NVS Partition Generator Utility

Introduction

nvs_flash/nvs_partition_generator/nvs_partition_gen.py utility is designed to help create a binary file, compatible with NVS architecture defined in Non-Volatile Storage, based on user provided key-value pairs in a CSV file. Utility is ideally suited for generating a binary blob, containing data specific to ODM/OEM, which can be flashed externally at the time of device manufacturing. This helps manufacturers set unique value for various parameters for each device, e.g. serial number, while using same application firmware for all devices.

Prerequisites

To use this utility in encryption mode, the following packages need to be installed:
  • cryptography package

This dependency is already captured by including these packages in requirement.txt in top level IDF directory.

CSV file format

Each row of the .csv file should have 4 parameters, separated by comma. Below is the description of each of these parameters:

Key
Key of the data. Data can later be accessed from an application via this key.
Type
Supported values are file, data and namespace.
Encoding

Supported values are: u8, i8, u16, u32, i32, string, hex2bin, base64 and binary. This specifies how actual data values are encoded in the resultant binary file. Difference between string and binary encoding is that string data is terminated with a NULL character, whereas binary data is not.

Note

For file type, only hex2bin, base64, string and binary is supported as of now.

Value
Data value.

Note

Encoding and Value cells for namespace field type should be empty. Encoding and Value of namespace is fixed and isn’t configurable. Any value in these cells are ignored.

Note

First row of the CSV file should always be column header and isn’t configurable.

Below is an example dump of such CSV file:

key,type,encoding,value     <-- column header
namespace_name,namespace,,  <-- First entry should be of type "namespace"
key1,data,u8,1
key2,file,string,/path/to/file

Note

Make sure there are no spaces before and after ‘,’ in CSV file.

NVS Entry and Namespace association

When a new namespace entry is encountered in the CSV file, each follow-up entries will be part of that namespace, until next namespace entry is found, in which case all the follow-up entries will be part of the new namespace.

Note

First entry in a CSV file should always be namespace entry.

Multipage Blob Support

By default, binary blobs are allowed to span over multiple pages and written in the format mentioned in section Structure of entry. If older format is intended to be used, the utility provides an option to disable this feature.

Encryption Support

This utility allows you to create an enrypted binary file also. Encryption used is AES-XTS encryption. Refer to NVS Encryption for more details.

Running the utility

Usage:

python nvs_partition_gen.py [-h] [--input INPUT] [--output OUTPUT]
                        [--size SIZE] [--version {v1,v2}]
                        [--keygen {true,false}] [--encrypt {true,false}]
                        [--keyfile KEYFILE]
Arguments Description
–input INPUT Path to CSV file to parse.
–output OUTPUT Path to output generated binary file.
–size SIZE Size of NVS Partition in bytes (must be multiple of 4096)
–version {v1,v2} Set version. Default: v2
–keygen {true,false} Generate keys for encryption. Creates an encryption_keys.bin file (in current directory). Default: false
–encrypt {true,false} Set encryption mode. Default: false
–keyfile KEYFILE File having key for encryption (Applicable only if encryption mode is true)
You can run this utility in two modes:
  • Default mode - Binary generated in this mode is an unencrypted binary file.
  • Encryption mode - Binary generated in this mode is an encrypted binary file.

In default mode:

Usage:

python nvs_partition_gen.py [-h] --input INPUT --output OUTPUT
                        --size SIZE [--version {v1,v2}]
                        [--keygen {true,false}] [--encrypt {true,false}]
                        [--keyfile KEYFILE]

You can run the utility using below command:

python nvs_partition_gen.py --input sample.csv --output sample.bin --size 0x3000

In encryption mode:

Usage:

python nvs_partition_gen.py [-h] --input INPUT --output OUTPUT
                        --size SIZE --encrypt {true,false}
                        --keygen {true,false} | --keyfile KEYFILE
                        [--version {v1,v2}]

You can run the utility using below commands:

  • By taking encryption keys as an input file. A sample encryption keys binary file is provided with the utility:

    python nvs_partition_gen.py --input sample.csv --output sample_encrypted.bin --size 0x3000 --encrypt true --keyfile testdata/sample_encryption_keys.bin
    
  • By enabling generation of encryption keys:

    python nvs_partition_gen.py --input sample.csv --output sample_encrypted.bin --size 0x3000 --encrypt true --keygen true
    

To generate only encryption keys with this utility ( Creates an encryption_keys.bin file in current directory ):

python nvs_partition_gen.py --keygen true

Note

This encryption_keys.bin file is compatible with NVS key-partition structure. Refer to NVS key partition for more details.

You can also provide the format version number (in any of the two modes):
  • Multipage Blob Support Enabled (v2)
  • Multipage Blob Support Disabled (v1)

Multipage Blob Support Enabled (v2):

You can run the utility in this format by setting the version parameter to v2, as shown below. A sample CSV file is provided with the utility:

python nvs_partition_gen.py --input sample_multipage_blob.csv --output partition_multipage_blob.bin --size 0x3000 --version v2

Multipage Blob Support Disabled (v1):

You can run the utility in this format by setting the version parameter to v1, as shown below. A sample CSV file is provided with the utility:

python nvs_partition_gen.py --input sample_singlepage_blob.csv --output partition_single_page.bin --size 0x3000 --version v1

Note

Minimum NVS Partition Size needed is 0x3000 bytes.

Note

When flashing the binary onto the device, make sure it is consistent with the application’s sdkconfig.

Caveats

  • Utility doesn’t check for duplicate keys and will write data pertaining to both keys. User needs to make sure keys are distinct.
  • Once a new page is created, no data will be written in the space left in previous page. Fields in the CSV file need to be ordered in such a way so as to optimize memory.
  • 64-bit datatype is not yet supported.