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I'm working with some embedded industrial controllers that run a version of OpenWRT/Yocto. The vendor provides SSH access and a pretty good image with a bunch of optional packages through opkg. They also have their own IDE and tools so that you don't need any Linux experience to use their platform.

We've done a bunch of development on a couple units and we're ready to deploy to the 50ish controllers we have in production. Historically this has been done by using the vendor supplied tools to format each controller and individually install the base system + packages + custom code. This is a rather painful process.

Is there a way I could easily replicate one known-good system? I'm tempted to try just rsyncing the whole system as a trial, but I worry about bricking my target controller (there's no keyboard/mouse/monitor).

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Is it safe to assume these controllers use embedded flash?

If so, then you can probably use the stock openwrt backup procedure, and at the worst case you could use a nanddump to make a backup of the whole flash and use mtd -r write to restore a known good copy.

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