Cellular: nRF Cloud REST FOTA

The REST FOTA sample demonstrates how to use the nRF Cloud REST API to perform Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) updates on your device.


The sample supports the following development kits:

Hardware platforms


Board name

Build target

nRF9161 DK



nRF9160 DK




When built for an _ns build target, the sample is configured to compile and run as a non-secure application with Cortex-M Security Extensions enabled. Therefore, it automatically includes Trusted Firmware-M that prepares the required peripherals and secure services to be available for the application.

The sample requires an nRF Cloud account and modem firmware v1.3.x or later for an nRF9160 DK, or modem firmware v2.x.x for an nRF9161 DK..


Full modem FOTA requires development kit version 0.14.0 or higher if you are using an nRF9160 DK.

External flash

To use the external flash memory on the nRF9160 DK v0.14.0 or later versions, the board controller firmware must be of version v2.0.1. This is the factory firmware version. If you need to program the board controller firmware again, complete the following steps:

  1. Download the nRF9160 DK board controller firmware from the nRF9160 DK downloads page.

  2. Make sure the PROG/DEBUG SW10 switch on the nRF9160 DK is set to nRF52.

  3. Program the board controller firmware (nrf9160_dk_board_controller_fw_2.0.1.hex) using the Programmer app in nRF Connect for Desktop.


The board controller firmware version must be v2.0.1 or higher, which enables the pin routing to external flash.

See Board controller for more details.


You can update your device firmware on the nRF Cloud portal or directly through the nRF Cloud REST API. See the nRF Cloud Getting Started FOTA documentation for details.


This sample requires the network carrier to provide date and time to the modem. Without a valid date and time, the modem cannot generate JWTs with an expiration time.

User interface

If you want to perform an update check immediately, press the button configured by the Kconfig option CONFIG_REST_FOTA_BUTTON_EVT_NUM. This will bypass the wait time specified by the CONFIG_REST_FOTA_JOB_CHECK_RATE_MIN option.

If you have the option CONFIG_REST_FOTA_DO_JITP enabled and you press the button configured by the CONFIG_REST_FOTA_BUTTON_EVT_NUM option when prompted at startup, it will request just-in-time provisioning (JITP) through REST with nRF Cloud. This is useful when initially provisioning and associating a device on nRF Cloud. You only need to do this once for each device.

If you have enabled the CONFIG_REST_FOTA_ENABLE_LED option, an LED configured by the CONFIG_REST_FOTA_LED_NUM option indicates the state of the connection to the LTE network.


See Configuring your application for information about how to permanently or temporarily change the configuration.

Configuration options

Check and configure the following configuration options for the sample:


This configuration option defines how often the sample checks for FOTA updates.

CONFIG_REST_FOTA_DL_TIMEOUT_MIN - Download timeout value

This configuration option defines how long to wait for a download to complete.


This configuration option defines if the LED will be used to indicate connection to the LTE network.


This configuration option defines if the LED is to be used.


This configuration option defines the button to use for device interactions.

CONFIG_REST_FOTA_DO_JITP - Enable prompt to perform JITP via REST

This configuration option defines if the application will prompt the user for just-in-time provisioning on startup.

Sending traces over UART on an nRF91 Series DK

To send modem traces over UART on an nRF91 Series DK, configuration must be added for the UART device in the devicetree and Kconfig. This is done by adding the modem trace UART snippet when building and programming.

Use the Cellular Monitor app for capturing and analyzing modem traces.

Building and running

This sample can be found under samples/cellular/nrf_cloud_rest_fota in the nRF Connect SDK folder structure.

When built as firmware image for the _ns build target, the sample has Cortex-M Security Extensions (CMSE) enabled and separates the firmware between Non-Secure Processing Environment (NSPE) and Secure Processing Environment (SPE). Because of this, it automatically includes the Trusted Firmware-M (TF-M). To read more about CMSE, see Processing environments.

To build the sample with Visual Studio Code, follow the steps listed on the How to build an application page in the nRF Connect for VS Code extension documentation. See Building and programming an application for other building and programming scenarios and Testing and debugging an application for general information about testing and debugging in the nRF Connect SDK.

The configuration file for this sample is located in samples/cellular/nrf_cloud_rest_fota. See Configuring your application for information on how to configure the parameters.

To create a FOTA test version of this sample, add the following parameter to your build command:


To enable full modem FOTA, add the following parameter to your build command:


Also, if you are using an nRF9160 DK, specify your development kit version by appending it to the board name. For example, if you are using version 1.0.1, use the board name nrf9160dk_nrf9160_ns@1_0_1 in your build command.


This sample uses the following nRF Connect SDK libraries:

In addition, it uses the following secure firmware component: