Write a Self Updating Application on a Raspberry Pi with C#

Write a Self Updating Application on a Raspberry Pi with C#

Writing a C# routine for auto-upgrading an application on a Raspberry Pi can be quite an interesting task. The Raspberry Pi typically runs on a Linux-based OS, such as Raspberry Pi OS, and hence, the upgrade process would involve a combination of C# code and Linux shell commands. The following example demonstrates a basic routine for achieving this task.

In this example, we’ll assume that the updated version of your application is available as a downloadable package (like a .tar.gz or .zip file) from a URL. The routine will download this package, extract it, and replace the current application files with the new ones.

Let’s break down the process:

  1. Download the Update Package: Use C# to download the update package from a given URL.
  2. Extract the Package: Once downloaded, extract the package to a temporary location.
  3. Replace Old Files: Replace the old application files with the new ones from the extracted package.
  4. Cleanup: Remove the downloaded package and extracted files after the update.
  5. Restart the Application: Finally, restart the application to apply the update.

Here’s a basic implementation in C#:

using System
using System.Diagnostics
using System.IO
using System.Net.Http
using System.Threading.Tasks
public class ApplicationUpdater 

    private readonly stringupdateUrl; 
    private readonly string applicationDirectory
    private readonly stringtempDirectory; 
    public ApplicationUpdater(string updateUrlstring applicationDirectory
    this.updateUrl = updateUrl
    this.applicationDirectory = applicationDirectory;
    this.tempDirectory = Path.Combine(applicationDirectory"tempUpdate"); 

    public asyncTask<boolUpdateApplicationAsync() 


            if (!Directory.Exists(tempDirectory)) 

            string downloadedFilePathawaitDownloadUpdatePackageAsync(); 
            return true; 

        catch (Exception ex) 
            Console.WriteLine("An error occurred during the update process: " + ex.Message); 
            return false; 

    private async Task<stringDownloadUpdatePackageAsync() 

        using var clientnew HttpClient(); 
        var responseawait client.GetAsync(updateUrl); 
        string fileFullPath = Path.Combine(tempDirectory"updatePackage.tar.gz"); 
        await using var fsnew FileStream(fileFullPath, FileMode.Create); 
        await response.Content.CopyToAsync(fs); 
        return fileFullPath; 

    private void ExtractPackage(string filePath

        string extractCommand$"tar -xzf {filePath} -C {tempDirectory}"; 

    private void ReplaceOldFiles() 
        string copyCommand$"cp -R {tempDirectory}/* {applicationDirectory}"; 

    private void Cleanup(string downloadedFilePath

    private voidRestartApplication() 

        // Implement application restart logic 
        // This could be a simple application restart, or a system reboot if necessary 

    private voidExecuteShellCommand(string command

        var processnew Process 
            StartInfonew ProcessStartInfo 
                Arguments$"-c \"{command}\"", 


To use this updater, you would initialize it with the URL of the update package and the directory of your application:

var updaternew ApplicationUpdater("http://example.com/update.tar.gz"
await updater.UpdateApplicationAsync();

Important Notes:

  • This basic example code should be adapted and expanded based on your application’s specific needs and architecture.
  • Error handling and logging should be implemented for a robust solution.
  • The RestartApplication method needs to be filled with logic specific to how your application should restart.
  • Ensure your application has the necessary permissions to perform these operations on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Testing the updater thoroughly in a controlled environment before deploying it in a production scenario is crucial to avoid unexpected downtime.

Hi, my name is Stephen Finchett. I have been a software engineer for over 30 years and worked on complex, business critical, multi-user systems for all of my career. For the last 15 years, I have been concentrating on web based solutions using the Microsoft Stack including ASP.Net, C#, TypeScript, SQL Server and running everything at scale within Kubernetes.