Just received Pinephone - system crashes
#1
I just received my Pinephone "Manjaro With Convergence Package" and have been playing around with it a bit just as a pocket Linux computer - I've not tried to do anything with a SIM card yet.

The good: Screen is very nice, good brightness and no dead pixels. The phone connected to my home wi-fi with no issues. Although the back of the phone does feel kind of fragile I figured out how to get it off and back on with no problem. Maybe will order an extra or two "just in case". Internal speaker test worked, and volume seemed good. Haven't tried any real audio yet but the test sounded clear and undistorted. Overall feel of the hardware is that of a solid product.

The bad: I realize the Manjaro software is still alpha, but I wanted to get some feedback on whether what I'm seeing is expected, or am I looking at possible hardware issues. (Is something like memtest available for diags?)

So far I've had two system crashes where it was necessary to remove the battery to reboot the phone since it would not even respond to the power button. This happened once while running the Terminal application, and another time in Settings. Now I have Mozilla Firefox running and that browser has locked up and does not respond, though the OS is still responsive. (I'm not able to kill Firefox using the "X" after minimizing though. How do you kill a locked-up application? Since Wayland is in use I assume xkill wouldn't work.)

If these problems are simply due to the alpha nature of the software, is Manjaro updated in-place or is it necessary to reinstall the OS as development continues? (I know, read the wiki and the Manjaro forum!)

As I am typing this the phone locked up again, totally unresponsive, while in Settings... but looking at the Manjaro ARM Beta1 known issues, I see "UI becomes unresponsive after a while." So maybe it is just software crashes, though I note that not only does the UI crash but the power button doesn't work when this happens. Maybe will try some other Linux distributions while Manjaro continues to improve and see if those have similar problems. Should be fun!
#2
!  WARNING !      Removing the battery to shut down,  can cause the modem firmware to be corrupted  !

There has been much discussion on this.

Also : Have you tried holding the power button for a full 12 seconds (or more) when attempting a hard shut down ?

The newest Beta 1 downloaded to an sd card seems to run better than the OS pre-installed runs.
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#3
(11-05-2020, 12:41 PM)bcnaz Wrote: The newest Beta 1 downloaded to an sd card seems to run better than the OS pre-installed runs.

I installed this last night from the jumpdrive tool:  

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=9444

Early days, but all good so far.  

MC
If it isn't broken, take it apart and fix it.
#4
(11-04-2020, 08:01 PM)Zebulon Walto Wrote: The bad: I realize the Manjaro software is still alpha, but I wanted to get some feedback on whether what I'm seeing is expected, or am I looking at possible hardware issues. (Is something like memtest available for diags?)

Take a look at this: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=9832
#5
(11-05-2020, 02:28 PM)fsflover Wrote:
(11-04-2020, 08:01 PM)Zebulon Walto Wrote: The bad: I realize the Manjaro software is still alpha, but I wanted to get some feedback on whether what I'm seeing is expected, or am I looking at possible hardware issues. (Is something like memtest available for diags?)

Take a look at this: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=9832

That thread is related to the Mobian O.S.  

I don't know if Manjaro is crashing form the same problem  ?
      LINUX = CHOICES
         **BCnAZ**
               Idea
   Donate to $upport
your favorite OS Team
#6
(11-05-2020, 12:41 PM)bcnaz Wrote: !  WARNING !      Removing the battery to shut down,  can cause the modem firmware to be corrupted  !

There has been much discussion on this.

Also :  Have you tried holding the power button for a full 12 seconds (or more)  when attempting a hard shut down ?

The newest Beta 1 downloaded to an sd card seems to run better than the OS pre-installed runs.

Ouch! Hopefully that hasn't happened since I'm not even attempting to use the phone functions yet (no SIM card installed and haven't run the phone application.) What are the symptoms if modem firmware was corrupted? Any way to recover other than replacing the mainboard? I did discover the use-a-paperclip reset button in the back and used that to recover from the last crash. Previously I had held the power button down for what seemed like a good long time but I don't know if it was a full 12 seconds or more. I can try that again and time it.

I'm planning to copy the multi-distro image to an SD card to try a few different distros and see if others also lock up.
#7
(11-05-2020, 02:33 PM)bcnaz Wrote:
(11-05-2020, 02:28 PM)fsflover Wrote:
(11-04-2020, 08:01 PM)Zebulon Walto Wrote: The bad: I realize the Manjaro software is still alpha, but I wanted to get some feedback on whether what I'm seeing is expected, or am I looking at possible hardware issues. (Is something like memtest available for diags?)

Take a look at this: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=9832

That thread is related to the Mobian O.S.  

I don't know if Manjaro is crashing form the same problem  ?
There is a factory test OS in the Postmarket builds that does a good job testing hardware. Many Pinephones have the dram clockspeed problem regardless of OS. Flash a lower speed and see if the problem goes away. As the builds get optimized, the problem seems to be being resolved. My phone couldn't handle more than 552, but is now running better on the latest builds. Most seem to be ok with anything between 552 and 624.

There is a memtest type setup in the thread provided.
#8
(11-05-2020, 02:28 PM)fsflover Wrote:
(11-04-2020, 08:01 PM)Zebulon Walto Wrote: The bad: I realize the Manjaro software is still alpha, but I wanted to get some feedback on whether what I'm seeing is expected, or am I looking at possible hardware issues. (Is something like memtest available for diags?)

Take a look at this: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=9832

Interesting, will try those out, thanks!
#9
(11-05-2020, 02:33 PM)bcna Wrote: That thread is related to the Mobian O.S.  

I don't know if Manjaro is crashing form the same problem  ?

No, it's not related to Mobian. They just provide an easy way to test it on Mobian with the packages, but this is a general problem with the Pinephone hardware.
#10
I just ran the Postmarket OS factory test (V0.55.0 looks like the newest) from an SD card and fortunately everything tests out OK. That's a great tool for these phones! My first instinct when a computer locks up hard is to power cycle it, so I thought nothing of just pulling the battery. Any other hardware gotchas to be aware of?

Will have to play around with some more OS images to see if they're more stable than the factory-installed Manjaro. Will stick with SD card boot for now until something looks like it works well enough to flash to eMMC...


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