Testing of a consumer device often includes coupling the device to a host computer and running test suites from the host computer. For authentication purposes, the device typically includes an extra image, e.g., a replica of the software to be tested on the device, which includes a pre-loaded debug bridge key. However, for testing of the complete software stack, e.g., including hardware-dependent portions, a new image cannot flash (overwrite) the existing image on the device, since the device is to be tested with as-shipped software. As a result, automated testing is not possible without a manual device bring-up step.

This disclosure provides several options to authenticate a debug-channel, e.g., by customizing builds, by conditionally preloading the debug bridge key, by preloading based on an elapsed time since the last build, by enabling or disabling the debug bridge key based on location of the device, by creating a new partition on the device that stores the debug bridge key, etc.

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