What is AWS IoT Greengrass?

Introduction and Terminology

You may create, distribute, and manage Internet of Things (IoT) apps on your devices with the aid of AWS IoT Greengrass, an open source Internet of Things (IoT) edge runtime and cloud service. Building software that lets your devices act locally on the data they produce, make predictions using machine learning models, and filter and aggregate device data are all possible with the help of AWS IoT Greengrass. 

Your devices may gather and analyze data closer to the point where it is created, respond independently to local events, and exchange secure messages with other devices on the local network thanks to AWS IoT Greengrass.

Additionally, Greengrass devices may transfer IoT data to the AWS Cloud and securely interface with AWS IoT Core. Utilizing pre-made software modules, also known as components, that may link your edge devices to AWS services or outside services, you can create edge applications using AWS IoT Greengrass. 

Additionally, you may use AWS IoT Greengrass to package and run your applications using custom runtimes of your choice, native operating system processes, Docker containers, Lambda functions, or native operating system containers.

How does AWS Greengrass work?

The Internet of Things (IoT) AWS Greengrass allows edge devices to process data locally while still relying on the cloud for analytics, administration, and storage. This connection to the cloud is secured via the MQTT protocol, which allows the devices to connect to the AWS Greengrass Core through AWS IoT. Additionally, Greengrass can be configured to only share the essential data with the cloud by authorizing the device information to be filtered.

Features of AWS Greengrass


The Lambda architecture has the capability of facilitating on-site development to manage events before sending the data to the cloud for further processing.

Device Shadows

When cloud connectivity is enabled, the equipment will have shadowing capability to monitor the current status of Infrastructure devices and match it with the desired configuration.

Stream Manager

Stream managers are a popular technique that enables the transportation of data from the device to other cloud services offered by AWS such as AWS IoT Analytics, AWS IoT Core, Amazon Kinesis, and Amazon IoT.

Over-the-air updates 

The AWS CLI allows users to deploy security updates, bug fixes, and other features without having to log in to the device, thereby making the distribution process much easier.

For Brand-New AWS IoT Greengrass Customers

For devices with ARM or x86 architectures, the AWS IoT Greengrass client software, also known as AWS IoT Greengrass Core software, operates on Windows and Linux-based distributions like Ubuntu or Raspberry Pi OS. With AWS IoT Greengrass, you can perform predictions using machine learning models, filter and aggregate device data, and program devices to respond locally on the data they provide. 

Local execution of AWS Lambda functions, Docker containers, native OS processes, or personal runtimes of your choosing is possible with the help of AWS IoT Greengrass.

The user can simply expand the functionality of edge devices using the pre-built software modules called components provided by AWS IoT Greengrass. You may connect at the edge to AWS services and third-party applications using AWS IoT Greengrass components. AWS IoT Greengrass gives you the ability to remotely deploy, set up, and manage your IoT apps on your fleet of out-in-the-field devices after you’ve developed them.

Fundamentals of AWS IoT Greengrass

The following ideas are fundamental to comprehending and utilizing AWS IoT Greengrass:

Core Service

A gadget using the AWS IoT Greengrass Core program. An AWS IoT item is a Greengrass core device. For the purpose of creating and managing groups of Greengrass core devices, you can add numerous core devices to AWS IoT thing groups.

Client Device

A system that uses MQTT to connect to and communicate with a Greengrass core system. An AWS IoT item is a Greengrass client device. Data from connected client devices can be processed, filtered, and aggregated by the core device. To transmit MQTT messages between client devices, the AWS IoT Core cloud service, and Greengrass components, you can set up the core device. Visit Interact with local IoT devices for additional details.

In order to learn more about the core devices that they may connect to, client devices can run FreeRTOS, as well as the AWS IoT Device SDK or Greengrass discovery API.


A piece of software that is installed and used by a Greengrass core device. Every piece of software created and released using AWS IoT Greengrass is represented as a component. You may utilize the pre-built public components offered by AWS IoT Greengrass to provide features and functionality for your apps. 

On a local device or in the cloud, you may also create your own unique components. After creating a custom component, you can deploy it to one or more core devices using the AWS IoT Greengrass cloud service. A custom component can be made and installed on a core device.


A method for sending components and applying the required component configuration to a target device in a different location, which might be a single Greengrass core unit or a collection of Greengrass core units. Any modified component settings are immediately applied to the target during deployments, along with any additional components that are listed as dependents. 

In order to establish a new deployment that utilizes the same components but is sent to a different destination, you may also copy an existing deployment. Deployments are continuous, so any changes you make to their components or component settings immediately reach all of their target destinations. Deploy AWS IoT Greengrass components to devices for additional details.


IoT development has advanced significantly since a decade ago with the advent of modular, cloud-based developer services like Greengrass. It wasn’t that long ago when proprietary operating systems were the norm and all device code had to be written in C (if you were lucky, otherwise assembly language!).

Greengrass altered the industry and opened the way for future technologies, along with a flurry of associated IoT Developer Experience (DX) breakthroughs. Now, any app developer can create IoT code without having to be an expert in low-level memory management. Instead, they can focus on what really matters: building dependable apps with top-notch user experiences.

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