[maemo-developers] Continuous reboot problem with the N770 hacker edition

From: Kimmo Hämäläinen kimmo.hamalainen at nokia.com
Date: Fri Apr 27 12:36:37 EEST 2007
On Thu, 2007-04-26 at 22:50 +0300, ext Daniel Stone wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 06:56:40PM +0300, ext Eero Tamminen wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > > I still think this watchdog thing is another legacy we have from Nokia
> > > as a phone company. It makes perfect sense for dumb phone. It makes less
> > >   sense for computer. Yes when device locks up you need a way to reset
> > > it. That is why you have reset button on computer and also reset hole on
> > > every PDA. I know it is internet tablet not computer or PDA but also
> > > Nokia should know that *this is not a phone* ;-)
> Anything with a radio (of which has the N800 has two) gets a watchdog.
> Honestly, I don't think this is particularly insane.
> > > With reset hole one can reset device when (s)he wants. Watchdog may not
> > > make things worse when device locks up solid (i.e. kernel bug or
> > > feature) but rebooting device when some process dies of when things take
> > > too long can make more damage than benefit. I know this is hard to
> > > detect so my solution is to provide reset hole and do not try to guess.
> > > User probably can notice this situation and act accordingly.
> > 
> > This is improved a bit in latest release.  Most things are restartable
> > and device is rebooted only if restarting them fails too many times in
> > a row (Desktop, window manager etc).
> > 
> > However, without X server or D-BUS you cannot use the device at all
> > and all your UI processes exit automatically, so it doesn't make sense
> > to try to "keep the device up" if those exit/crash.
> The sensible solution is to pull the desktop down and restart it along
> with the X server, instead of panicking and rebooting the device.
> Unfortunately, our init system (osso-af-init) is so horribly designed
> that it's almost impossible to do[0] without just blowing away our init
> system and starting again _from scratch_.  Which is arguably what we
> should do, anyway.

The desktop (Home) is nowadays restartable, so we would still need to
restart other X clients. It should be possible to move X clients'
startup scripts from /etc/osso-af-init to some other directory where
they could be run again to restart the stuff in case the X server
crashed. (At least clipboard, sapwood, matchbox, osso-connectivity-ui,
and hildon-input-methods.) 

I don't see any big remaining problem here...

BR, Kimmo

> Cheers,
> Daniel
> [0]: I had an ndm for exactly this internally, but due to the init
>      scripts being so incredibly broken both by horrible design and
>      awful implementation, the init scripts always returned failure,
>      even if they succeeded.  Go figure.
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