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  1. #1
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    Boot stops at crond syncing time lin

    Hello all. I am new to this forum, having just received a Rasberry Pi 3 B+ kit for Christmas, which was on my wish list after my last SqueezeBox2 quit working this fall. I did the assembly per the instructions, hooked up KB and mouse and plugged in ethernet. The little guy worked great and booted up just fine, including a nice GUI and very good internet browsing. Following the instructions on the piCorePlayer site, I downloaded the PCP 4.1 .img file to my PC and burned it to the Micro SD from the Rasberry. When I rebooted, after moving the newly burned SD back to the Rasberry Pi, the boot sequence looked very different and then it started the piCore Player app. It seemed to be fine for awhile, but then it just stopped after hitting the "crond syncing time" line. I waited several minutes but it never progressed, so I powered it down and then back up, but the same thing occurred.

    After trying multiple more times, I removed the SD and reburned it with an earlier version, 4.0. and tried it again. Same story, but there was an added response line, noting that there was a very large time disparity. See attached image.Name:  PCP boot image.jpg
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    So then I tried PCP 3.5 but with the same issue (different time disparity noted). I was about ready to throw up my hands and quit when I thought to try looking for a new player from SqueezeCenter, and lo and behold, there it was! So even though the boot sequence stopped, PCP was showing up as a working player. So I tried streaming an album and voila, it was actually playing the correct music I selected through the headphone jack. I was shocked that it worked when the boot sequence seemed locked up.

    Is this supposed to happen? I am really confused as to why it works, but the boot sequence doesn't seem to complete.

    Following the instructions found on the easysqueezebox site (http://www.easysqueezebox.com/index....i-squeezelite/), I learned how to log into the PCP and change settings so I could use the HDMI audio output which I then did and hooked up to my AV receiver. It really worked great, even though the same boot stoppage showed up on our TV monitor.

    Thanks
    Jim Carter

  2. #2
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
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    hi jimcdenver,

    This is how piCorePlayer works!

    Most people work headless so they don't even see to boot messages.

    You are at the command prompt, hit [Enter] key and play with Linux.

    Type http://192.168.0.31/ into a browser on your network to configure pCP.

    regards
    Greg
    Last edited by Greg Erskine; 2018-12-29 at 21:31.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
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    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for detailing you experience.

    On reflection, I can see if starting from a completely clean slate it would be very easy to misinterpret "what we see as obvious".

    While everything is fresh in your mind, can you let us know what you were expecting, so we can update the boot messages.

    On review, even our "Getting Started" online help has a very important step missing between Step 5 and Step 6

    https://www.picoreplayer.org/main_getting_started.shtml

    I hope you can see the funny side, you probably had pCP working in a couple of minutes, you just didn't know!

    regards
    Greg

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Greg
    Thanks for taking the time to reassure me. Sorry if I overreacted since this seems to be the intended behavior. It still strikes me as very odd that the bott sequence shows a time mismatch of 25 million+ minutes (about 5.27 years!)

    In regards to what I was expecting, it wasn't this, obviously. I just expected it to boot up into the GUI that was installed when I originally started the unit up, with PCP as an app on the desktop, so that I would still be able to use the browser and other functionality. Perhaps that's just me being spoiled from similar functionality on my PC and phone. In actuality, since I will be using the pi headless, it is a moot point in the long run. Nonetheless, for someone like me who is hardware not software oriented, some guidance on the site showing that this is expected behavior would be very reassuring.

    In specifics:
    5. Test "Analog audio" works.
    Out of the box, analog audio via the 3.5mm jack will be working.

    This is very cryptic. I really thought this was something in Linux I was supposed to be able to do. May I suggest some different language?
    5. Out of the box, the PCP should be playing analog audio from the Rasberry Pi via the 3.5mm jack. Plug in headphones or a cable to your amplifier to verify that this is indeed working properly (you will need to select some music to play of course, using the LMS web interface or other player of choice.)

    And you are right--a whole lot is assumed after this step before you can even attempt step 6. Without the instructions on the easysqueezebox site, I would not have had success, so perhaps some of the information lacking on the PCP site could be augmented with info from the easysqueezebox site, primarily all of sections 3 and 4.

    That being said, right now I am still very pleased with the virtual Squeezebox provided by PCP! Having had three SB3s for 13+ years, I had really gotten used to being able to play music through them to various rooms in the house, and after the last one bit the dust I had been sorely missing it. I am very pleased that the functionality of being able to access the player from the Squeeze Center/LMS web interface is still there, so I can log in via my phone to play music, change volume, etc. Very nice! So a big thank you to you and all the other software contributors that allowed this to happen.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
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    Hi Jim,

    Unlike normal Linux distributions, piCore actually installs a fresh copy of Linux each time you boot (into RAM). So the date is originally set to epoch - 00:00:00 Thursday, 1 January 1970. The process at the end using ntp to adjust the time.

    To speed up the boot process we background some tasks, but the processes are outputting messages to the same screen. If you look at your screen shot you will see piCore has loaded and is ready. Note green message and system prompt "piCorePlayer:~$", but the backgrounded piCorePlayer process is still displaying messages over the top.

    Be default, piCorePlayer has no graphical interface, purely text based. This is done to keep pCP size small. You can load Jivelite if your require a graphical interface.

    Documentation is always going to be a problem. Nobody likes doing it. It's always a balance between "not enough" and "too much" information.

    I worked for a large organization, and believe it or not, we had to put a PTO arrow at the bottom of each page to remind the user to turn the page. Apparently. during user testing, some guy read the first page then stopped!!! Instead of sacking the idiot, we added a PTO arrows to thousands for pages.

    regards
    Greg

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    IP address no longer working

    After working great for couple weeks after the conversations below, I hadn't accessed PCP in a while until this weekend. But now it no longer is visible on the network. I tried pinging w/o a response and then used Advanced IP Scanner and the address showing on the PCP boot screen (192.168.0.31) did not ever show up, even tho I rebooted the Rasberry pi multiple times (also tried different ports in the ethernet hubs, unplugging ethernet cable into Rasberry pi, etc.). Could it have anything to do with a new Roku device (0.32) on the network? I did unplug the ethernet cable into the Roku and tried again, but still no PCP visible. Any ideas?

    Name:  IP Scanner_1-28-19.JPG
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
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    What IP address is displayed during the boot process?

  8. #8
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    192.168.0.31

  9. #9
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
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    My logic suggests:

    pCP boots OK, finds the DHCP OK and set the IP OK. (assuming you are not using static IP)

    If you can't find it from another computer there is something blocking it, either a network problem, or firewall problem.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
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    hi jimcdenver,

    We have updated the "Getting Started" documentation to include the missing step#6 and we have revised the wording a little using your recommendations.

    Also added "More information" with a link to easysqueezebox.

    https://www.picoreplayer.org/main_getting_started.shtml

    From pCP 4.2.0 onwards you will get more obvious instructions at the end of the boot process.

    Code:
    Finished piCorePlayer startup.
    
    To setup piCorePlayer, use the web interface via a browser:
     - http:/192.168.1.24
    
    Press [Enter] to access console.
    
    In the background, ntpd is syncing time between piCorePlayer and the internet...
    A large offset between 1970 and now is normal.
    regards
    Greg

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