Balena Sound services not downloading pi3a+


I am trying to set up balenasound to connect speakers via aux. I have a raspberry pi 3a+ device with balena OS 2.38.0 +rev1 9.15.7. I have managed to get the device booted and connected to wifi however the services will not download and the the device will restart after a while.

Every now and again I will see the status change from online to online (heartbeat only).

Regarding OS version, I am using 2.38 as the latest version will not connect to wifi for some reason.

I have granted access support and the UUID is d5b48b8d3fc90ad17daadd4543f74d04

Many thanks

Hello there, welcome to our forums. The device seems to be offline at the moment. However, going by what you shared it sounds like the internet connection is not stable for it to download the containers. The initial download will take a bit more than following updates. Is there a chance you could use an ethernet cord to allow containers to download?

Hi tmigone, this is model doesn’t have Ethernet unfortunately as it is the 3A+. I am not sure how I would go about improving the internet stability if this is the case.

I have just rebooted the device, so it should be online now.

Oh my bad, I missed that. I noticed that the device is running balenaOS 2.38, is there a reason for that? It’s a rather old version at this point. I recommend that you update it (or reflash since the device has no app running yet) before continuing.

No problem. I’m using 2.38 as the latest version doesn’t connect to wifi for some reason. I saw someone else had the same issue and fixed it by flashing the older 2.38 version.

Hmm that’s weird, can you point me to that issue?

About this device, I think the SD card is either corrupted or damaged. I can’t confirm it because I can’t get into the device long enough to run diagnostics, but the few errors I could see in the logs and the overall unresponsiveness are signs of that in my experience. Do you have another SD card to try?

I have a samsung evo pro 64gb in my phone I could maybe swap and try… or would I be wasting my time as I understand this may be too big for a raspberry pi 3a+

Would I be better off just ordering a sandisk extreme pro 32gb micro sd to try?

As far as I know you shouldn’t have problems with the 64gb one provided you flash it with etcher.

I have tried 3 different sd cards and I get the same issue. All seem to appear corrupted after using etcher. To test, after I used etcher I check if it appears corrupted on my android phone.

On mac disk utility it shows 32.8mb used 9.1mb remaining after each time I used etcher regardless of what size card. I’ve tried 16gb, 64gb and 128gb. To restore the cards I have to use my android to reformat.

Is this normal or could this be the issue?

What your android phone thinks about a SD-Card with balena on it might not be relevant. As far as I know android has certain expectations regarding SD-cards - depending on OS release - that a card with balena on it might not fulfill. A card flashed with balena should contain 3 primary partitions and another two extended partitions. Have you tried inserting them into your device anyway ?

Ok that makes sense. Yes I’ve booted the device with each sd card and I get the same issue unfortunately, where it shows online, but the balena sound services do not downoad (stays on 0%) and then restarts after a while.

Hi @lamh, first of all, do you do validation on Etcher? If you have not disabled it, by default Etcher does validation to ensure the image is written fine on the SD card as the last step after flashing the image.

Then seeing that your tried with 3 different SD cards and the connection issues earlier, I guess your RPi3 has trouble connecting to balenaCloud VPN. The device status Online (Heartbeat Only) indicates this.

Could you please take a look at balena network requirements documentation? Do you have any firewall settings on your router that might be blocking the ports or domains listed in that page?

I see that your device is offline now. Once you bring it online, it’d be good if you could run journalctl -fn 100 -u NetworkManager on HostOS to check the connection logs. We might observe the networking problems (if there are any).


Hello everybody!

I have exactly the same issue with pi 3A+

Tried 3 different mem cards, tried wired and wireless, tried also fw balena-sound-raspberrypi3-64-2.31.5 to the latest, and still get reboots and not being able to connect for more than 2 minutes.

While booting i got a glimpse at the screen and at some point i saw message “out of memory or sacrifice a child”.

I run out of children and this thing still not works. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance and happy holidays!

Hi @mourgolukos,

It could well be that your RPi 3 A+ doesn’t have enough RAM for the balenaSound deployment. What’s the RAM specification on your device?


Hey, my pi is 512mb as all of the 3a+.

I saw that since 2.28 if im not mistaken, pi 3a+ is supported. Is there a file i could download former editions and also download to try 32bit?


A couple things you could check via the shell. One is running free on the HostOS to see what memory use is, how much swap is available, etc. Also, if you’re seeing a bunch of device restarts, that’s also a sign of the device running out of memory, triggering the watchdog, and rebooting. You could also check uptime to see if the device is, in fact, restarting.

The RPi 3A+ is a little light on memory (particularly as the main balenaSound device), but a newer version of balenaOS enables ZRAM (essentially a compressed swap disk). Could you try upgrading the device to v.2.58.+rev1 and trying another balena push? That should help avoid the memory shortage.


Good day John!

Thanks for your reply
In a few hours i will try what you say

It is indeed rebooting cause i have it plugged to hdmi and keyboard and pretty much i can see what is going on and i can see on my computer that it is connected and after a minute is “updating” status. Even when i tried with the blank BALENA rom (without sound) i had the same issue

Meanwhile, I just tried to download the latest and for pi 3 it say that the latest is 2.47

Ok! So i’m trying a different apporoach.

  1. Created new blank project
  2. Found pi img 32bit (and other versions for that before where not available)
  3. Once successfully boot, i will move the device to the balena sound project.


I finaly made it!

Make sure your memory card is actual class 10 or above

  1. Create new blank project
  2. Find pi img 32bit
  3. Once successfully boot, open this link and mount it in your blank project
  4. After half an hour and one force reboot, it downloaded all the necessary files.
  5. Reboot once more and you are good to go.

Thanks John for your assistance