how do I find out what's hanging me up?

Christopher Chaltain chaltain at
Mon Jul 4 16:29:38 UTC 2016

For those who don't already know, the KNFB Reader app is 33% off in the 
App Store and 80% off in the Play Store.

On 04/07/16 11:26, Mark Peveto wrote:
> It's not perfect by any means, but brother when you don't have a pair of eyes handy it's better than nothin.  I haven't bought knfb yet, although my
> fiance, Alicia, has it.
> Mark Peveto
> Registered Linux user number 600552
> Sent from sonar using alpine 2.20.13
> On Mon, 4 Jul 2016, John G. Heim wrote:
>> If you can configure a serial console, you would be able to read those
>> messages. But I still say it's a process in an uninterrruptable sleep which
>> means the kernel can't kill it during a normal shutdown. That, in turn,
>> implies that it is a kernel bug in a device driver. In fact, I will wager it's
>> the driver for your sound card and the process that is in an uninterruptable
>> sleep is pulse. That's just a guess though.
>> If the machine is kind of old, it is very likely to have a serial port. Then
>> you need another computer and a null modem cable to configure a serial
>> console.  There is a really good serial console howto on the web. No point in
>> me reiterating all that. If you have never configured a serial console before,
>> you are not likely to have a null modem cable lying around. But setting up a
>> serial console is a valuable skill for a blind linux sysadmin to have. You can
>> even do a serial console install of VMware ESXI.
>> PS: Thanks for the tip on tap tap see. I'd never heard of it before. I am
>> going to try it today. When I need to have a screen read to me by my phone, I
>> have been using the knfbReader app.
>> On 07/03/2016 01:08 PM, Mark Peveto wrote:
>>> I've been working on this more today, pulling out all the tools I've got.
>>> To the point i'm using tap tap see to try and get an idea of what's on my
>>> screen when reboot hangs.  The most i can
>>> get  is a message about bus socket display, and a command prompt.
>>> Not real helpful, but I guess it's a start.
>>> Mark Peveto
>>> Registered Linux user number 600552
>>> Sent from sonar using alpine 2.20.13
>>> On Sat, 2 Jul 2016, Tony Baechler wrote:
>>>> On 7/2/2016 1:54 AM, Mark Peveto wrote:
>>>>> The short version of a long story.  I've just installed sonar on a dell
>>>>> pc.
>>>>> I've also got it installed on a compaq/hp machine, where the followig
>>>>> problem doesn't exist.  On the dell, sudo reboot seems to hang.  Sudo
>>>>> shutdown works fine.  I've tried sudo shutdown -r now, sudo systemctl
>>>>> reboot, and
>>>>> other options.  How, without sighted help, can I find out what's causing
>>>>> this machine to hang when I reboot.  What's strange is this...why does
>>>>> it
>>>>> shut
>>>>> down just fine, but not reboot?
>>>> I'm not familiar with Sonar, so consider these random guesses. First, have
>>>> you
>>>> looked in /var/log/syslog and kern.log? There might be a process not
>>>> shutting
>>>> down properly. If you halt the system, all processes are killed and all
>>>> filesystems are unmounted. A reboot only resets the system, so I suppose
>>>> it's
>>>> possible that a process is behaving badly or the kernel can't unmount a
>>>> filesystem. I see this sometimes with slow USB devices, like if I copy a
>>>> ton
>>>> of files to my SD card. A more likely explanation is an ACPI or power
>>>> management issue. You didn't say how old the machines are, but it could be
>>>> a
>>>> BIOS bug. Recent kernels should work around this. Without knowing the age
>>>> of
>>>> the machine and the kernel version, I can only guess.
>>>> Also, the machine isn't a laptop, right? Laptops usually have power
>>>> management
>>>> issues. On Debian, there is a package called acpi-tools. Try installing it
>>>> if
>>>> it isn't there or purging it if it's there. I have better luck without it
>>>> installed. I would bet syslog and kern.log would have clues to your
>>>> problem. I
>>>> would check those first. Make note of the time you reboot the machine and
>>>> look
>>>> at those files with less. You could try booting a live CD to avoid adding
>>>> all
>>>> of the boot messages to the logs. You didn't say if that happens on a live
>>>> CD,
>>>> booting from the hard drive, other distros, etc. I''ve noticed most live
>>>> CDs
>>>> have strange shutdown problems. You might have to pass a parameter on the
>>>> kernel command line. Both HP and Dell have issues with Linux.
>>>> --
>>>> Tony Baechler, founder, Baechler Access Technology Services
>>>> Putting accessibility at the forefront of technology
>>>> mailto:bats at
>>>> Phone: 1-619-746-8310  SMS text: 1-619-375-2545
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Christopher (CJ)
chaltain at Gmail

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