwise my NVR is extremely happy as am I with it's performance/reliability. I hope to hear that Jessie (or Stretch!) will become the new support base or even Ubuntu 16.04 (or 18.04!). 18.04 seems like the logical choice for long term support and many of us who are familiar with Debian will still feel right at home. Hopefully someone will weigh-in on this and put my mind at ease. 

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

Due to the lack of response I'm only left to assume we're left to our own devices (har har) with regard to the next OS we use. If I'm going to go to all that trouble I guess I'd like to update the reset image. Does anyone have any idea where those hooks are in the firmware so that I might reproduce the factory reset with my new image?

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

Since May has come and gone, and this was the only real post I could find on this topic:

 

Does Ubiquiti have any plans for the NVR OS they can share?  Are you planning to backport fixes to Wheezy in the interim?

 


@sterlinghubbard wrote:

Due to the lack of response I'm only left to assume we're left to our own devices (har har) with regard to the next OS we use. If I'm going to go to all that trouble I guess I'd like to update the reset image. Does anyone have any idea where those hooks are in the firmware so that I might reproduce the factory reset with my new image?


If you happen to still read these forums:  From a cursory look at how the NVR operates, it appears to be a fairly simple setup.  The factory reset is invoked by adding a specific file to /boot, on next system boot the scripts from initrd look for the existence of this file, and if found repartition the drive and then overlay a squashfs root image.

 

That said, because there are a couple of packages that appear to be specific to the NVR images, and I have no way of knowing if those are compatible with any later Debian versions.  I haven't looked into how the NVR specific stuff starts either... I assume UniFi Video package provides units for systemd, but the NVR may not/so a more "direct" upgrade path would be something like Devuan Jessie.

 

There are a couple of posts also mentioning you cannot port a disk image from one NVR to the other due to some security checks, but I do not know if that is truly the case, or where those checks might reside.

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

What OS are the new NVR's shipped with?

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

Does this affect the NVR appliance, particularly the 500 GB model?

 

I am not familiar with the term "Wheezy".

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

Wheezy is the release name for Debian 7.x  which was superseded by Jessie (Debian 8.x) which has been superseded by Stretch (Debian 9.x).

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

I've not explored updating this to a newer release for lack of time.

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

From what I read, upgrading the OS will break the console utility on port 80.

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

As described above, upgrading (using the debian upgrade method) broke my experience all together, not just the response on port 80. Additionally, it is imperative that you setup an additional user account as the ubnt (root account) is denied by default through ssh. A configuration change can also be made before rebooting to allow root access.

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

I suspect the port 80 stuff could probably be made to work, though that is further into the investigation then I have wanted to go.

The physical "factory restore" button I assume is somehow a function of the nvr-tools binary, but unfortunately it isn't really documented from what I can find. The shell based factory restore wouldn't be an issue, since it really doesn't much of anything other than placing a file.

Replacing the image that it overlays on a factory restore would be pretty simple and easy to undo.... best I can tell there also already exists a mechanism in the current scripts for Ubiquiti to swap that image out.

At the end of the day though, I am just trying to understand if they have a plan going forward... I could easily just swap out the drive and install a fresh Linux image and call it a day... the port 80 functionality is really useless to me/more of a risk, but I bought the NVR appliance as a "turnkey solution" so I wouldn't have to fiddle with being sysadmin on yet another device... having to worry about breakage on package dependencies/testing updates/etc.
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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

I’m assuming once UniFi Protect (currently in Beta) becomes available for GA it will have a way to reflash the entire NVR which would update Debian. 

 

Thats the best way I see to update an NVR from UniFi Video to Protect, assuming they have a upgrade path for their existing NVR’s. I haven’t heard anything on that but I would assume they would. 

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

Thank you for identifying the terms Wheezy, Jessie, and Stretch (I am not a Linux/Debian person).

 

As to the other question, I assume this thread is referring to the NVR appliance, are particular models involved?  Is there any link from Ubiquiti available which stated the appliance is no longer supported due to an O/S upgrade limitation? 

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?


@dalewood wrote:

Is there any link from Ubiquiti available which stated the appliance is no longer supported due to an O/S upgrade limitation? 

Probably some confusion here... its not that the appliance is no longer supported, just that the OS vendor (Debian in this case), has marked 7.0 (Wheezy) end of life/will no longer be providing updates (unless Ubiquiti is perhaps sponsoring ELTS).

 

So the question is... what is the path moving forward for the NVR in terms of getting to Debian 8.0 (supported until 2020) or 9.0 (until 2022).

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

I would personally like to see a move to an Ubuntu LTS, but that's me. Bionic Beaver will be supported until 2023. I think Debian admins would feel pretty comfortable in that environment and it gives Ubiquiti a little more breathing room.

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

As long as Ubiquiti provides UniFi Video software updates, and the device running it is dedicated, is the O/S version important?

 

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

Security-critical parts of the OS like SSL, SSH, and the IP / TCP network stacks, are provided by the OS, not by the unifi-video application.

Thus, if there's another "heartbleed" type remote attack, we'd need to be on a supported OS to be able to patch that.

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Re: Can we expect an official support path for our UVC-NVRs?

If the NVR 'appliance' was no longer secure, or otherwise required an O/S upgrade, it would not make much sense for Ubiquiti to supply Unifi Video updates nor have the device available for purchase.

 

I was really looking at the NVR as an 'appliance' that Ubiquiti "would take care of" in the form of suppling updates, of whatever type required, as needed if needed for the "life" of the device.

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