Raspberry Pi / Jessie. This morning I attempted install of PIXEL, following the sequence of commands on the Raspberry Pi website page for PIXEL installs.

The apt-get update completed successfully and quickly, but apt-get dist-install ground to a halt. This was during the unpacking of one of the packages (unfortunately, due to subsequent troubleshooting, I no longer have the log entries available). I recall mention of a broken pipe in the errors.

The terminal was unresponsive so I took this to mean that the RPi had lost connection with the network.

I made a reboot and tried to look for the RPi IP address on my BTHomehub page so I could reconnect from my laptop. However, the pi was nowhere to be seen.

Noticing that the USB wifi adapter light was not on when power was on, I then took the pi to connect directly to the router with an ethernet cable, but it still didn't show up on devices listed on the Homehub IP addresses listing.

At this point, I plugged the pi into my TV (usually use headless with iPad/laptop as the monitor) and noticed that image coming out of it was a) black and b) registering as 640x480. During the attempted boot, a square showing what looks to be a testcard of all available colours, before a brief flash of a white rectangle in the bottom half of the screen, then return to all-black screen.

Setting aside the possibility that a hardware failure has occurred (the pi booted fine before I attempted the upgrade), I decided to inspect the contents of the MicroSD card in case there was evidence of some boot material or config corruption. I put the MicroSD into an adaptor caddy and slotted it into the SD slot of my laptop. According to the listings from the SD card, none of the files themselves were given a 'Last Updated' timestamp of today - all are either 2015 (when I bought the pi and the SD card) or 2016. The directory itself lists as update today at around the time of the attempted update.

Inside the pi, on attempted boot, the red light goes on and stays on, while the green light next to it flashes several times periodically. The wifi dongle activity light does not go on.

Any clues what to troubleshoot next?

Regards Richard

  • I don't know what you did, but there is no package named dist-install in Raspbian. PS IT is Raspbian NOT "PIXEL".
    – Milliways
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 22:30
  • Thanks for clarifying Milliways. I was trying to carry out these commands: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu-doc realvnc-vnc-viewer Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


Sounds like a low-level package, or possibly the kernel, is borked because of the update.

If there's nothing important on the Pi, I suggest downloading a fresh copy of Raspbian and reinstalling everything. It's the easiest way out.

The harder way out would be to find the damage then do an offline re-install of the defective package.

I'd presume it was not hardware damage since you were doing software stuff at the time. Make sure to double-check the SD card (reformat then disk check) before using it again.

  • Thanks Pandalion. That made the most sense and was very straightforward. Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 9:24
  • 1
    @RichardFrench If it answered your question, don't forget to mark it as the answer :)
    – Aloha
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 10:11

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