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This article is written based on AWS (Amazon Web Services) Greengrass 1.0.0, and the target device is Advantech RSB-4760 (Qualcomm APQ8016 platform).

Set up Environment

This section is referred to the AWS Greengrass document and AWS CLI document.

Debian 9 (Stretch)

To run the AWS Greengrass core software

1. Add ggc_user and ggc_group using the following commands:

sudo useradd ggc_user
sudo groupadd ggc_group

2. Install missing dependencies using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sqlite3

3. Set up cgroups

chmod 777 cgroupfs-mount
sudo bash ./cgroupfs-mount

4. Install Pip

curl -O
python --user  

# Add an export command to your profile script, e.g. ~/.profile
export PATH=~/.local/bin:$PATH

# Load the profile into your current session
source ~/.profile

# Verify that pip is installed correctly
pip --version

    The Pip version should be like this.

pip 9.0.1 from /root/.local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (python 2.7)

5. Installing the AWS CLI with Pip

pip install awscli --upgrade --user

# Verify that the AWS CLI installed correctly
aws --version

    The AWS CLI version should be like this.

aws-cli/1.11.146 Python/2.7.13 Linux/4.4.38-4760LIV1090 botocore/1.7.4

To use the AWS IoT Device SDK for C++

You have to install the following additional packages.

  • cmake
  • git
  • openssl-1.0.2g
  • libssl-dev

Please check the AWS Greengrass document for details.

Note: It seems OK to install the openssl & libssl-dev via apt-get install directly.

Set up AWS Greengrass

This section is referred to this AWS Greengrass document.

Download the AWS Greengrass Core Software

Sign in to the AWS Management Console and navigate to the AWS IoT console. Then, download the AWS Greengrass Core Software from Software page.

Copy the tar file into target device, and use the following command to extract the tar file:

sudo tar -zxvf greengrass-platform-version.tar.gz -C /
Where platform is either:
  • linux-armv7l
  • linux-x86-64
  • linux-aarch64

PS: You are also able to download this AWS Greengrass core software in the next step.

Set up AWS Greengrass Group

Create Greengrass Group & Certificates

1. Open the AWS IoT console and, in the navigation pane, choose Greengrass. On the Define a Greengrass group tile, choose Get Started


2. On the Set up your Greengrass Group page, choose Use easy creation, and then follow the instructions. Finally, you can see the page as below.

    Download the public/private key pairs & certificate, and keep them safe. When the download has completed choose Finish.

    Note: [Important!] These credentials will be used later. If you leave this page, you will not be able to retrieve the key pairs & certificate.


Install Certificates on Your Core Device

1. Download the AWS IoT root CA certificate from Verisign.

2. Copy the Core's private key, certificate, and the AWS IoT root CA certificate into the /greengrass/configuration/certs directory of your device using the following names:

  • cloud.pem.crt
The Core certificate downloaded from the console,e.g. ce69fc71e9.cert.pem.
  • cloud.pem.key
The private key downloaded from the console, e.g. ce69fc71e9.private.key.
  • root-ca.pem
The AWS IoT root CA certificate from Symantec.

Create an IAM User

1. Go to IAM page from AWS Services.

2. Click Users and "Add user".


3. Input a user name you want, e.g. GreengrassUser. Select "Programmatic access”. Click “Next: Permissions”.


4. Select “Attach existing policies directly” and check “AdministratorAccess”. Click “Next: Review”.


5. Review and click “Create user”.


6. Store your Access key IDand Secret access key in a safe place. You can also download a csv file which has the credentials.

Note: [Important!] These credentials will be used later. If you leave this page, you will not be able to retrieve the secret access key.


Set up Greengrass Service Role

Create a Greengrass Service Role

1. Go to IAM page from AWS Services.

2. Click Roles and "Create new role".


3. On “Select role type” page, find and choose “AWS Greengrass Role”.


4. On “Attach Policy” page, find and check "AWSGreengrassResourceAccessRolePolicy".


5. On the next page, fill in the Role name, e.g. GreengrassServiceRole. Check that your policies are correct, and click "Create role"


6. Open your new role and take a note of the Role ARN as we need to use it in the next step.


Attach Greengrass Service Role

1. Configure your AWS CLI first, if need.

aws configure

    Then, input the information we collect in previous steps.

AWS Access Key ID [None]: <your Access key ID>
AWS Secret Access Key [None]: <your Secret access key>
Default region name [None]: us-west-2
Default output format [None]: <press enter>

2. Associate service role to your account.

aws greengrass associate-service-role-to-account --role-arn <your Role ARN>

    For example, you may do the commands like this.

aws greengrass associate-service-role-to-account --role-arn arn:aws:iam::395741104517:role/GreengrassServiceRole

Note: If you do not have aws greengrass command, please upgrade AWS CLI to 1.11.100or later.

Get Connected to AWS

Configure AWS Greengrass Core

1. Go to Greengrass Groups page from AWS IoT console.

2. Choose your Greengrass group, and select Core page.


3. Copy the Thing ARN of your Core.


4. On your target device, open the file /greengrass/configuration/config.json. It will initially look like this:

   "CoreThing": {
      "caPath": "<ROOT_CA_PEM_HERE>",
      "certPath": "<CLOUD_PEM_CRT_HERE>",
      "keyPath": "<CLOUD_PEM_KEY_HERE>",
      "thingArn": "<THING_ARN_HERE>",
      "iotHost": "<HOST_PREFIX_HERE>.iot.<AWS_REGION_HERE>",
      "ggHost": "greengrass.iot.<AWS_REGION_HERE>"
   "runtime": {
      "cGroup": {
         "useSystemd": "[yes|no]"

    Update the file with the following content:

   "CoreThing": {
      "caPath": "root-ca.pem",
      "certPath": "cloud.pem.crt",
      "keyPath": "cloud.pem.key",
      "thingArn": <your Thing ARN>,
      "iotHost": "<HOST_PREFIX_HERE>",
      "ggHost": "",
      "keepAlive": 600
   "runtime": {
      "cGroup": {
         "useSystemd": "yes"

Enable Hardlink/Softlink Protection

1. If you encounter an error like Insecure configuration detected: No hardlink/softlink protection, you have to do command  below, before starting Greengrass core software.

vi /etc/sysctl.conf

    Modify the following items.

kernel.printk = 7 7 1 7
fs.protected_hardlinks = 1
fs.protected_symlinks = 1

2. Reload the new configuration.

sysctl -p

Run the AWS Greengrass Core Software

1. Make sure your AWS Greengrass core device is connected to the internet.

    Then, start your Greengrass Core to connect it to the cloud by running:

sudo /greengrass/greengrassd start

    If the Greengass daemon starts successfully you should see the following output:

Setting up greengrass daemon
Validating execution environment
Found cgroup subsystem: cpuset
Found cgroup subsystem: cpu
Found cgroup subsystem: cpuacct
Found cgroup subsystem: blkio
Found cgroup subsystem: memory
Found cgroup subsystem: devices
Found cgroup subsystem: freezer
Found cgroup subsystem: net_cls
Found cgroup subsystem: perf_event
Found cgroup subsystem: net_prio
Found cgroup subsystem: hugetlb
Found cgroup subsystem: pids

Starting greengrass daemon.....
Greengrass daemon started with PID: 2697 

2. To see if your AWS Greengrass core device is running, check that /greengrass/crash.log is empty and /greengrass/var/log/system/runtime.log has text like the following:

[INFO]-Deployment agent connected to cloud
[INFO]-Subscribed to topic $aws/things/GGC_Thing-gda/shadow/update/delta
[INFO]-Subscribed to topic $aws/things/GGC_Thing-gda/shadow/get/accepted

This text means that your AWS Greengrass core device is connected to AWS IoT and waiting for a deployment to take place.

3. Open the AWS IoT console and check the Dashboard page. You should see the connections status.


PS. The date & time are not matched in Week mode. You can switch to Day or Hour for correct records.