How to get a stable M2P installation … TL/DR

Max2Play Home 2016 (en) Forums General Questions on Hardware and Max2Play Versions How to get a stable M2P installation … TL/DR

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Heiner Moderator 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • 4. September 2017 at 3:26 #31092

    Dear Max2Play developers,

    I have been using M2P for 10 months. For the first six months it was rock solid and stable. So much so, that I almost never ssh’d to the server in a terminal nor even loaded the M2P web UI. I simply connected with my device apps to the LMS installed via M2P and all was well. But …

    <rant>
    Recently (there is a thread about it on the Forum) LMS simply stopped responding and, in trouble-shooting the LMS issue, the M2P UI also stopped working — the tabs were at the top of the web pages, but the content was blank. In the end, I was advised to re-image M2P from the IMG and start over. Which I grudgingly did.

    But the resulting M2P/LMS “experience” was awful. The M2P UI would go into a cyclical “Reloading page every 3 seconds” while installing LMS. And it stayed in that mode until I grew weary and killed it. I re-imaged the SD card three times and that behavior never stopped. With a LOT LOT LOT of futzing I eventually got a stable, working LMS and all was mostly well (LMS is horribly slow) until this morning.

    And, again, LMS stopped showing UI elements it should show. For example, for my Logitech Classic 3, it would not show options for screensavers. There should be options. So, to get to a clean state, I restarted the Pi2. It all blew up. Seriously. Nothing on restart. No M2P. No LMS. No ssh.

    So, I go get my USB keyboard from my desktop computer, go find a wireless/usb mouse, unplug the HDMI cable from the Pioneer A/V system, to get terminal access to the Pi2 to see what the hell is going on. The screen shows a bloody CLI login prompt. WTF? How did that happen?

    With several hours of work I was able to get the X server to start and stay started on M2P/Pi2 restart. But though I’ve updated LMS with the .deb found in /var/lib/squeezeboxserver/cache/update AND I tried to reinstall LMS via the M2P web UI, I cannot get a fully functioning LMS. That pesky reloading-every-3-seconds thing again, which I had to kill. But an install of LMS seemed to have been successful. LMS loads. ps -ef shows it running. The M2P UI shows it running. But the LMS does not establish a service listening on port 9000. netstat -an | grep LISTEN shows no 9000 port. Nothing I can do will fix it.

    So, after FIVE hours of my life I will never get back I’ve had to give up. I’m now going to re-image the SD card with the latest M2P I just downloaded. And attempted yet again to get a working LMS that listens on port 9000.

    I must say that this is beyond frustrating. I actually had other plans for my day than spending hours trying to fix M2P/Pi2/LMS.
    </rant>

    As I image the SD card with the latest M2P IMG, are there concrete steps I can take to create a stable M2P/Pi2? No offense, but really, this shouldn’t be that hard. I’m running only LMS and no other software other than what M2P/Pi2 require to support LMS or what M2P installs for itself. In fact, I’d LOVE an option for M2P that sets up ONLY an LMS. I came to M2P from picoreplayer because updating PCP required starting over from scratch every damn time. Yet here I am 10 months after moving to M2P re-imaging the SD card yet again.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  gstalnaker.
    4. September 2017 at 14:48 #31117

    Hi gstalnaker,

    Recently (there is a thread about it on the Forum) LMS simply stopped responding and, in trouble-shooting the LMS issue, the M2P UI also stopped working — the tabs were at the top of the web pages, but the content was blank. In the end, I was advised to re-image M2P from the IMG and start over. Which I grudgingly did.

    For this reason, we built the image burner to make a back-up of your image within a few minutes and with a few clicks. Please consider creating one just in case.

    While we do encourage our users to do whatever they want with Max2Play, we also advise them to stick to the web interface in case they are not interested in any DIY “futzing”. A problem arising from manual inputs cannot easily be diagnosed or fixed as it is very individually created.

    But the resulting M2P/LMS “experience” was awful. The M2P UI would go into a cyclical “Reloading page every 3 seconds” while installing LMS. And it stayed in that mode until I grew weary and killed it. I re-imaged the SD card three times and that behavior never stopped. With a LOT LOT LOT of futzing I eventually got a stable, working LMS and all was mostly well (LMS is horribly slow) until this morning.

    Please make sure you do not do anything else while installing the LMS. The server does take a few minutes to install, as the yellow text alerts you. Please do not lose patience and let the sequence work itself out. Afterwards the LMS will be properly installed. If anything else happened during installation, please start a new installation and do not disturb it.
    The LMS should not be horribly slow, we have a Pi2 working here with LMS and no interference or significant latency. Please check whether your SD card is Class 10 or higher to rule it out as a possible source of error.

    The three second updates are part of the process, do not stop the installation due to them. Just keep it running.

    The other services of Max2Play can all be deactivated, removed from autostart or put into the inactive plugins section if you only want the LMS.

    4. September 2017 at 17:01 #31131

    Heiner,

    I thank you for your reply. I realize that Max2Play has users/customers with a broad range of experience. I am one of those with much experience — 30 years in IT, over a decade of that as an ERP system administrator using Solaris systems for a large American public university. I used Linux as my primary home OS for 20 years (first Linux install was Slackware 1.0 and I’m using as I type LinuxMint 18.1). I know my way around a computer. When dpkg installs the LMS .deb package in 5 minutes, but a web-based process doing the same is not concluded in 30 minutes, then I “grow weary” of the process. There can be many underlying issues that seem to prevent the installation conclusion I know, but nonetheless it seems that 30 minutes is, well, not right.

    I say this not to brag (there are certainly people who have greater knowledge than I do — kernel developers are astounding!) or find blame (truly–I know you and your colleagues at Max2Play do your best at a difficult task), but to show that my comments are not random or simply those of an impatient person. I really did work for five hours trying to “fix” the M2P/Pi2/LMS systematically looking through config files to see if I could discover anything relevant.

    I understand, from your perspective, that a customer who does such things poses a support nightmare — you cannot know what I’ve done and thus cannot begin to offer real help. I know that what I did presents difficulties for remote support (god knows I’ve had to deal with similar things in my own career). That is why I did not ask for such help — I asked for any approaches I can take to provide stability *after* I had re-imaged my M2P/Pi2 install.

    But you do give me a hint of how apps like M2P should be considered–simply backup and when there are issues re-image the system and restore the backup (and from now on forget any thought of “fixing” or “trouble-shooting”). Which I shall do from now on because when M2P is working well it is a very, very nice application (which I why I had no issue paying for it).

    And, after all that, I’m quite happy to say that the new 2.44 image is already better than the 2.43 image. The LMS install completed in less than 10 minutes, as I’d expect. The 3-minute install loop that did not conclude, that I mentioned above, did not occur with the 2.44 M2P version. Also, though M2P/Pi2 is connecting to the same USB drive, the LMS library scan only took 2.5 hours and not 4+ hours. LMS already seems more responsive (could just be me happy to have it working again).

    Thanks to the M2P developers who worked on this new M2P version!

    5. September 2017 at 13:34 #31139

    Hi gstalnaker,

    Thanks for your detailed, nice and thoughtful response.

    The better performance of the LMS might be due to the new version 7.9 (without nightly) that mherger recently released. Here is the post on it:
    https://www.max2play.com/en/forums/topic/announcement-squeezebox-server-7-9-released/

    Indeed, a backup of your Max2Play image, especially if you are tinkering with it and try to optimize your system, is always a good idea and very easy with our Image Burner Plugin.

    5. September 2017 at 22:45 #31142

    Heiner,

    Do you know what “Remove SlimService specific code. 7.9 will never be run on mysqueezebox.com.” from the SlimServer 7.0 change log means?

    Just asking.

    Thanks.

    6. September 2017 at 8:25 #31145

    From mherger (who released this version):

    Ok, that comment might be a bit misleading. LMS is part of the software stack we run on mysb.com. Some of the code in LMS < =7.8 was specific to when it's running in our data centers. That's code which should never be executed on a customer's computers, aka. unused code. This code I have removed in 7.9, as I don't expect LMS 7.9 ever to be run on our infrastructure.

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