Quickstart: Deploy your first IoT Edge module to a virtual Linux device

Test out Azure IoT Edge in this quickstart by deploying containerized code to a virtual IoT Edge device. IoT Edge allows you to remotely manage code on your devices so that you can send more of your workloads to the edge. For this quickstart, we recommend using an Azure virtual machine for your IoT Edge device, which allows you to quickly create a test machine with all prerequisites installed and then delete it when you're finished.

In this quickstart you learn how to:

  1. Create an IoT Hub.
  2. Register an IoT Edge device to your IoT hub.
  3. Install and start the IoT Edge runtime on your virtual device.
  4. Remotely deploy a module to an IoT Edge device.

Diagram - Quickstart architecture for device and cloud

This quickstart walks you through creating a Linux virtual machine that's configured to be IoT Edge device. Then you can deploy a module from the Azure portal to your device. The module that you deploy in this quickstart is a simulated sensor that generates temperature, humidity, and pressure data. The other Azure IoT Edge tutorials build upon the work you do here by deploying modules that analyze the simulated data for business insights.

If you don't have an active Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Use Azure Cloud Shell

Azure hosts Azure Cloud Shell, an interactive shell environment that you can use through your browser. You can use either Bash or PowerShell with Cloud Shell to work with Azure services. You can use the Cloud Shell preinstalled commands to run the code in this article without having to install anything on your local environment.

To start Azure Cloud Shell:

Option Example/Link
Select Try It in the upper-right corner of a code block. Selecting Try It doesn't automatically copy the code to Cloud Shell. Example of Try It for Azure Cloud Shell
Go to https://shell.azure.com, or select the Launch Cloud Shell button to open Cloud Shell in your browser. Launch Cloud Shell in a new window
Select the Cloud Shell button on the menu bar at the upper right in the Azure portal. Cloud Shell button in the Azure portal

To run the code in this article in Azure Cloud Shell:

  1. Start Cloud Shell.

  2. Select the Copy button on a code block to copy the code.

  3. Paste the code into the Cloud Shell session by selecting Ctrl+Shift+V on Windows and Linux or by selecting Cmd+Shift+V on macOS.

  4. Select Enter to run the code.

You use the Azure CLI to complete many of the steps in this quickstart, and Azure IoT has an extension to enable additional functionality.

Add the Azure IoT extension to the cloud shell instance.

az extension add --name azure-iot


This article uses the newest version of the Azure IoT extension, called azure-iot. The legacy version is called azure-iot-cli-ext.You should only have one version installed at a time. You can use the command az extension list to validate the currently installed extensions.

Use az extension remove --name azure-cli-iot-ext to remove the legacy version of the extension.

Use az extension add --name azure-iot to add the new version of the extension.

To see what extensions you have installed, use az extension list.


Cloud resources:

  • A resource group to manage all the resources you use in this quickstart.

    az group create --name IoTEdgeResources --location westus2

IoT Edge device:

  • A Linux device or virtual machine to act as your IoT Edge device. You should use the Microsoft-provided Azure IoT Edge on Ubuntu virtual machine, which preinstalls everything you need to run IoT Edge on a device. Accept the terms of use and create this virtual machine using the following commands:

    az vm image terms accept --urn microsoft_iot_edge:iot_edge_vm_ubuntu:ubuntu_1604_edgeruntimeonly:latest
    az vm create --resource-group IoTEdgeResources --name EdgeVM --image microsoft_iot_edge:iot_edge_vm_ubuntu:ubuntu_1604_edgeruntimeonly:latest --admin-username azureuser --generate-ssh-keys

    It may take a few minutes to create and start the new virtual machine.

    When you create a new virtual machine, make a note of the publicIpAddress, which is provided as part of the create command output. You will use this public IP address to connect to the virtual machine later in the quickstart.

  • If you prefer to run the Azure IoT Edge runtime on your own device, follow instructions at Install the Azure IoT Edge runtime on Linux.

Create an IoT hub

Start the quickstart by creating an IoT hub with Azure CLI.

Diagram - Create an IoT hub in the cloud

The free level of IoT Hub works for this quickstart. If you've used IoT Hub in the past and already have a free hub created, you can use that IoT hub. Each subscription can only have one free IoT hub.

The following code creates a free F1 hub in the resource group IoTEdgeResources. Replace {hub_name} with a unique name for your IoT hub.

az iot hub create --resource-group IoTEdgeResources --name {hub_name} --sku F1 --partition-count 2

If you get an error because there's already one free hub in your subscription, change the SKU to S1. If you get an error that the IoT Hub name isn't available, it means that someone else already has a hub with that name. Try a new name.

Register an IoT Edge device

Register an IoT Edge device with your newly created IoT hub.

Diagram - Register a device with an IoT Hub identity

Create a device identity for your IoT Edge device so that it can communicate with your IoT hub. The device identity lives in the cloud, and you use a unique device connection string to associate a physical device to a device identity.

Since IoT Edge devices behave and can be managed differently than typical IoT devices, declare this identity to be for an IoT Edge device with the --edge-enabled flag.

  1. In the Azure cloud shell, enter the following command to create a device named myEdgeDevice in your hub.

    az iot hub device-identity create --hub-name {hub_name} --device-id myEdgeDevice --edge-enabled

    If you get an error about iothubowner policy keys, make sure that your cloud shell is running the latest version of the azure-iot extension.

  2. Retrieve the connection string for your device, which links your physical device with its identity in IoT Hub.

    az iot hub device-identity show-connection-string --device-id myEdgeDevice --hub-name {hub_name}
  3. Copy the value of the connectionString key from the JSON output and save it. This value is the device connection string. You'll use this connection string to configure the IoT Edge runtime in the next section.

    Retrieve connection string from CLI output

Configure your IoT Edge device

Start the Azure IoT Edge runtime on your IoT Edge device.

Diagram - Start the runtime on device

The IoT Edge runtime is deployed on all IoT Edge devices. It has three components. The IoT Edge security daemon starts each time an IoT Edge device boots and bootstraps the device by starting the IoT Edge agent. The IoT Edge agent facilitates deployment and monitoring of modules on the IoT Edge device, including the IoT Edge hub. The IoT Edge hub manages communications between modules on the IoT Edge device, and between the device and IoT Hub.

During the runtime configuration, you provide a device connection string. Use the string that you retrieved from the Azure CLI. This string associates your physical device with the IoT Edge device identity in Azure.

Set the connection string on the IoT Edge device

If you're using the Azure IoT Edge on Ubuntu virtual machine as described in the prerequisites, then your device already has the IoT Edge runtime installed. You just need to configure your device with the device connection string that you retrieved in the previous section. You can do this remotely without having to connect to the virtual machine. Run the following command, replacing {device_connection_string} with your own string.

az vm run-command invoke -g IoTEdgeResources -n EdgeVM --command-id RunShellScript --script "/etc/iotedge/configedge.sh '{device_connection_string}'"

If you're running IoT Edge on your local machine or an ARM32 or ARM64 device, you need to install the IoT Edge runtime and its prerequisites on your device. Follow the instructions in Install the Azure IoT Edge runtime on Linux, then return to this quickstart.

View the IoT Edge runtime status

The rest of the commands in this quickstart take place on your IoT Edge device itself, so that you can see what's happening on the device. If you're using a virtual machine, connect to that machine now using the public IP address that was output by the creation command. You can also find the public IP address on your virtual machine's overview page in the Azure portal. Use the following command to connect to your virtual machine. Replace {azureuser} if you used a different username than the one suggested in the prerequisites. Replace {publicIpAddress} with your machine's address.

ssh azureuser@{publicIpAddress}

Verify that the runtime was successfully installed and configured on your IoT Edge device.


You need elevated privileges to run iotedge commands. Once you sign out of your machine and sign back in the first time after installing the IoT Edge runtime, your permissions are automatically updated. Until then, use sudo in front of the commands.

  1. Check to see that the IoT Edge security daemon is running as a system service.

    sudo systemctl status iotedge

    See the IoT Edge daemon running as a system service

  2. If you need to troubleshoot the service, retrieve the service logs.

    journalctl -u iotedge
  3. View the modules running on your device.

    sudo iotedge list

    View one module on your device

Your IoT Edge device is now configured. It's ready to run cloud-deployed modules.

Deploy a module

Manage your Azure IoT Edge device from the cloud to deploy a module that will send telemetry data to IoT Hub. Diagram - deploy module from cloud to device

One of the key capabilities of Azure IoT Edge is being able to deploy code to your IoT Edge devices from the cloud. IoT Edge modules are executable packages implemented as containers. In this section, you deploy a pre-built module from the IoT Edge Modules section of the Azure Marketplace directly from your Azure IoT Hub.

The module that you deploy in this section simulates a sensor and sends generated data. This module is a useful piece of code when you're getting started with IoT Edge because you can use the simulated data for development and testing. If you want to see exactly what this module does, you can view the simulated temperature sensor source code.

To deploy your first module from the Azure Marketplace, use the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal and navigate to your IoT hub.

  2. From the menu on the left pane, under Automatic Device Management, select IoT Edge.

  3. Click on the device ID of the target device from the list of devices.

  4. On the upper bar, select Set Modules.

  5. In the IoT Edge Modules section of the page, click Add.

  6. From the drop-down menu, select Marketplace Module.

    Simulated Temperature Sensor in Azure portal search

  7. In the IoT Edge Module Marketplace, search for "Simulated Temperature Sensor" and select that module.

  8. Notice that the SimulatedTemperatureSensor module is auto populated. In the tutorials, you use this page to add additional modules to your deployment. For this quickstart, only deploy this one module. No credentials are required because it's public.

    Set modules on device

    Select Next: Routes to continue to the next step of the wizard.

  9. On the Routes tab of the wizard, you define how messages are passed between modules and the IoT Hub. Messages are constructed using name/value pairs. For the quickstart, you want all messages from all modules to go to IoT Hub ($upstream). If it's not auto populated, add the following code for the Value for the Name upstream:

     FROM /messages/* INTO $upstream

    Select Next: Review + create to continue to the next step of the wizard.

  10. On the Review + create tab of the wizard, you can preview the JSON file that defines all the modules that get deployed to your IoT Edge device. Notice that the SimulatedTemperatureSensor module is included, and two additional system modules called edgeAgent and edgeHub. Select Create when you're done reviewing.

    When you submit a new deployment to an IoT Edge device, nothing is pushed to your device. Instead, the device queries IoT Hub regularly for any new instructions. If the device finds an updated deployment manifest, it uses the information about the new deployment to pull the module images from the cloud then starts running the modules locally. This process may take a few minutes.

  11. After you create the module deployment details, the wizard returns you to the IoT Edge page of your IoT hub. Select your device from the list of IoT Edge devices to see its details.

  12. On the device details page, scroll down to the Modules tab. Three modules should be listed: $edgeAgent, $edgeHub, and SimulatedTemperatureSensor. If one or more of the modules are listed as specified in deployment but not reported by device, your IoT Edge device is still starting them. Wait a few moments and select Refresh at the top of the page.

    View SimulatedTemperatureSensor in list of deployed modules

View generated data

In this quickstart, you created a new IoT Edge device and installed the IoT Edge runtime on it. Then, you used the Azure portal to deploy an IoT Edge module to run on the device without having to make changes to the device itself.

In this case, the module that you pushed creates sample data that you can use for testing. The simulated temperature sensor module generates environment data that you can use for testing later. The simulated sensor is monitoring both a machine and the environment around the machine. For example, this sensor might be in a server room, on a factory floor, or on a wind turbine. The message includes ambient temperature and humidity, machine temperature and pressure, and a timestamp. The IoT Edge tutorials use the data created by this module as test data for analytics.

Open the command prompt on your IoT Edge device again, or use the SSH connection from Azure CLI. Confirm that the module deployed from the cloud is running on your IoT Edge device:

sudo iotedge list

View three modules on your device

View the messages being sent from the temperature sensor module:

sudo iotedge logs SimulatedTemperatureSensor -f


IoT Edge commands are case-sensitive when referring to module names.

View the data from your module

You can also watch the messages arrive at your IoT hub by using the Azure IoT Hub extension for Visual Studio Code.

Clean up resources

If you want to continue on to the IoT Edge tutorials, you can use the device that you registered and set up in this quickstart. Otherwise, you can delete the Azure resources that you created to avoid charges.

If you created your virtual machine and IoT hub in a new resource group, you can delete that group and all the associated resources. Double check the contents of the resource group to make sure that there's nothing you want to keep. If you don't want to delete the whole group, you can delete individual resources instead.

Remove the IoTEdgeResources group.

az group delete --name IoTEdgeResources

Next steps

In this quickstart, you created an IoT Edge device and used the Azure IoT Edge cloud interface to deploy code onto the device. Now, you have a test device generating raw data about its environment.

The next step is to set up your local development environment so that you can start creating IoT Edge modules that run your business logic.