Bruce Crowthorne
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:04 pm

I am trying to use the VLC player on my RPi3.
It starts playing fine, but after about 15 or 20 minutes of a one hour programme it completely hangs the Pi to the point where the only choice is to power it down and back up.

It is a fresh build of Raspbian Stretch, it has been updated & upgraded, it has plenty of power ( I run 3 Pis off an 8A power supply). VLC is V3.0.3 - just as installed with Stretch.
Display is an HDMI TV.
File source is a Humax FreeView box and it connects over a wired LAN.
Nothing is obvious in the logs in /var/log/syslog

Originally I wasn't using the MPEG Codec, but the symptoms are just the same with the Codec added.

Any ideas on what I am doing wrong?
Thanks in advance
Bruce

PS I was using OSMC and TVHeadend, it would play programmes in full but found it was crashing about every 7 to 10 days. I was hoping for something more stable!

Bruce Crowthorne
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC crashing RPi3

Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:33 pm

So first attempt at a cure!
I was guessing that it could maybe be the GPU memory so I increased that from the 128M to 256M and tried again.
This time I ran "htop" in a terminal window using SSH, while the VLC display was in a window on the Raspbian desktop.

It was all OK for the first 35 minutes of a one hour TV recording. CPU was running at about 40 to 50% Memory reported about 14% (153/749MB)

Then it fell over!

Memory was OK at 13% but CPU1 reported 107% when it fell over!
Interestingly, CPU2 was 1.3%, CPU3 was 1.3% and CPU4 was 19.2%. So should VLC / Raspbian do the load sharing better?

So next I will try overclocking the CPU (never done it before but worth a try!) . The CPU has a heat sink on it, so probably be OK.
If it works I will set up a a logging programme to monitor the CPU temperature, just to be safe!

Watch this space .....

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Bruce Crowthorne
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC crashing RPi3

Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:47 pm

Third try!
Ran for about 8 minutes.

Overclocked to arm_freq=1300, core_freq=500, sdram_freq=500, over_voltage=600. Added the sysbench utility

Also added a python programme to monitor the CPU temp. Idling it was at 45C, it stabiliised at 52C after about 8 minutes just before it fell over. I assume this is OK as the CPU spec is something like 80C.

This time htop didn't show anything significant, CPU1 19.6%, CPU2 16.4%, CPU3 4.7%, CPU4 31% and memory at 13% (157M/749M)

Hmmm, not sure what to try next!

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mahjongg
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Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:56 pm

Try a better power supply.

Bruce Crowthorne
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:45 pm

Pretty sure my PSU is OK.
As I mentioned earlier it is an 8A supply which runs 3 RPis (RPi1, Rpi3 and RPi3B+) and I don't get the "lightning bolt" low voltage warning on any of them.

Bruce Crowthorne
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Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:23 pm

Well I THOUGHT I was making progress.....

I rebooted the Pi, left the MPEG video accelerator, 256MB of GPU memory, and the overclocking all in place, but tried a different video - and it ran a whole 1 hour programme !!! Woo Hoo!

So, like any other glutton for punishment (and I am getting bored) I tried a half hour video.
It ran for 18 minutes before crashing.
Again nothing obvious from htop CPUs at 25 /7/3/21 % and using 13% memory, CPU at 54C

Blast!!!

It feels like it is sooo close to running OK.
Is there anything I can provide to help the developers get to the bottom of the problem?
Is there a process for reporting bugs? With some ideas of what will help to resolve the problem?

Is switching over from a 3 to a 3B+ likely to make a significant improvement?

Here's hoping we can find an answer.
Bruce

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Joel_Mckay
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Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:24 pm

Code: Select all

dmesg
sudo tail -n 1000 /var/log/kern.log
May be related if using out-of-date older kernel or firmware.
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=220986

Best of luck,
J

Bruce Crowthorne
Posts: 89
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Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:19 am

Thanks Joel, but I don't think that's the case. The OS is a fresh build of the latest Rasbian (full version with all the bits) with no changes.
I have kept it as standard as I can to avoid as many issues as I can.

Only configuration changes have been adding the codec, changing the graphics memory and overclocking.
The only things running are the X GUI, VLC and htop and a tiny Python programme to read and display the CPU temperature.

LTolledo
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Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:36 am

Same thing happened to me before when VLC was made available for Raspbian Stretch during one of its recent updates. RPi's were RPi3B and RPi3B+.

I posted it in the forum.... it was (as far as I think) largely ignored...

went back to good old reliable Kodi.
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

gkreidl
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Location: Germany

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:49 am

I've run a test last night for a few hours: a 1080i50 HD TV live stream. It ran without any problem until I stopped it.

RPi 3B+, GPU menory is 192 MB, the GPU is overclocked to 500 MHz.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

Bruce Crowthorne
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Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Thanks guys.
My recordings are all SD, so I don't think I am putting a huge load on the GPU, plus it has the codec, so I am assuming that makes it's life easier.

So maybe just going for a 3B+ might be the answer.....

LTolledo - did you get any helpful ideas?
Maybe just going back to Kodi (OSMC) is the answer, I haven't reformatted that card so it is easy to switch back.
But it would be nice to have VLC and the desktop as my interface.

gkreidl
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Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:06 pm

Bruce Crowthorne wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:43 pm
Thanks guys.
My recordings are all SD, so I don't think I am putting a huge load on the GPU, plus it has the codec, so I am assuming that makes it's life easier.

So maybe just going for a 3B+ might be the answer.....

LTolledo - did you get any helpful ideas?
Maybe just going back to Kodi (OSMC) is the answer, I haven't reformatted that card so it is easy to switch back.
But it would be nice to have VLC and the desktop as my interface.
VLC is not as unstable as you are experiencing it. There must be another cause for your problems. Remove all overclocking (except for the GPU).

No need to switch back to OSMC. You can install Kodi on Raspbian.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

Bruce Crowthorne
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:13 pm

Well I may have found the problem or at least a work around.

As I set up Raspbian I left it as standard as possible.
Then I thought I would use a wired LAN to give it the best possible bandwidth.
However, I left the WLan on. The Pi came up with two ip addresses and I am wondering if that causes contention?

So today I tried switching off the WLan (it is done from the GUI, click the WLan icon in the menu bar and deselect it).
Then I ran a full 1 hour video without a problem.

So any comments on whether the WLan and Lan both being active would cause the Pi a problem?

So it is only one test, but so far so good.......

Bruce Crowthorne
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:26 pm

Spoke too soon! Ran a 90 minute video and it crashed after 65 minutes.
So I will need to think of something else to try :-(

Just as an aside, I ran VLC on my laptop and it played a 1 hour video with no problems, so I am assuming that my file source (Humax Freeview box with DLNA) and network are OK.

LTolledo
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Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:04 pm

looking back at my post for the problem.... its buried down the murk. Even the similar post on another thread seems largely unnoticed. So nothing yet so far...

I havent used OSMC, just the regular Kodi installed over raspbian stretch.
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

gkreidl
Posts: 6193
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:40 am

I've run another test over night: VLC playing a TV SD MPEG2 stream. The stream is served by another RPi running a TV server application (based on mumudvb). No problem or crash. It was running for at least 6 hours.
I do not think that VLC is the culprit. You seem to have an unstable system.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

Bruce Crowthorne
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:09 pm

OK Next test.
I am now trying it on a RPi3B+ with an up to date standard Stretch build. It doesn't have the Codec (I only own one and I think it is tied to the hardware). I am running only the wired LAN and have the WLan switched off.
Also running my Python temperature programme and htop, but nothing else.

So it ran a 30 minute video basically OK, maybe a tiny bit "stuttery" at first, but perfectly acceptable (may be improved with the addition of the Codec?). Then it moved happily on to the next video as it should and played that fine! GREAT!!!

The CPU report on htop was about 125% but the load appeared to switch between the cores as expected. I assume that htop reports a percentage based on a single core? So that would mean potentially only using an average of 30% of the total available compute power? Does anyone on here know much about htop?
Memory is only 13% (same as the RPi3). Note I have not changed the GPU memory settings - that may be something else to try later. Temperature was about 46C at idle and 54C when running the video.

So that seems to be working fine. Maybe it just needs the extra compute power that the RPi3B+ offers or maybe the better networking (that probably seems more likely).
Next I'll order the codec and give it another try.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:32 pm

Bruce Crowthorne wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:09 pm
OK Next test.
I am now trying it on a RPi3B+ with an up to date standard Stretch build. It doesn't have the Codec (I only own one and I think it is tied to the hardware). I am running only the wired LAN and have the WLan switched off.
Also running my Python temperature programme and htop, but nothing else.

So it ran a 30 minute video basically OK, maybe a tiny bit "stuttery" at first, but perfectly acceptable (may be improved with the addition of the Codec?). Then it moved happily on to the next video as it should and played that fine! GREAT!!!

The CPU report on htop was about 125% but the load appeared to switch between the cores as expected. I assume that htop reports a percentage based on a single core? So that would mean potentially only using an average of 30% of the total available compute power? Does anyone on here know much about htop?
Memory is only 13% (same as the RPi3). Note I have not changed the GPU memory settings - that may be something else to try later. Temperature was about 46C at idle and 54C when running the video.

So that seems to be working fine. Maybe it just needs the extra compute power that the RPi3B+ offers or maybe the better networking (that probably seems more likely).
Next I'll order the codec and give it another try.

https://swag.raspberrypi.org/collections/software
Retired disgracefully.....
......to a more gentile life !

Bruce Crowthorne
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:55 pm

So I have now received and added the Codec.
Seems to be running fine - I have now run 2 recordings.
I guess it is now "fixed" and my conclusion from my set up is that VLC NEEDS the power of the RPi3B+ to run.

I would be interested to hear anyone else's experience on how they got on with VLC.

I will keep using it and do an update in a few days.

Bruce Crowthorne
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:33 pm

So it has now been running well for a week - GREAT.

Very happy and in fact I am watching a recording right now.....

Only one word of caution.
It's really nice to use the GUI, and of course I started running other "stuff" on the GUI at the same time as watching a video on VLC - I was running a Python programme and updating numpy, and of course it crashed - but hey what do you expect, poor wee thing was running at 100% for a while and then crashed. No surprise, I was pushing my luck!

Still, very happy with the video performance.

PS How do I change the thread title to add a " - now FIXED"?

gkreidl
Posts: 6193
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Location: Germany

Re: VLC 3.0.3 is crashing my RPi3

Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:02 pm

Bruce Crowthorne wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:33 pm
So it has now been running well for a week - GREAT.

Very happy and in fact I am watching a recording right now.....

Only one word of caution.
It's really nice to use the GUI, and of course I started running other "stuff" on the GUI at the same time as watching a video on VLC - I was running a Python programme and updating numpy, and of course it crashed - but hey what do you expect, poor wee thing was running at 100% for a while and then crashed. No surprise, I was pushing my luck!

Still, very happy with the video performance.

PS How do I change the thread title to add a " - now FIXED"?
None of my RPis ever "crashes". But any RPi may seem to freeze if it is running out of memory and starts to swap. Sometimes it may take minutes before you can continue to work again. If you loose patience and pull the power plug, you will sooner or later destroy you file system or even the SD card.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

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