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I have a headless device (Orange Pi Zero) running Armbian that I use to experiment with. Today it suddenly stopped responding to SSH (my only means of interacting with the device):

mark@mark:~$ ssh 192.168.178.75  
ssh: connect to host 192.168.178.75 port 22: Connection refused  

I know it's still booting and running fine otherwise, because one of the things it does is start a custom Java program from my home dir that opens port 4000 (live example here), and that still works as you can see.

I have NOT changed anything OS-related on the device in the last few weeks and I've only been deploying Java projects to my home directory a few times per day.

I can put the SD card in my PC to inspect it but I cannot find logs on it that explain why ssh would not start. I'm completely in the dark as how to fix this.

  • /var/log/syslog does not exist
  • /var/log/kern.log does not exist
  • /var/log/messages does not exist
  • journalctl is not installed
  • fsck-ext4 on the SD card did not turn up anything and didn't help
  • Creating /var/run/sshd as root using PC didn't help

NB. I turn it off at night without 'properly' shutting down, but this hasn't been a problem for the hundreds of times I've done this. May corruption have sneaked in anyway, and if so, why is ssh* affected?

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  • Power surge, brownout, cosmic ray impact (a beta particle is just a very energetic electron. The avg planetary background radiation is 4,000 uSv/yr; you could live someplace hotter.), a '10-4 Good Buddy' CB radio user with a kilowatt amp transmitting as they pass by; lots of things can flip a 1 to a 0 or vice versa and gum up the works in a computer. If the data on your storage device is being written to when this happens, then it could get corrupted. – K7AAY Jul 16 '19 at 22:04
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    I'm aware of xkcd.com/378 – Mark Jeronimus Jul 19 '19 at 8:06

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