R01 - Works fine, until it doesn't

After flashing the SD card and cleaning up the mess in the apt repositories, I am able to get the DevTerm to boot all the way to the twm desktop, and the audio works.

However, if I use the device even moderately heavily for about an hour, and then reboot it, the console session won’t start correctly. The keyboard is locked, and the display just sits frozen on the shell prompt.

I can ssh into the unit, and do whatever I want there (well, everything except anything that needs to be done directly on the console – like resetting the console). Then, if I unplug it, and leave it sit for about an hour, and then boot it again, it works fine again!

Any thoughts?

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When you say “reboot” do you mean something like sudo reboot or a power off/on cycle? Seems to me I’ve not had success rebooting it, ending up with a black screen. Then I push the power button for several seconds until it finally turns off. I’ll have to try it again since I’ve trimmed down the OS. I always power it off (sudo halt) and then back on. I’ve not had trouble doing that.

I’ve also been finding that a reboot usually leads to the keyboard and trackball not working (but I can ssh in); but power cycle with a longer gap gets it working again. Frustrating!

Well… you guys are doing better than me. I just tried it again and it went black. As soon as the kernel shuts down and initiates the reboot the screen goes black and stays off. I am able to ping it but I apparently haven’t installed OpenSSH server. When my batteries get charged up again I’ll make sure its SSH enabled and try again.

Its not the first computer I’ve had that doesn’t reboot Linux properly so I’ve just been doing full shutdowns and then power it back on instead of reboot.

For me at least, the problem is after the shutdown completes. Shutdown process is fine (though, it does take for bloody ever). It’s after it comes back up, that the native console just freezes. If I wait a while, then it works.

also: If I leave it running for a good long time, especially doing something difficult (like running Chocolate Doom), then the ssh terminal response starts to deteriorate. So, I’m suspecting what is happening is thermal-related. That’s one hypothesis. Because waiting an hour to restart the machine, gives the cpu time to cool down.

I’m pretty sure mine is not thermal (although it could be, I’m willing to be proven wrong, but in general, the board seems to run cool on the R01), but I wonder if something is not being reset properly on the mainboard or the extension board if you reboot rather than power off? I’m not sure what I’m not finding in the logs that would indicate why the keyboard / mouse is not reconnecting. I’ll have to explore the kernel and boot logs some more.

OK, now I’m doing some testing on thermals - I’ve not had the fan running on the machine, but I just hacked a couple of shell aliases to switch it on/off - we’re having some warmer days here in the UK right now (!!) and although I’ve not seen the temp go over ~55C, I’m going to see what happens with the input devices if I run the fan and reboot after one of the lockups.

I do not think the freezes are thermal at all. In my usage, even during these hangups, the system can still respond a bit, and gkrellm continues to update, and the machine is not physically warm to the touch. It seems to me that this might be an issue with the Linux scheduler. Also, this happens much less to me after software updates were ran.

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Yeah, everything’s fine. It’s great. No problems here. Thanks!