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If you have a raspberry on some location and it must run a python script "forever" (a year, maybe two, without me being on location), how often should I reboot it? I know people are keeping them alive for a year+, but I wrote a simple script that can reboot it at given time + raspberry will automatically run the python script on boot.

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Why reboot if you don't need to? There are times when a reboot may be needed system upgrades for example. but if this is not automated I would not reboot. A reboot is not free of the risk that the system will not reboot successfully. – Steve Robillard Jan 6 at 17:39
    
The one I run 24/7 has an uptime of 67 days right now, which is probably not unusual. I only reboot it for a purpose. As Steve says, why do it without any purpose? – goldilocks Jan 6 at 17:53
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In the context of IT support, you presumably mean "in 90%" of problems reboot helps. You would not call up a customer at random and tell them to reboot now just in case ;) – goldilocks Jan 6 at 18:05
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24/7 datalogging on Arch, current uptime 260 d. Usually rebooting leads to trouble ;) – Ghanima Jan 6 at 18:57
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Just check your logs and other growing files: logrotate will do it. SD cards have a limited lifespan on heavy loaded disk activity, maybe move /root to use external spinning drive. I added a blinking led in sync with cron and a red that lit when disk space is low and other that lit on some security log info, trimmed rsyslog to the min. – fcm Jan 7 at 1:41
up vote 22 down vote accepted

I've got a couple of Pis running my Ham Radio repeater and irrigation system - realistically, I'm rebooting them maybe once every 6 months for security updates or some other "maintenance" reason; but I've not seen issues where a reboot was REQUIRED to "keep things running"

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I'm aware there's already an accepted answer, but I just wanted to add my $.02.


In terms of hardware, the only reason you should ever need to reboot an ARMHFv7-y board is firmware changes, or possibly new devices that must be present at boot.

For instance, adding a driver or close-to-metal kernel module and a device implementing that driver will probably need a reboot, just to tell the CPU and kernel memmapper about the change.

In terms of software, all the major computing environments available for the Pi are *nix-like1, in that they are True Unix or in that they use Linux or some Linux kernel derivative and are thus (U)nix-y.

Unix and its derivatives are designed from the assembly up to be fully scalable, portable and reliable; they were designed for servers that never or almost never undergo a hard reset (aka being fully shut down and cold-booted from scratch). These goals indeed apply on the Pi.

This means in practice, you basically never need to reboot your Pi (or your *nix desktop PC, for that matter).


1Ignoring, for a moment, the Microsoft Windows 10: Internet Of Things Edition for the Pi, which I wish to be a practical joke but isn't.

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Thank you for your 2c, it helped a lot, I am now sure I will never reboot my PI. – Rok Dolinar Jan 7 at 0:57
    
Kernel / device modules upgrades are the only likely causes for needing a reboot if the hardware is not changing - and it is getting possible to change modules without restarting these days if I understand things correctly. – SlySven Jan 7 at 2:17
    
@SlySven you can change modules without a reboot, just don't rely on them being fully properly functional and nondestructive – cat Jan 7 at 2:22
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Reboot NTs once a month? How do you come up with that?! – Max Ried Jan 7 at 5:35
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@pjc50 Wow, didn't realise there'd been more recent releases for it. While I was wrong about that, I know that Win10 IoT is same core as Win10 and not CE :) – Matthew Steeples Jan 7 at 16:04

With embedded "run forever" systems, periodic reboots are unnecessary. It is common to use a hardware watchdog timer to detect a system hang and reboot. I believe the watchdog timer is more valuable than a periodic reboot (the reboot probably won't work if the system is hung).

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