I have the raspberry Pi 2 running raspbian. I have set up SSH and using my USB webcam as a time-lapse security camera. When I stop the photo script and the Pi is on idle i think the Pi is turning itself off. The red light stays on but I can no longer SSH In using putty, tightvncserver or FileZilla. I plugged the hdmi cable in and there was no display on my monitor.

I am powering the Pi via a powered USB hub that is connected to a wall socket. I am using a USB wlan adapter for Internet connectivity.

Is there some sort of auto shutdown feature I need to turn on? Sick of crawling up in the ceiling to reset the Pi and readjust the camera.

Thanks for the help.

  • Please edit your question and add the answers to the following. How are you powering the Pi and how is the Pi connected to your LAN (WiFi or ethernet cable)? – Steve Robillard Jul 29 '15 at 9:05
  • @SteveRobillard edited. – Mark.S Jul 29 '15 at 10:16
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    Given you are connecting via WiFi you might want to connect an Ethernet cable and see if the problem persists. It may just be that the network dongle is shutting down preventing you from connecting via SSH. I would also suggest that you at least measure the input voltage to rule out power issues, a USB hub powered or otherwise may not be able to supply enough voltage to power the Pi, especially with a WiFi dongle and what else you may have connected to the Pi. – Steve Robillard Jul 29 '15 at 11:51

Is there some sort of auto shutdown feature

No. Most likely the pi is still running, but has gone offline. As Steve points out, this may be because of insufficient power for the wifi adapter. Problems like this will not necessarily show up in an either/or manner.

I plugged the hdmi cable in and there was no display on my monitor.

Does your monitor normally detect "No input"? E.g., if you plug in an HDMI cable with nothing on the other end, will it say that? If so, did it say that when you plugged the pi in, or was it just a blank screen?

If I plug an HDMI monitor into a pi that booted headless with no GUI running and hdmi_force_hotplug=1 set in /boot/config.txt, I get a blank screen, but not "No input". Plugging in a keyboard and trying to wake the display up/switch VTs does nothing. However, when I unplug the HDMI cable from the pi, leaving the other end in the monitor, I get "No input".

Raspbian wheezy by default dumps all system messages to /var/log/syslog. These are timestamped, so if the time on the pi was set correctly via ntp and you remember approximately when this was, you could look through that for clues about the state of wlan0. Boot is indicated with a message from the logger, rsyslog, indicating "start". Then there's a dump of the kernel message buffer (like dmesg) from boot (which preceded starting the logger). All these messages will likely be stamped Dec 31.

Note that if the system is idle, there might not be any messages, so unless the system is shut down properly, there will be no indication of when it stopped.


While it does not address the problem, you can help with the symptom (Pi hanging, having to crawl up in the ceiling) by using watchdog. To install it: sudo apt-get install watchdog. In /etc/watchdog.conf uncomment the ping and set it up to ping your gateway.

Note on watchdog - I would start watchdog manually using a cron script that sleeps for 30-45 seconds before launching watchdog. This will prevent you from getting into an endless reboot loop.

Regarding the root cause, I would question whether your powered hub is enough for a USB Wifi dongle + a USB camera + the Pi. And I can tell you that I have had issues trying to stream video over wifi (works fine over ethernet).

Hope that helps.

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