Knox E-FOTA frequently asked questions
Last updated July 26th, 2023
On this page, you’ll find answers to the most common questions that new customers have about Knox E-FOTA.
Knox E-FOTA provides advanced control over system software updates across your Samsung devices, providing stability and continuity for enterprises managing a large fleet of devices. It helps you ensure that every device:
- Is installed with the right OS version that has been fully tested for app stability
- Forces mandatory updates without end-user intervention for total compliance
- Manages the update schedule that works best for your device users
Firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) is an enterprise mobility management (EMM) method in which the operating firmware of a mobile device is wirelessly upgraded and updated by its manufacturer. Typically, the latest firmware updates are pushed to devices by their service provider through a business-to-consumer (B2C) FOTA server, with little-to-no control afforded to enterprises who own or manage the devices. With Knox E-FOTA, enterprises push firmware updates to devices from a Samsung business-to-business (B2B) FOTA server in a more controlled manner.
Knox E-FOTA gives you access to official firmware released by the Samsung B2C FOTA service within the past 12 months. Regular firmware updates may include patches for Android-related security issues released by Google and patches for Samsung-specific security issues. New features for Android and app updates are included as well.
Yes. You can try a free, fully-featured trial for up to 30 devices. The trial license is valid for 90 days. To start the trial, enter your email address on the Knox E-FOTA product page and click GET A FREE TRIAL. Once you set up your Knox E-FOTA account and receive confirmation that you can access your account, you can access the Knox Admin Portal and start the trial. All the settings and data are saved to your account, so that they can easily be transferred and retained when you upgrade to a paid subscription.
Knox E-FOTA automatically assigns a license to devices once the Knox E-FOTA client is installed and enrolled on the device. If devices are assigned to a license that will expire within two days, they are automatically re-assigned to another active license, if one is available. You can still manually replace licenses and unenroll devices as needed. Under the Knox Suite license, Knox E-FOTA consumes the license count on a per-seat basis. For example, if you enroll a device’s IMEI in Knox E-FOTA and Knox Manage, only one license count is deducted.
The main communication mechanism is push-based. When you configure devices and initiate updates through the Knox E-FOTA portal, the push message is sent through the Google FCM server. In addition to the push system, we also implemented a polling mechanism. The client will periodically poll the server for configuration information every 24 hours. Alternatively, the device user can poll the latest server policy by manually launching the client. For more information, see Push and poll.
The Knox E-FOTA client app can be downloaded from the Knox E-FOTA console and from Google Play. You can also deploy the client app through your EMM. The client app will automatically update once a newer version is released, unless it is managed by an EMM which can defer app updates. For more information about the Knox E-FOTA client app, see Install and launch the Knox E-FOTA client.
Knox E-FOTA will operate correctly when it’s installed on the primary or personal profile of the device. If the device is fully managed and app installations are restricted, then Knox E-FOTA should be added to the app allowlist.
Knox E-FOTA is supported on Samsung devices with Knox 3.0 and higher running Android 8 and higher.
Each Knox solution, including Knox E-FOTA, supports the five most recent major Android versions (the most recent version plus the four previous versions).
No. Once the device is enrolled in the Knox E-FOTA service, B2C-FOTA updates are disabled on the device. When the license expires, the devices will still remain enrolled in Knox E-FOTA, maintaining their B2C-FOTA block, but they will no longer be able to perform the Knox E-FOTA based firmware updates. If you want to stop using the Knox E-FOTA service altogether once the license has expired, you must unenroll the device to re-enable B2C FOTA updates.
EMM-based single-pane-of-glass management is not available. However, EMM device/group sync is possible within the Knox E-FOTA service. Once EMM sync is established, the device groups will be synced every 24 hours. You can also manually sync device groups on the Knox E-FOTA portal. See Supported EMMs for a list of EMMs that support EMM sync.
Knox E-FOTA provides more advanced control of system software updates across your Samsung devices. Unlike the temporary blocking and unblocking of firmware updates that EMMs provide, Knox E-FOTA’s core functionalities enable you to place a permanent B2C FOTA block, as well as perform forced updates, selective version updates, and scheduled updates so that your enterprise is as productive as possible, with the right firmware version at the right time.
Yes. Most carrier-specific firmware versions, including US Verizon and AT&T, are available in Knox E-FOTA.
It depends on the state of the device. In some cases, especially when the device’s OS is at least one major OS version behind the target firmware, you may be required to download and install several intermediate versions one after the other to reach the desired target version. This process requires multiple reboots of the device. Please be sure that the device does not lock on reboot, otherwise the lock would prevent the sequential updates from applying automatically.
Yes. As kiosks restrict which apps can be run, the Knox E-FOTA client app needs to be cleared by adding additional packages (
com.samsung.android.knox.efota.plugin) to control the app allowlist, so that the device can receive firmware update notifications and apply updates.
Explore the knowledge base articles (KBAs) in this admin guide for up-to-date resolutions for known issues. For issues that can’t be solved by using our online resources, you can sign up on SamsungKnox.com to send us inquiries or create support tickets. See Use the Samsung Knox Portal to learn how to create a support ticket.
Enterprise customers can enjoy our professional and dedicated support whenever they need with our paid technical support programs. To learn more, visit our Samsung Enterprise Technical Support page.
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