Create and provision an IoT Edge for Linux on Windows device using symmetric keys

Applies to: IoT Edge 1.4 checkmark IoT Edge 1.4


IoT Edge 1.5 LTS and IoT Edge 1.4 are supported releases. IoT Edge 1.4 LTS is end of life on November 12, 2024. If you are on an earlier release, see Update IoT Edge.

This article provides end-to-end instructions for registering and provisioning an IoT Edge for Linux on Windows device.

Every device that connects to an IoT hub has a device ID that's used to track cloud-to-device or device-to-cloud communications. You configure a device with its connection information, which includes the IoT hub hostname, the device ID, and the information the device uses to authenticate to IoT Hub.

The steps in this article walk through a process called manual provisioning, where you connect a single device to its IoT hub. For manual provisioning, you have two options for authenticating IoT Edge devices:

  • Symmetric keys: When you create a new device identity in IoT Hub, the service creates two keys. You place one of the keys on the device, and it presents the key to IoT Hub when authenticating.

    This authentication method is faster to get started, but not as secure.

  • X.509 self-signed: You create two X.509 identity certificates and place them on the device. When you create a new device identity in IoT Hub, you provide thumbprints from both certificates. When the device authenticates to IoT Hub, it presents one certificate and IoT Hub verifies that the certificate matches its thumbprint.

    This authentication method is more secure and recommended for production scenarios.

This article covers using symmetric keys as your authentication method. If you want to use X.509 certificates, see Create and provision an IoT Edge for Linux on Windows device using X.509 certificates.


If you have many devices to set up and don't want to manually provision each one, use one of the following articles to learn how IoT Edge works with the IoT Hub device provisioning service:


This article covers registering your IoT Edge device and installing IoT Edge for Linux on Windows. These tasks have different prerequisites and utilities used to accomplish them. Make sure you have all the prerequisites covered before proceeding.

Device management tools

You can use the Azure portal, Visual Studio Code, or Azure CLI for the steps to register your device. Each utility has its own prerequisites or may need to be installed:

A free or standard IoT hub in your Azure subscription.

Device requirements

A Windows device with the following minimum requirements:

  • System Requirements

    • Windows 101/11 (Pro, Enterprise, IoT Enterprise)
    • Windows Server 20191/2022
      1 Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 minimum build 17763 with all current cumulative updates installed.
  • Hardware requirements

    • Minimum Free Memory: 1 GB
    • Minimum Free Disk Space: 10 GB
  • Virtualization support

  • Networking support

    • Windows Server does not come with a default switch. Before you can deploy EFLOW to a Windows Server device, you need to create a virtual switch. For more information, see Create virtual switch for Linux on Windows.
    • Windows Desktop versions come with a default switch that can be used for EFLOW installation. If needed, you can create your own custom virtual switch.


If you want to use GPU-accelerated Linux modules in your Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows deployment, there are several configuration options to consider.

You will need to install the correct drivers depending on your GPU architecture, and you may need access to a Windows Insider Program build. To determine your configuration needs and satisfy these prerequisites, see GPU acceleration for Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows.

Make sure you take the time to satisfy the prerequisites for GPU acceleration now. You will need to restart the installation process if you decide you want GPU acceleration during installation.

Developer tools

Prepare your target device for the installation of Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows and the deployment of the Linux virtual machine:

  1. Set the execution policy on the target device to AllSigned. You can check the current execution policy in an elevated PowerShell prompt using the following command:

    Get-ExecutionPolicy -List

    If the execution policy of local machine is not AllSigned, you can set the execution policy using:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy AllSigned -Force

For more information on the Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows PowerShell module, see the PowerShell functions reference.

Register your device

You can use the Azure portal, Visual Studio Code, or Azure CLI to register your device, depending on your preference.

In your IoT hub in the Azure portal, IoT Edge devices are created and managed separately from IoT devices that are not edge enabled.

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

  2. In the left pane, select Devices from the menu, then select Add Device.

  3. On the Create a device page, provide the following information:

    • Create a descriptive Device ID, for example my-edge-device-1 (all lowercase). Copy this Device ID, as you'll use it later.
    • Check the IoT Edge Device checkbox.
    • Select Symmetric key as the authentication type.
    • Use the default settings to auto-generate authentication keys, which connect the new device to your hub.
  4. Select Save.

You should see your new device listed in your IoT hub.

Now that you have a device registered in IoT Hub, you can retrieve provisioning information used to complete the installation and provisioning of the IoT Edge runtime in the next step.

View registered devices and retrieve provisioning information

Devices that use symmetric key authentication need their connection strings to complete installation and provisioning of the IoT Edge runtime. The connection string gets generated for your IoT Edge device when you create the device. For Visual Studio Code and Azure CLI, the connection string is in the JSON output. If you use the Azure portal to create your device, you can find the connection string from the device itself. When you select your device in your IoT hub, it's listed as Primary connection string on the device page.

The edge-enabled devices that connect to your IoT hub are listed on the Devices page of your IoT hub. If you have multiple devices, you can filter the list by selecting the type Iot Edge Devices, then select Apply.

When you're ready to set up your device, you need the connection string that links your physical device with its identity in the IoT hub. Devices that authenticate with symmetric keys have their connection strings available to copy in the portal. To find your connection string in the portal:

  1. From the Devices page, select the IoT Edge device ID from the list.
  2. Copy the value of either Primary Connection String or Secondary Connection String. Either key works.

Install IoT Edge

Deploy Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows on your target device.


The following PowerShell process outlines how to deploy IoT Edge for Linux on Windows onto the local device. To deploy to a remote target device using PowerShell, you can use Remote PowerShell to establish a connection to a remote device and run these commands remotely on that device.

  1. In an elevated PowerShell session, run either of the following commands depending on your target device architecture to download IoT Edge for Linux on Windows.

    • X64/AMD64

      $msiPath = $([io.Path]::Combine($env:TEMP, 'AzureIoTEdge.msi'))
      $ProgressPreference = 'SilentlyContinue'
      Invoke-WebRequest "" -OutFile $msiPath
    • ARM64

      $msiPath = $([io.Path]::Combine($env:TEMP, 'AzureIoTEdge.msi'))
      $ProgressPreference = 'SilentlyContinue'
      Invoke-WebRequest "" -OutFile $msiPath
  2. Install IoT Edge for Linux on Windows on your device.

    Start-Process -Wait msiexec -ArgumentList "/i","$([io.Path]::Combine($env:TEMP, 'AzureIoTEdge.msi'))","/qn"

    You can specify custom IoT Edge for Linux on Windows installation and VHDX directories by adding INSTALLDIR="<FULLY_QUALIFIED_PATH>" and VHDXDIR="<FULLY_QUALIFIED_PATH>" parameters to the install command. For example, if you want to use the D:\EFLOW folder for installation and the D:\EFLOW-VHDX for the VHDX, you can use the following PowerShell cmdlet.

    Start-Process -Wait msiexec -ArgumentList "/i","$([io.Path]::Combine($env:TEMP, 'AzureIoTEdge.msi'))","/qn","INSTALLDIR=D:\EFLOW", "VHDXDIR=D:\EFLOW-VHDX"
  3. Set the execution policy on the target device to AllSigned if it is not already. See the PowerShell prerequisites for commands to check the current execution policy and set the execution policy to AllSigned.

  4. Create the IoT Edge for Linux on Windows deployment. The deployment creates your Linux virtual machine and installs the IoT Edge runtime for you.



    By default, the Deploy-Eflow command creates your Linux virtual machine with 1 GB of RAM, 1 vCPU core, and 16 GB of disk space. However, the resources your VM needs are highly dependent on the workloads you deploy. If your VM does not have sufficient memory to support your workloads, it will fail to start.

    You can customize the virtual machine's available resources using the Deploy-Eflow command's optional parameters. This is required to deploy EFLOW on a device with the minimum hardware requirements.

    For example, the following command creates a virtual machine with 1 vCPU core, 1 GB of RAM (represented in MB), and 2 GB of disk space:

    Deploy-Eflow -cpuCount 1 -memoryInMB 1024 -vmDataSize 2

    For information about all the optional parameters available, see PowerShell functions for IoT Edge for Linux on Windows.


    By default, the EFLOW Linux virtual machine has no DNS configuration. Deployments using DHCP will try to obtain the DNS configuration propagated by the DHCP server. Please check your DNS configuration to ensure internet connectivity. For more information, see AzEFLOW-DNS.

    You can assign a GPU to your deployment to enable GPU-accelerated Linux modules. To gain access to these features, you need to install the prerequisites detailed in GPU acceleration for Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows.

    To use a GPU passthrough, add the gpuName, gpuPassthroughType, and gpuCount parameters to your Deploy-Eflow command. For information about all the optional parameters available, see PowerShell functions for IoT Edge for Linux on Windows.


    Enabling hardware device passthrough may increase security risks. Microsoft recommends a device mitigation driver from your GPU's vendor, when applicable. For more information, see Deploy graphics devices using discrete device assignment.

  5. Enter 'Y' to accept the license terms.

  6. Enter 'O' or 'R' to toggle Optional diagnostic data on or off, depending on your preference.

  7. Once the deployment is complete, the PowerShell window reports Deployment successful.

    A successful deployment will say 'Deployment successful' at the end of the messages, PNG.

    After a successful deployment, you are ready to provision your device.

Provision the device with its cloud identity

You're ready to set up your device with its cloud identity and authentication information.

To provision your device using symmetric keys, you need your device's connection string.

Run the following command in an elevated PowerShell session on your target device. Replace the placeholder text with your own values.

Provision-EflowVm -provisioningType ManualConnectionString -devConnString "PASTE_DEVICE_CONNECTION_STRING_HERE"

For more information about the Provision-EflowVM command, see PowerShell functions for IoT Edge for Linux on Windows.

Verify successful configuration

Verify that IoT Edge for Linux on Windows was successfully installed and configured on your IoT Edge device.

  1. Sign in to your IoT Edge for Linux on Windows virtual machine using the following command in your PowerShell session:



    The only account allowed to SSH to the virtual machine is the user that created it.

  2. Once you are logged in, you can check the list of running IoT Edge modules using the following Linux command:

    sudo iotedge list
  3. If you need to troubleshoot the IoT Edge service, use the following Linux commands.

    1. Retrieve the service logs.

      sudo iotedge system logs
    2. Use the check tool to verify configuration and connection status of the device.

      sudo iotedge check


    On a newly provisioned device, you may see an error related to IoT Edge Hub:

    × production readiness: Edge Hub's storage directory is persisted on the host filesystem - Error

    Could not check current state of edgeHub container

    This error is expected on a newly provisioned device because the IoT Edge Hub module isn't running. To resolve the error, in IoT Hub, set the modules for the device and create a deployment. Creating a deployment for the device starts the modules on the device including the IoT Edge Hub module.

When you create a new IoT Edge device, it displays the status code 417 -- The device's deployment configuration is not set in the Azure portal. This status is normal, and means that the device is ready to receive a module deployment.

Uninstall IoT Edge for Linux on Windows

If you want to remove the Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows installation from your device, use the following commands.

  1. Open Settings on Windows
  2. Select Add or Remove Programs
  3. Select Azure IoT Edge app
  4. Select Uninstall

Next steps