Pi won't boot after configuration change


I’ve been trying a lot of approaches, but can’t get my Raspberry Pi 3 to reboot after making configuration changes. Whether I use config.txt, Device Configuration, or Fleet Configuration, my device will come online on the initial boot, then will never boot again after making the change.

I’m trying to integrate with the official Raspberry Pi touchscreen and the Camera Module, both of which require allocating more memory to the GPU. The settings I’ve tried are both start_x (RESIN_HOST_CONFIG_start_x) and gpu_mem (RESIN_HOST_CONFIG_gpu_mem) - even following this tutorial verbatim.

I was hoping for some guidance on debugging… I don’t see any logs on the SD card, and the screen is simply black, even 1 hour+ after attempting the reboot. I’d love to use Balena Cloud for this application because it seems great!

Here’s the version I’m using…


Hi Jeff,
Sorry you’re having issues. Could you grant us support access to this device? We may be able to glean more info regarding whats wrong. To do this, select the device in the dashboard, then the actions tab on the left, and then the Grant Support Access button lower on that page.

Hi Scott,

I’ve granted support access to device 2288ff0ae79926eb4256ef6bb0f69e2d for a week.

Thank you!

Hi, I’m having a look.

The device seems to be offline. Could you please power it on ?


Thanks for checking! My issue is that after I make a configuration change, the device will no longer boot or show up as online in Balena.

Would it be helpful for me to reflash with default settings so you can interact with the hardware?


Sure, do what you can to get the device back online to the last good state and then let us know specifically which configuration change you made that takes it back offline.

Thank you for the help!

Here’s what I’ve done… there are multiple device IDs as a new one gets assigned with each new OS flash.

On device 839369151dc827d165162315d03c505d (misty-glitter), I saw it boot successfully, then used Device Configuration to add a variable RESIN_HOST_CONFIG_test_var with value 1234. Upon applying, the device rebooted and wouldn’t come back online.

Then, I reflashed again - this time, with device ID 0fb1db6cbddb02241e43258c2bde91ff (weathered-bush) and haven’t made any configuration changes. It has remained online.

I’ve granted support access to all the devices in my account - let me know if I can give you any more information!

Thanks again,

Hi Jeff,

Sorry to hear you’re having problems! I’m not sure what exactly could be causing this, but here are some further debugging tips:

  • Enable persistent logs in the running device, by adding “persistentLogging”: true to /mnt/boot/config.json and rebooting so that the logs remain in /var/log/journal
  • Apply a configuration change
  • If the device is offline, try to locally SSH to it to grab the logs, or in the worst case, unplug the SD Card and fetch them from your computer

Hopefully the contents of that log file will explain what’s happening!

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