New Chromebit Hung on "Waiting for application window..."

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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Got our brand new Chromebit on Thursday of last week. We fired it up to start playing with it. I immediately enrolled it under our domain.

Seems like it worked the first time, albeit I may have launched the player after logging in. This is the error I'm having.. the player won't start at all in kiosk mode. It boots up, then hangs on "Waiting for application window..."

I have tried powerwashing the device with the same results.

Managed, Chrome 46.0.2490.71

(Yes I understand it's not 44.x, this is a brand new Chromebit and no way I'm aware of to roll back)

I saw a similar problem here from some time back:
https://community.risevision.com/rise_vision_inc/topics/chrome-app-player-on-asus-chromebox-hangs-wa...

Looks like the "solution" is a de-provision and re-provision? I'll give that a shot next and see what happens. It's a first so far.. we had about 7 Chromeboxes before this.

Wonder if other people are seeing this error??
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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Posted 3 years ago

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Blake Freeman, Official Rep

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Hi Wendi,

We don't have any Chromebits to test with, but I can't say that I've seen this issue with any of our Chromeboxes. Please follow up and let us know how the deprovisioning/provisioning goes.

If there is a hardware button that allows factory reset, you may try that as well.
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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We have a Chromebox running 46.0.2490.82 as a test platform. Runs perfectly for us. I doubt the version of Chrome you're using is the issue. We have seen this issue before though. When it has happened has always been right when we provisioned the device. Typically letting it run for 30-45 minutes and then restarting has fixed the issue. If that hasn't done it just put it into Developer Mode and then back to wipe the device and then it'll re-provision. Once it does and the player starts just let it run for a while. Don't move it or restart it. That's done the trick every time! 
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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Thanks so much Robert.. I was pulling my hair out over here :/ Following your instructions did give the best results. In particular the *wait*. Perhaps I'm not giving it enough time to finish up what all it wants to do to provision and run okay.

I had to try the wipe/reprovision a few times actually. I kept seeing another error after first launching my app (after a clean wipe). "Kryptonite! The cryptohome for the kiosk application could not be mounted."

Looks like these errors are related. The cryptohome message appears to be a corrupted filesystem? Seems people are experiencing this error with power loss, a situation not out of the ordinary for signage I would say. Seems like I might run into it again in the future, especially with a Chromebit given that there is no power button for a clean shut down out of kiosk mode.

Anyway, the answer for today was..
1. Hold reset and plug in power
2. Ctrl + D , then confirm Dev Mode by pressing Reset again
3. Press Space to get back out of Dev Mode and wipe the device
4. Connect to network and re-enroll
5. App tries to start, gets cryptohome error
6. Shut down via the button (NOT unplugging power)
7. Restarting and letting it run for 30+ minutes

Thanks!

https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=444188
https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=462732
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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Glad that got it working for you! I hate sounding like i'm oversimplifying but our experience with Chrome devices has been that if we just let them run they tend to fix themselves most of the time. Also if you ever get the file system errors again, I'd recommend using the Chrome Recovery Utility (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chromebook-recovery-utili/jndclpdbaamdhonoechobihbbiimdgai...) to create a recovery USB stick. You can do a full wipe of the device that way. We've only ever used it once and it was due to our own mistake. 
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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Actually.. the recovery utility is what I did in the first place. I'd really forgotten about the Dev Mode trick until your post. :)

I'm really on the fence with Chrome devices right now. Management here wants to use them for our signage displays due to cost. We're in the process of transitioning from some in-house written code and players over to Rise Vision and custom widgets for our content. Our players have been working pretty well for about 3 years, but we have a VERY small staff servicing a growing network. We were hoping for some ease of use with the Chromebox and to leverage RV development for the players.

I'm really leery right now.. given that we have about 5 test devices and I keep running into issues. None of the issues seem to be something I could walk someone through on the phone.. they all require manual intervention and would have to be shipped back. I might be able to get networking here to give me an account to let them re-enroll, but as-is, I would pretty much have to touch every box myself for every issue. Do you have any experience / preference of the Chrome OS boxes to a Ubuntu box? Are there any major managerial pieces you find the Chrome OS boxes to be lacking?

We appreciate your time - thanks so much!
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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Wendi,

We have a network of 13 players spread across three campuses. Some of the players are using modulated QAM video to distribute to up to 20 displays in a venue lobby. I'll break down what we're using and offer a commentary on each and then a few notes after. We have three production staff (we're a multi-venue performance venue and art facilities manager) that share the responsibilities for content and platform. I'm mostly platform and backend (video transcode pipeline, AWS, etc) and two other guys do graphics and scheduling. All of us do it as a side (5 hours a week or so) to running the venues themselves. :) 
  • (4) NEC X and E series displays with integrated card-slot computers running Ubuntu 14.04 and CAP 15.10.7.9312. These. Have. Been. Awful. We've had two hardware failures (which NEC was graceful about but still a pain to deal with). Originally they were running WES7 and that was a maintenance nightmare (updates, patches, etc). We switched them over to Ubuntu 14.04 and had Rise Vision premium support walk us through some scripting to help automate updating Chrome and keeping the player running. These have reached an acceptable level of stability using the Chrome App Player but have been the biggest problem children. That some of them are installed in locations that require scaffolding to reach doesn't help any. :) 
  • (4) Intel NUCs running a pre-built image from Rise Display and the Rise Packaged Player 2.0.035 (uses Chrome 25.0.1364.0). These have been rock solid but also don't receive any software updates so they're MASSIVELY out of date. They're on a QAM modulated video system and run some very simple content (bar menus and full screen video playback). I think if we were looking for them to do more advanced things like some of the other displays we'd have issues but otherwise they've been totally fine. The lack of remote desktop and management has made fixing the few minor issues sort of a pain but stuff happens. 
  • (5) Asus M004U Chromeboxes running Chrome 45.0.2454.98 and CAP 15.10.7.9312. Since we're a non-profit organization these are dirt cheap for us ($150 for a box and $50 for a 5-year management license). The first few were a learning curve for us but now we've adjusted and really like them. We've been rolling them out slowly and only to easily accessible displays since this platform seems to be something of a work in progress for Rise Vision (and they've advised as much). The only real bummer is that to update the CAP we're going to have to touch each display to re-enter the Display ID. I think once we're over this hurdle things will be better. 
My best advice with regards to Chrome is to test, test, test. Test the content. Test the software. Once you've got a good combination, lock it down and don't touch it. Our Chromeboxes are, right now, being used to play full screen 1080p WEBM video and have done a great job. Eventually they'll replace the embedded machines on the NEC displays and the NUC. Also Google will be, in the next few major releases, adding managed remote desktop to ChromeOS. It's in the developer channel already (v47 or v48) so I'm thinking inside the next year or so we'll have the ability to remotely manage anything on what has already been a very stable platform for us. 

Also, Digital Signage is a fickle master. We share a wall with the corporate headquarters for Bank of America. They have a limitless budget for digital signage in their lobbies, retail and public spaces and have deployed totems, way-finding, directories, etc all over the place. About once a month I walk past one that's broken in some way or another. I talked to one of their guys and he pegged their cost per display (hardware, case work, deployment/installation/power, software, etc) at about $15k. We're averaging under $4k for a similar setup and have about equal reliability. 

I guess that's a lot of words to say, the bang for the buck on this platform is fantastic!! I'd encourage you to go with whatever you're most comfortable with though. FWi makes some nice products and has good support if you've got the $$$$. Rise's premium support and prebuilt options have, for us, been excellent (we bought the NUCs from them and they've been on 24/7 since August of 2014). 

I hope this helps inform your choices. Please keep us posed on the Chromebit!! We've been eyeing these for a few months now as a way to put displays at the doors to each of our classrooms, rehearsal spaces and meeting rooms that list what's going on in the space for the day. 
(Edited)
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Thierry Masson, Champion

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Wendi & Robert I really appreciate your feedback.
I agree with you and we already share about. Kiosk mode and extensions for Chrome OS require a strong release management and indeed, once a version is validated, best is to lock the configuration thanks to the Google console management.

I you allow me,  comments and one questions :
  • Will the Chromebit be strong enough for signage including videos and gadgets ?
    I've some doubt because of the low amount of memory (2 GB). No idea about the processor.
    I guess the Chrome Bit will be able to process a video in full-HD provided that the video compression bit-rate is not too high (~ < 2000 Kbps ??).
    However, will be strong enough to display HTML5 gadgets that might be CPU intensive (tickers with scrolling or any JS code using setInterval()  ) ?

  • Robert, I know how to lock the Chrome OS update thanks to the Google console but, is there a way also to prevent the RiseVison player update ?
     
  • In fact, I would see the use of a Chrome Bit for the Risevison content provider in order to make a true preview on their PC or a dedicated screen..
    Indeed, the preview from the editor and from a PC is not always Wysiwyg :
    - scheduler preview does not take the timeline rules under consideration
    - Some MP4 encoding playing correctly on a PC don't on ChromeOS (see Video Widget does not reproduce video )  .
I'm keen to test the Chrome Bit but this light device will be available in Europe only in December 2015.  Wendi, I appreciate then any comments about your experience.

Best regards.
Thierry
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Thierry, no there's not a way to force the various Chrome Apps to stay at a certain version. My comment was in reference to the two versions of the CAP that are presently available. Sorry if that cause confusion. 
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Robert,

Thank you SO much for your write-up of your experience! Very informative and helpful. :)

At current we have about 150 boxes up and running on our old system. It's a custom build launching Chrome 26 in kiosk mode. We're basically stuck on Chrome 26 the way the page it accesses is written using storage. They are mostly physically accessible, but sometimes attached to a monitor high up or in ceiling panels. We have a staff of about 4 currently, including 1 main developer, 1-2 sales people, and me - administrator/IT support. We sometimes borrow a developer or two from our other business units, and one of the developers is my backup. We typically like to ship the units rather than install, given cost and being short-handed.

Our company has many faces. We entered signage via a request to display our data in public areas across the state. Those boxes have been up and running 24/7 for about 3 years (just before I came on board here with the company). We have expanded to several venues since original launch, and there has been a pull to display images and advertising. We integrated ad placement about 3 years ago as well.

Our old system is not very user friendly.. the hardware/network setup or the back-end administrative tools. Given that we have such a small staff and a large reach across the US, we try to do as much troubleshooting on the phone as we can. Also, these are not in buildings owned by us, so we are reliant on their network. Every so often a site will change WiFi or something of that sort.. I have to walk them through setup again. We felt like the Chromeboxes would be a nice easy platform for our end users.

We began a search last year for a better solution where we could leverage some outside development. This time, rather than our data display backing into digital signage, we wanted a digital signage platform that we could integrate our data into. Rise Vision and custom widgets seemed like our greatest bet. Previously we were developing all of the content as well as the player, so it seemed the best fit for us. We had initially hoped to be able to use Rise Visions editor for our users. It seems to be moving in a direction not usable for us though - most notably we really need a white label capability. It also isn't as intuitive as we'd like for our customers, so we are in the process of using their APIs for our own admin tools, giving our users simple timelines and templates and letting them drag/drop their images, etc.

The old hardware we're using are Jetways, Digital Engines, and more recently NUCs. The Jetways have been running wonderful for a very long time.. but they do get HOT (no fan) and they are getting older. The Digital Engines have been a mixed bag, usually hard drive failures. They not using SSDs though, which could cause more of a problem in those environments. The NUCs have been great, with just a few kinks. We have considered some OPS devices, but they are pretty cost-prohibitive.

Anyway, all that said, management is enticed by the low-cost of the Chrome OS devices. We're still integrating our content, but we do have some custom widgets going. Eventually they may trickle into the store, but as for now we are just trying to recreate our old platform here. We're glad to have the capability within Rise Vision.


To speak to your questions Thierry..


The Chromebit has only been running for about a day here. We had some initial issues with provisioning (what began this thread). Also I'm still unclear on the whole license issue, as they have not provisioned my $24/yr license, and I imagine it is currently using a $50/yr license. I'm curious also if I'll be able to use a $24/yr license on a Chromebox also. But I'm straying here.. It seems to be running pretty solidly so far. It is getting fairly hot, but is displaying well. We've got it rotating our custom widgets (pretty image heavy and animated) as well as the YouTube widget and the RSS widget displaying scrolling text on the bottom. We will probably order a few more, as they seem like a good cost-effective choice for testing.


As for Chrome Management and release, that is what I'm working on/with now on the administrative side. How to manage rollouts and upgrades. One thing we are doing is repackaging the Chrome App available on our domain. That way I can halt the app at any point by not updating our own. This also gives my users the feel of our company on the loading screen.


Also, one way we are implementing a "true" preview is using embedded presentations. Our main company has only TEST SITE presentations that embed whatever presentation we'd like to preview on our box. It is a little confusing maybe, but it does allow us to see a presentation running on a box as it would be running for the client, adhering to schedules, etc. It lets me keep our clients separated in the structure, but use my device in my company. Also this way I don't have to add a device and then manually change the Device ID repeatedly.


I'll definitely be playing more with this little piece of hardware and keeping up with where Chrome is heading. :)
(Edited)
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Wendi, you're far more adventurous than us with regards to repackaging the app. In reference to Theirry's query above about the software versions, one supposes that's a good solution if the time/skill necessary is available. We're not that crafty! :) 
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Hi Wendi,
It's interesting that you are using embedded presentations to do previews for clients.  How long have you integrated this with the current workflow?

Thanks

Hannah | Community Success | Priority Support
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Hi Hannah,

I've been using the embedded presentations since around April of this year. Our previous signage solution (written in-house) gave us the ability to have a "Test Site" that we could clone another site's configuration to for viewing on a local machine. In this way, the guys downstairs could help troubleshoot problems with ads, timing, etc. I tried to come up with some way that they could do the same thing with RV.

Since a Preview does not adhere to a schedule, sending them to a preview is going to show ads that might not being playing currently. We needed to view the presentation on an actual Device. I also had the problem that our clients are in sub-companies, and so I could not just attach a schedule to our Test Device.

That's what we came up with. Each sub-company has one main presentation that is showing in a Schedule. Now if the guys downstairs have a call from someone, we can go into that sub-company, get the Presentation ID, and then embed it in the Test Device (under our main company) for them to view. The idea is to eventually write something in our Admin Tool we are working on for them to go in and click themselves. Essentially, I'm emulating our previous "Clone to Test Site" functionality for our users in our office.

Unfortunately, we can't really utilize Schedules, it has to be done in a single Presentation. It's not really pretty or ideal, but it's the best solution for us right now.
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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I've started a new thread for my Chromebit experience and other errors.. since the file corruption error is really separate to this one.

https://community.risevision.com/rise_vision_inc/topics/chromebit-file-corruption-issues

I really do want to like this device! Unfortunately, I'm running into my 3rd major error (require a powerwash) in less than a week...

Time will tell I suppose :)
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Wendi,

Thanks for taking the initiative here.

Something to consider when moving forward with ChromeOS devices is Google's decision to merge ChromeOS into Android.
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Very interesting Wendi, thanks!
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Wendi.
Hope you're right since I'm ready to start the roll-out of dozens of Chrome boxes.
By the way, Asus Belgium has been kind to ship me a Chromebit I'm going to test once I will get it.
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From someone in the Google Chrome OS product team I mailed :

You said it right, they are rumors - it is absolutely not true that we will abandon Chrome and/or Android.Contrary, both platforms are growing toward each-other: you see that already today with the possibility to run Android apps on Chrome and vice versa the implementation of some of the security aspects of Chrome into Android.

This is the official statement by Hiroshi Lockheimer, boss Chrome AND Android:
http://googleforwork.blogspot.be/2015/11/Chrome-OS-is-here-to-stay.html

I think that makes it pretty clear that we are committed to Chrome and continue to invest even more in the platform.

On the Rise Vision side, does this uncertainty (even with such message) modify your vision about the deployment of RiseVsion client on Chrome OS ?
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Byron, Keener

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Thiery, not really. We are primarily evaluating Chrome Application development due to the control and stability issues that we have had with our Rise Player Chrome Application. The concern about what direction Google is going with Chrome OS is secondary at this point. Thanks
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It wouldn't matter what google does. Either way you have an app for android and an app for chrome os. Your covered either way. I think google will combine the two with more focus on making android better because its there number 1 money maker. The chrome os apis will be converted into android and you will have the ability to use chrome os and android apps on the same platform. 
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sherbondye

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This is specifically a problem plaguing the chromebit:
https://support.google.com/chrome/a/a...

I have been consistently bitten by it a number of times because I was trying to provision chromebits in bulk and immediately powered them off, rendering them bricks. Waiting 10 minutes prevents the issue from cropping up.
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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Nice there is an official post there - good to know!
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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We experienced similar issues on Chromeboxes if they were interrupted during a Kiosk app after initial enrollment as well. This confirms our best practice of "let it run for 30 minutes on a presentation after enrollment". Silly as it may be, it does work. 
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Blake Freeman, Official Rep

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It's great that they have acknowledged this problem! 
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Bill Arthurs

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I have this issue sometimes with our chromebits in our school district. Wiping the and then reenrolling has in each case. (You have to use the reset pin hole on the back of the chromebit when plugging them in)