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Thread: Apparent Catastrophe.

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Apparent Catastrophe.

    I hope the title is exaggerated, but that's how it's looking at the moment.

    Summary:
    1. Laptop [TW KDE 20170629 or 30, can't remember now] suddenly began not responding to YaST/Zypper about 90' - 120' ago [maybe ~11:00 - 12:30 UTC], during a lengthy bout of me manually installing multiple software [assorted One-Click & RPMs]
    2. System Monitor showed Btrfs using 25% cpu continuously once #1 became noticeable to me.
    3. YaST couldn't be killed
    4. Decided to try a logout, but command [via Application Menu] was ignored.
    5. Tried a reboot, but ditto.
    6. Tried to get to tty2, but ignored
    7. Forced a reboot.
    8. Since then, cannot get back into TW. Every boot attempt results in a black screen of complex text, or occasionally i do get the boot menu, but then choosing a normal boot option leads to either more text, or sometimes to the Home partition unlock screen [root is Btrfs & NOT encrypted, Home is ext4 & Encrypted [from installation]], but after inserting my password i get stuck indefinitely at the TW splash screen with the 3 horizontal dots scrolling back & forth continuously.
    9. A couple of times i then tried to use the Snapper rollback capability from boot [have never used it before, & am unsure how to drive it]. It baffles me by showing timestamps completely unrelated to my local timezone - does it use maybe UTC instead of my local zone [= Australia]? Pursuing my guess that it's UTC, i selected an entry lying near the start of the time range i mentioned at #1... but i don't yet understand what to do next... am about to research that now, but want to post this initial cry for help as a placeholder.


    This possible catastrophe is very upsetting given [per my other recent posts] i am new to openSUSE & TW, but have been intensively testing TW on my reformatted Lappy [the now unwell pc as above] for a couple of weeks & had been super-impressed with it... tomorrow i had planned to then also convert my Tower to TW... but that's now completely up in the air.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    Hi
    Possibly a result of #1 and not letting #2 btrfs (maintenance/balance etc) do it's thing.

    What 1-click installs and rpms? Grabbing stuff from here and there is not a good thing esp for Tumbleweed....

    Things break, that's why it's a development release...
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    Hmmm, lots of websites tell me how wonderful Btrfs, Snapper & Rollbacks are, but either do not give step by step sequences of the actions a desperate & confused user needs to do at boot to benefit from this capability... OR... do give some steps but which don't correlate with what i have on my screen.

    Taking a guess, i scrolled down the list of pre- & post-snapshots, picked one that might have been near the beginning of this mess, pressed enter, saw a new screen of 3 entries with cursor highlighting middle one. Before i could finish reading & trying to understand each one, pc self-entered that highlighted row, which seems just to be the standard boot option "openSUSE Tumbleweed", & the sequence i described in first post continued, ie, no progress. I forced a shutdown then after a while booted again, this time picking the same snapshot but ensuring i then quickly moved the cursor to select the 1st row on the next screen, ie, "Bootable snapshot #4xx" [maybe #410; it's now ~ 01:11 (or 15:11 UTC) & i need sleep, so details are beginning to elude me]. Pressing Enter gave a new single row screen, "If OK, run 'snapper rollback' & reboot". Huh? Where do i run it, how do i run it? Pressing Enter on this row merely briefly gives a black screen then the same screen reappears, etc, etc.

    Wondering if maybe that meant the snapshot was damaged, i escaped back out to the top level & scrolled down the snapshots list & picked a much earlier one, which [i think] should be a couple of hours before the initial symptoms as described in my Summary [but i had been installing software on & off all day, so who knows when the fault really began?]. This one was "Bootable snapshot #395", whose description was "openSUSE Tumbleweed (4.11.7-1,2017-07-03T09:29,pre,yast sw_single)". However, all the same behaviour repeated as i described in my previous paragraph with the later snapshot.

    Clearly i have no idea how to use these snapshots.Maybe after some sleep it might make more sense to me.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    Possibly a result of #1 and not letting #2 btrfs (maintenance/balance etc) do it's thing.
    Thanks for replying. I need to amend part of my initial post by inserting more info, as your remark made me realise i gave you the wrong impression by omission. Hence:

    1. Laptop [TW KDE 20170629 or 30, can't remember now] suddenly began not responding to YaST/Zypper about 90' - 120' ago [maybe ~11:00 - 12:30 UTC], during a lengthy bout of me manually installing multiple software [assorted One-Click & RPMs]
    2. System Monitor showed Btrfs using 25% cpu continuously once #1 became noticeable to me. I left it alone until that process disappeared from the top of the list [maybe an hour, maybe more], whence the next highest [& unrelated] process using cpu was only 1 - 3%. However still nothing related to YaST or Zypper would respond to me.
    3. YaST couldn't be killed



    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    What 1-click installs and rpms? Grabbing stuff from here and there is not a good thing esp for Tumbleweed....
    Stuff like psensor, recoll, netactview [& much more], all from https://software.opensuse.org/search, & all by using the TW ones. "Not a good thing"; are TW users not supposed to install any standard software?


    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Things break, that's why it's a development release...
    Well gosh, yes, but that's a bit harsh... after all Richard Brown puts out YouTubes etc encouraging adoption of TW because of the safety net of Btrfs + Snapper... which is exactly why i became interested in TW as a potential candidate for me.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    About snapshots... and yes, relying only on the timestamp might be misleading or non-informative...

    Depending on the age of your machine, you can easily assume that earliest snapshots were created soon after initial install.
    You should know when snapshots are created...

    Snapshots are created daily by default, but in most cases you're probably most interested in snapshots created within the past 24 hrs or so.

    Snapshots are created before and after every software install (using zypper or YaST).
    So, if you can keep a record of when and what you're installing each time, you should have an easy idea what your system's file status was recently. Count pairs of snapshots backtracking from where you are now, or just roll back to the beginning of the day to undo everything you've done that day.

    A basic concept is that snapshots always move forward.
    That means that whenever you roll back, you're not undoing your snapshot history, you're merely creating a new snapshot reflecting the rollback. This also means that since a rollback doesn't destroy, you can decide to undo or rollback to a different point in time... But keep track of what you're doing because if you rollback to multiple points in time this will become very confusing. A better practice is to determine where you can be sure you can restart with a clean slate and rollback to that point instead of trying for a more precise point in time.

    FYI
    An openSUSE Snapper Tutorial (Why wasn't this called an SDB?)
    https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Snapper_Tutorial

    The Snapper ArchWiki
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Snapper

    If you want to inspect or create a custom Snapper config
    http://snapper.io/manpages/snapper-configs.html

    Lastly,
    I think you'll be happier using the Snapper CLI instead of YaST unless you're looking for something that YaST provides exactly.
    The Snapper CLI can display much, much more information, specific types of information and execute faster than YaST.

    HTH,
    TSU
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    Quote Originally Posted by GooeyGirl View Post
    Well gosh, yes, but that's a bit harsh... after all Richard Brown puts out YouTubes etc encouraging adoption of TW because of the safety net of Btrfs + Snapper... which is exactly why i became interested in TW as a potential candidate for me.
    Richard also always points out that users should not add home: and devel: repos. If you want/need a package in TW, ask the maintainer to push it to TW. If the quality is good, and TW with it still passes openQA, you know for sure it's not built against the wrong libs etc etc.

    Please show us your repos
    Code:
    zypper lr -d
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    Quote Originally Posted by GooeyGirl View Post
    Thanks for replying. I need to amend part of my initial post by inserting more info, as your remark made me realise i gave you the wrong impression by omission. Hence:

    1. Laptop [TW KDE 20170629 or 30, can't remember now] suddenly began not responding to YaST/Zypper about 90' - 120' ago [maybe ~11:00 - 12:30 UTC], during a lengthy bout of me manually installing multiple software [assorted One-Click & RPMs]
    2. System Monitor showed Btrfs using 25% cpu continuously once #1 became noticeable to me. I left it alone until that process disappeared from the top of the list [maybe an hour, maybe more], whence the next highest [& unrelated] process using cpu was only 1 - 3%. However still nothing related to YaST or Zypper would respond to me.
    3. YaST couldn't be killed





    Stuff like psensor, recoll, netactview [& much more], all from https://software.opensuse.org/search, & all by using the TW ones. "Not a good thing"; are TW users not supposed to install any standard software?




    Well gosh, yes, but that's a bit harsh... after all Richard Brown puts out YouTubes etc encouraging adoption of TW because of the safety net of Btrfs + Snapper... which is exactly why i became interested in TW as a potential candidate for me.
    Hi
    So psensor and netactview from my repo (It's not standard software)?

    Don't use one-click or YaST for software and updating in tumbleweed, use zypper from the command line so you can see exactly what is happening, zypper should also be used for upgrading after every new release....

    Download the rpm's and create a local rpm repo, or use zypper in <url_to_rpm> likewise add verbosity with -vvv so you can see what the system is going to do.

    For recoll, have no idea, that's from a KDE repo... what else it may pull in (or state/compatibility) when adding.
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    openSUSE Leap 42.2 (x86_64) GNOME 3.20.2
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    Thank you all for your replies & help.

    What a relief - i finally found a Snapshot that was not damaged, & thus have managed to roll-back to it, then perform the usual
    Code:
    sudo zypper dup --no-allow-vendor-change
    to become TW 20170703 [it was on 20170630 when last night's mess occurred]. All seems ok now, phew, so maybe tomorrow i'll have time to dive back into this thread & try the actions you suggested / answer your questions. I'm tired but grateful for your assistance... albeit fervently hoping for no more "excitement" like last night...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    I did not read all of this thread, but I wonder about your excitement. At the most you can be forced to re-install Tumbleweed and restore your data from your backup. Which will take much less time then spend on this thread. Not that I want you to not start a thread like this. Such a thread is always good for learning and understanding for you as well as others. But I do not understand the panic.
    Henk van Velden

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Apparent Catastrophe.

    Thank you for this comprehensive info.


    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    About snapshots... and yes, relying only on the timestamp might be misleading or non-informative...
    As i said, they bore no superficially obvious relationship to the times i was actually working on my Lappy, in terms of my local AEST domestic timezone. However, when i assumed they were in UTC & then did the necessary arithmetic, they began making plausible timing sense. Rather than me merely assuming though, it would be nice for me to know for certain that they are UTC [or not, as the case may be].


    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    Depending on the age of your machine, you can easily assume that earliest snapshots were created soon after initial install.
    You should know when snapshots are created...

    Snapshots are created daily by default, but in most cases you're probably most interested in snapshots created within the past 24 hrs or so.

    Snapshots are created before and after every software install (using zypper or YaST).
    So, if you can keep a record of when and what you're installing each time, you should have an easy idea what your system's file status was recently. Count pairs of snapshots backtracking from where you are now, or just roll back to the beginning of the day to undo everything you've done that day.
    Well, now that i have been so badly bitten, in future i'll make an effort to note times as you suggested. But just fyi & to provide [self-defence] context, i am an openSUSE newbie, & indeed have only been a fulltime Linux user since early 2014. Probably upwards of 95% of my Linux "experience" [such as it is] is wrt Ubuntu/Debian-based distros, & thus using apt in cli & Synaptic in GUI. I'd never even heard of zypper & YaST prior to deciding within the past 2 months to have a look at openSUSE, & the amazingly complex multiple repositories with clashing package versions &/or dependencies, has knocked me sideways -- it's an utterly new paradigm for me, & one that i am clearly not yet adept with. In my Ubuntu/Debian-based distros paradigm the repos were substantially easier for me to understand & work with, i had no comparable trouble discerning "danger" from "safety", & i had no need for careful note-taking in terms of times that i installed stuff. Thus, to the extent that in openSUSE i might well be the architect of my own distress, is directly caused by my lack of comfort yet with this paradigm & its conventions. If i decide to stick with openSUSE, i shall certainly be trying to improve myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    A basic concept is that snapshots always move forward.
    That means that whenever you roll back, you're not undoing your snapshot history, you're merely creating a new snapshot reflecting the rollback. This also means that since a rollback doesn't destroy, you can decide to undo or rollback to a different point in time... But keep track of what you're doing because if you rollback to multiple points in time this will become very confusing. A better practice is to determine where you can be sure you can restart with a clean slate and rollback to that point instead of trying for a more precise point in time.
    This was very helpful - thank you. Indeed, the night after that distressing night of my troubles, when i posted that i'd got my Lappy going again by finding a good Snapshot at last, came about because i specifically applied your "determine where you can be sure you can restart with a clean slate and rollback to that point instead of trying for a more precise point in time" logic.


    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    FYI
    An openSUSE Snapper Tutorial (Why wasn't this called an SDB?)
    https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Snapper_Tutorial

    The Snapper ArchWiki
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Snapper

    If you want to inspect or create a custom Snapper config
    http://snapper.io/manpages/snapper-configs.html
    These were good to read thanks. FYI, this one ended up being especially helpful in allowing me to better comprehend how i was supposed to use Snapshots for actual rollback... https://doc.opensuse.org/documentati....snapshot-boot [Section 3.3]. What had totally confused me with my initial many attempts to rollback was, as i'd posted at the time, the way that no matter what snapshot i'd tried at boot, each time i Entered with it selected, the screen went black then "bounced back" to the same screen again... & if i tried again, it bounced again... & this happened for many snapshots that i'd tried. This was distressing as i did not know if it meant that i was not doing the procedure correctly, or if all those snapshots were bad [& if so, HOW/WHY?], or if all the boasts about how good Btrfs & Snapper were were... false. Once i eventually, the following night, found that "good" snapshot, using the identical method as previously, i deduced that simply by bad luck or whatever all the other snapshots i had tried, were corrupted, but my method logically had to be valid or else my Lappy would still be dead. I know that everything i write here will seem cringeworthy to all you long-experienced openSUSE wizards, but to a distressed newbie it was confounding.


    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    I think you'll be happier using the Snapper CLI instead of YaST unless you're looking for something that YaST provides exactly.
    The Snapper CLI can display much, much more information, specific types of information and execute faster than YaST.
    Not sure if you're alluding to getting into cli at boot, or after booting [which was impossible given the whole issue was inability to boot], but i did look at it once i let the onscreen failed attempts to decrypt Home timeout & fall back to cli in "emergency mode" [i think it said something like that]. As you said, there were copious options available [they scrolled off the top of the screen & i could not see how to scroll back up to them]. However i did then, in cli, try multiple snapshots, but every time the response instantly was:
    Failure (dbus fatal exception)

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