Trouble installing BalenaDash on Raspi 4

Hi all,

I’m trying to get the setup as described in this article up and running for my grandma. I don’t have a lot of experience with Raspberry’s and/or Linux, but do have Home Assistant running successfully on another Raspberry so I’m no idiot either and happy to learn :wink:

Unfortunately, after writing the image to the SD card, plugging it in the Raspberry and booting, very little happens. It seems like there’s a basic bootup sequence, but it halts after the following lines:

[timestamp] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p2): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[timestamp] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p3): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[timestamp] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p5): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[timestamp] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p6): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[timestamp] random: crng init done

Nothing happens after that and I don’t see anything Balena-related.

Possible pointers:

  • Trying to use WIFI, so I selected “Ethernet+WiFi” while creating the image.
  • Am absolutely sure SSID and password are correct.
  • Using version raspberrypi4-64-2.60.1+rev5-dev-v11.14.0
  • I am aware of the bug that’s referenced in the blog, but I seem to get stuck in an earlier phase.
  • Did a general scan through the files on the SD after I let it run overnight, but couldn’t find anything that looked like a log that might help out. Am I looking in the wrong place, am I blind or is it just not there?
  • I don’t think my router settings are weird. I read balena uses port 443, but shouldn’t that be open automatically when the Raspberry first calls out to your server? (I did have port forwarding on 443 to my Home Assistant setup, but I have disabled that when working with this setup)
  • Green LED is not blinking at all, so no error codes)
  • Running on a new Raspberry Pi 4B, 2GB ram
  • Connecting a keyboard will be recognized by the system, but any keystrokes don’t seem to be processed
  • Just noticed that while the image download is ~160MB, the image inside ~1GB and the SD-card 16GB, looking at the SD card on a windows computer shows only the 1 partition containing the “Overlays”, “Splash” and “system-connection” folders reporting 32.0MB free of 39.3MB. Can I assume the actual image is on a hidden partition?
  • Tried the Ethernet-only version, same problem.
  • Reflashed the SD card several times using BalenaEtcher with no errors shown during or after flashing. Selected both the downloaded .zip-file as well as the image inside the zip.

(Post edited a few times to add bullets above)

Any advice or pointers on where to dig are most welcome, thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

Hi Sven,

Thanks for your question.

Can you see any activity for that device on your balena account dashboard? Even if the VPN cannot be reached, you should see some activity on the dashboard if the device is working properly.

Since you can see the files on the SD card when connected to your computer (yes, there are hidden partitions), I’m assuming no corruption for now, although still might be a possibility.

Please let us know

Hi Pipex,

No, I don’t see anything there. The Devices list is empty: afbeelding

I do see a successful release, but I think that refers to the “Application” that I called VideoKiosk, right?

I don’t think I have another microSD lying around that I can format to rule out corruption, but will have a look, maybe one is hiding in an adapter in my camera.

Hi again Sven,

Thanks for the info. Not seeing the device on the dashboard is a good indication of an issue on first boot.

Yes, see if you can try with another SD card to discard that. Also, what power supply are you using for your PI4? The PI4 requires a power supply that can provide a consistent 3A of power. So that might be another thing to check.

Let me know how that goes for you.


Yep. Found and flashed an actual Sandisk SD card and so far everything seems to be working just fine. Balena splash screen on the monitor, and the dashboard shows the device updating.

Reason why I went for the off-brand SD because they were in stock and would have had to wait 2 more days for the Sandisk. Cost me more time in the end, haha.

Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction. I’ll assume everything runs smooth from here on. If not, I know where to find help :wink:

Hello Sven,

We’ve all been there with cheap SD cards. Glad to hear everything seems to be working fine.