Archive for the Armbian Category


Posted in Armbian, Linux, Orange Pi on July 6, 2017 by asteriondaedalus

So, now with 3 pin serial and I have changed power supply (just in case that was the problem).

I have a 2amp USB powerpack from my Samsung phone so that factors out power since problems persist even with the fragged board running on the new powerpack.

The thing is with the 3-pin serial in I can see what I worked out weeks ago.  The system-load-modules.service wasn’t starting on the fragged board.

It doesn’t start out of the box with a fresh burnt Armbian – either 5.25 or 5.30.  I only noticed this after the fragging so until I try this on one of the new boards who knows whether this is triggered by the fragging.

I had seen that earlier in my investigations but it never started and I could, for a time, set static IP etc.

I note using nmtui ‘Wired connection 1’ I get the error:

Could not activate connection ... connection not available on device eth0

So, there is something with the ethernet chip?


I swapped in one of the new boards and same problem – system-load-modules was not starting and nmtui was not saving eth0 config or it was being dropped because you could not get a connection to the device.

So it is definitely something with the Armbian distro since it is on both fragged board and the new board (that has not had an expansion card inserted).

I will burn 5.30 onto SD again and boot fresh again to see again whether system-load-modules comes up on the new board.

Er …

No wait, what I will try is burning the SD with the distro.

Recall fragged board won’t boot at all post insertion of expansion card – and hence the assumption the orange pi zero had been fragged.


New board boots with distro, old board does not boot with the exact same SD card – yes burnt with Etcher.

Case closed.

The orangepi zero was fragged by the expansion board.

That was my initial hypothesis.

All the other problems are the Armbian distro.

Pity I am not welcome on their forum to help sort this.


So, original OrangePi Zero is in bin.

Two new boards on hand.

I will re-build one of the new boards with node-red and emqttd to be the house automation server and then get back to sorting the house automation and finish rebuilding the cluster with the recovered ODROID-C1 and new parallella.



Still to come

Posted in Armbian, Orange Pi on July 3, 2017 by asteriondaedalus

I was right.

I have had two spanking new OPiZ turn up – so I can at least compare a new board against the apparent fragging of the original.

It will help also with SD corruption story – same SD should fail on new board.

I am also going to buy a new external USB 3 SD card reader/writer and use the box I built for my wife – to factor out the current SD burning setup.

Still I am pensive …


So much for Etcher …

Posted in Armbian, Orange Pi on July 1, 2017 by asteriondaedalus

… after all the fanfare:


So, this is the problem that I reported on armbian site that got me in trouble.  Or at least one of the problems.

So, the feeling was that because I had burnt Armbian 5.25 with WIN32DiskImager it was a file system corruption.

The error actually hints that the file system is in read only state.  So it is the only problem, amongst the raft of problems with Armbian on OPiZ, that might be tied to FS.  Or is it.

This is, however, an Armbian 5.30 burnt with Etcher.

Etcher did not complain of corruption on the SD card after the burn.

Makes no nevermind even if you erase disk first with SDFormatter.

In fact when I put this pic up on Armbian site, I was told that the fault was a read only problem with the SD card.

The issue was actually, I jumped into typing in the new password I wanted to set the device to.  In fact (if you read the command line) I was supposed to type in the default password 1234 again.

So much “help” pointing me at SD corruption, and no one picked I might have simply typed in the wrong password at that step.  Me as well but golly gee I do have to take care getting sucked in by the “help”.


Locked out of Armbian forum!!

Posted in Armbian, Orange Pi on June 30, 2017 by asteriondaedalus


I am locked out of Armbian forum now??

So I guess I cannot recommend Armbian as a Orange Pi Zero distro.

Given all the problems I am having it seems suspiciously like censorship or bullying.

Strange though because a couple of people on that group appeared to be invested in fixing the problems I am seeing.

Oddly, I was blown over by actually getting responses on the forum as one chap at least was providing good technical challenges.  They might actually have something to get their teeth into given we’ve gotten over the usual lazy guesses and now getting to the knitty gritty.

In fact my “crime” was, apparently, responding individually to people who offered help with acknowledgement of yes/no whether their ideas helped.

The inference in the “warning” I received on the forum was that I was all “higgledy piggledy” in my responses.

Hard not to be given I was using the forum “quote” mechanism over top the responses from forum members to ensure individual user responses had my succinct response to their help.

Members were grabbing snippets themselves of the thread to quote in their responses so the forum members did contribute quite a lot to the thread becoming “messy”.

So, in short, my “crime” was using forum software built in functionality the same way other members were.

Mind you I was locked out by someone whose “help” was clearly off the mark.  When I pointed out factually that what they had suggested was, in fact, not going to work, because it actually was the steps that elicited the problem, their response was a tirade of hysteria.

Turns out it was a forum moderator.

So, there is probably at least a problem with ethics as it looks like I am being targeted because I pointed out to the moderator his suggestion was not helpful.

I am not sure why a moderator is moderating a thread they are responding to, or responding to threads at all.  This chap does not seem to be able to self moderate.

He needs to step down as a moderator.

As you might be aware I am not fussed with forums since most times your questions remain idle for yonks.

Remember my spanking on stack exchange, for example, I had a question that sat idle for 6 months.  I worked out the answer. Posted it.  Not half a hour later some dolt panned my answer I think entirely oblivious 1) that I raised the question and 2) that it was the actual answer to the question since I had to sort it myself.  So, I did make a pointed comment …

So, I have muddle through, got enough ideas.  I just got a ping on my post box app so I suspect my two new OPiZ have turned up.

What?  Yeah well they are cheap and I am still 60/40 it’s a hardware frag.  The expansion board wasn’t needed so no need confounding things again.

I haven’t tried the ubuntu distro yet – though I am a big debian fan I have already gone over to the dark side since the parallella official distro is parabuntu.

There is a debian distro for parallella but the board is fiddly enough I think without winging it with rabble rousers.


Never ending story

Posted in Armbian, Orange Pi on June 30, 2017 by asteriondaedalus

So, to date, flaky behaviour using Armbian 5.25 debian server on Orange Pi Zero.

Claims of file system corruption due to SD burn are likely debunked because:

  1. SD are brand new.
  2. SD are genuine out of the box SanDisk Ultra microSDHC UHS-1 parts.
  3. 5.25 image has been burnt to SD with both WIN32DiskImager and Etcher.
  4. Etcher is supposed to baulk if SD does not verify and it does not baulk.
  5. Problem occurs regardless of SD used so since file system corruption is random it is hard to argue, statistically, two SD burns with exactly the same corruption, let alone three or four serial burns of same SD with same corruption.

So, for some reason the eth0 connection eventually goes kaput.

I found to the problem I thought was with nmtui (where it hung) was actually the board dropping the USB connection.  The quirk is nmtui can break the connection every time, it just so happened that the problem manifest halfway through scrolling a log using nano.

Why I came to this was that eth0 would come good, for a time, after doing nothing but two or three reboots in a row.  The USB dropped out while eth0 was up so I was able to ssh into device and run nmtui with no problem – so nmtui isn’t hanging, the usb link is.

The problem with the usb is then of same ilk as the problem with eth0 since they are both devices so that might point to where the problem resides.

On weekend I will get out 3-pin serial as I keep getting hounded to use that since you get more login garbage.  I am guessing it doesn’t act as a device so might also be immune to any lergy affecting devices.


Posted in Armbian, MQTT, node-red, Orange Pi on June 28, 2017 by asteriondaedalus

Given my journey here, to have node-red and emqttd running as services on Orange Pi Zero, I have to say the finale was not unexpected.

Re-burnt SD with Etcher as people were convinced I had caused problems with FS corruption using WIN32DiskImager.

Built node-red and emqttd as services (again).

I then started the Orange Pi Zero and left it running for two days.

I went to open on node-red in my browser this morning.

No connection.

Same for emqttd.

They were running last night.

The COM port to the OPiZ is still up as it shows up on the TerraTerm drop down.

I start up a console but not a sausage.

It should drop straight through to the root prompt for password.

For the halibut I tried sshing in via its static IP.


What The Frack Over?

And, pulling power then reapplying sees the board not come up without IP address – but with node-red and emqttd running.

no connection