Trouble with firstboot over ssh

I do not own or otherwise have access to hardware for a “local” terminal initial setup (monitor, keyboard) so I’m trying to get set up via ssh. I connected just fine once I figured out the wifi thing (incompatible hardware, replaced USB-dongle). That was the easy bit.

So I log in, no problem. DietPi starts it’s first-run update and everything is good until…

 Mode: Updating DietPi
 Please wait...

 [Info] Current Version : 142
 [Info] Server Version  : 144

 [Info] Patching 142 to 143
 [Info] Initializing database, please wait...
 [Info] Reading database, please wait...

 Mode: Automated reinstall
 Please wait...

 [Info] 65: Netdata is not currently installed
 [Info] The program must be installed, before reinstall can be used
 [Ok] No changes applied for: Netdata

“appears” to pause here for about 20 minutes, then

packet_write_wait: Connection to port 22: Broken pipe
natalie at Natalie-Lenovo-G50 in ~$

So I wait an hour, occasionally trying to log back in via ssh - utter failure - until I finally give up and cycle the power. Board (Pine64) reboots, I log back in and the whole first-run thing starts all over again and pauses and terminates ssh in the same place.

Can this be accomplished or do I need to go out and buy and monitor and keyboard to get set up?


This looks like a possible hardware failure, during the patch process.

Unlike most images, DietPi does alot of filesystem IO’s and processing during 1st run. If there is a hardware issue, you’ll most likley experience problems at this point.

Most likely issue is insufficient PSU, or unstable SD card. Although, as you are using Pine, this may be the known issue with network hardware on some boards when running under 1Gbit:

Try following to limit network bandwidth to 100Mbit:

  • Writing the DietPi image again to SD card
  • Open up /boot/dietpi.txt (2nd partition)
  • Change Ethernet_Force_Speed=0 to Ethernet_Force_Speed=100
  • Save changes, eject SD and then plug into Pine and power on.

Failing that, which PSU and SD card used?

I accept it could be power. It was plugged into a 0.9A port. It’s unlikely to be the network hardware known-bug as this was done over wifi.

Failing that, which PSU and SD card used?


Anker 10 port powered hub. I forget the model but it’s only giving 0.9A on the port used. I also don’t know the sdcard. I purchased it from Pune at the same time as my board. Currently waiting to board a plane and the board will have to wait for December until I can play with it some more.

There’s an issue I found at GitHub which will, until solved, prevent me from doing with the board what I bought it for, anyway. I’ll check back in when I return home to see what’s changed.


Can you link the issue, we may have a workaround available prior to next release?