Bye Bye Debian Stretch :: Looking for testers

Bye Bye Debian Stretch :: Looking for testers

We're going to upgrade Pi-hole's CI workflows used for generating the pre-compiled FTL binaries with the next release. We do this to install important upgrades in the build environment. We update not only libraries but also the entire compiler suite.

By this update, the minimum required operating system is changed from Debian Stretch (9) to Buster (10). Debian 9 was initially released on 2017-06-17. It was superseded by Debian Buster on 2019-07-06. Stretch received Long-Term-Support since 2020-07-06 but only until 2022-06-30. It cannot be considered safe to continue running Stretch and, hence, Pi-hole dropped Stretch support - now also for the pre-compiled binaries.

Further technical details may be found here:

To ensure that everything still works on all your systems, we'd highly appreciate if you could run

pihole checkout ftl newbuildcontainers

and check if your Pi-hole still works fine. No special testing is needed, just check if everything still seems to be working as it used to. While we checked a few boards already ourselves, we're interested in your feedback especially about all ARM-based boards (incl. all Raspberry Pi revisions).

After testing, you can easily revert to the latest released version using

pihole checkout ftl master
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raspberry pi 3B, latest (april 4th 2022) raspbian bullseye, fully patched
Linux raspberrypi 5.15.32-v7+ #1538 SMP Thu Mar 31 19:38:48 BST 2022 armv7l GNU/Linux

 pihole checkout ftl newbuildcontainers
  Please note that changing branches severely alters your Pi-hole subsystems
  Features that work on the master branch, may not on a development branch
  This feature is NOT supported unless a Pi-hole developer explicitly asks!
  Have you read and understood this? [y/N] y

  [✓] Branch newbuildcontainers exists
  [i] Switching to branch: "newbuildcontainers" from "master"
  [✓] Downloading and Installing FTL
  [✓] Restarting pihole-FTL service...
  [✓] Enabling pihole-FTL service to start on reboot...

Pi-hole version is v5.11.4 (Latest: v5.11.4)
AdminLTE version is v5.13 (Latest: v5.13)
FTL version is newbuildcontainers vDev-9e8b781 (Latest: v5.16.1)

NSD / pihole-FTL test (you are using powerDNS) all OK. The status 16 problem (first query -> 16, second query -> 3 - cached) appears to be fixed.

reboot (not required, but tested) -> OK
FTL.log after reboot included (2.1 KB)

used memory value doesn't match value displayed by top
command: pid=$(pgrep pihole-FTL); top -p ${pid} -e m
May not be related to this change...


1 Like

I switched to this branche and no issues so far

    Pi-hole v5.11.4
    FTL vDev (newbuildcontainers, vDev-9e8b781)
    Web Interface v5.13

I use raspbian Buster 64bit, all packages are up to date.
on a raspberry pi zero 2(wireless), using an usb network adaptor

1 Like
pi@ph5b:~ $ cat /proc/device-tree/model
Raspberry Pi Model B Rev 2
pi@ph5b:~ $ lsb_release -d
Description:    Raspbian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye)
pi@ph5b:~ $ pihole checkout ftl newbuildcontainers
  [✓] Restarting pihole-FTL service...
  [✓] Enabling pihole-FTL service to start on reboot...
pi@ph5b:~ $  pihole status
  [✓] FTL is listening on port 53
     [✓] UDP (IPv4)
     [✓] TCP (IPv4)
     [✓] UDP (IPv6)
     [✓] TCP (IPv6)

  [✓] Pi-hole blocking is enabled
pi@ph5b:~ $ nc localhost 4711 <<< '>version >quit'
version vDev-9e8b781
branch newbuildcontainers
hash 9e8b781
date 2022-07-30 18:10:54 +0100

No apparent problems on the following platforms:

Pi Zero W running Raspbian Bullseye latest.

Nano Pi Neo running Armbian Buster latest.

Pi-3B+ running Raspbian Bullseye latest.

Pi Zero2 W running Raspbian Bullseye latest.


I haven't noticed any anomalies after two days running on this test build.

Pi-4 4GB running Ubuntu Server 22.04 64bit


No problems/errors on the following platform:

Pi-3B+ running Raspbian Bullseye latest.

1 Like

Stress test to the point of a reinstall.
Ask 500 queries a second for 2.5 hours and FTL Hangs on restart with a Pi 3 B.


FTL was busy, just after making the video the FTL starts after approx 1.5 hours of hang.
Was done during the hang

1 Like

Thanks for your test.

Looking at your debug log I don't see a real crash. Did you kill the FTL process manually?

[✗] pihole-FTL daemon is failed

*** [ DIAGNOSING ]: Pi-hole-FTL full status
   ● pihole-FTL.service - LSB: pihole-FTL daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/pihole-FTL; generated)
   Active: failed (Result: timeout) since Mon 2022-08-08 16:59:47 AWST; 49min ago
     Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
  Process: 10545 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/pihole-FTL start (code=killed, signal=TERM)

Aug 08 16:54:47 pihole-8 systemd[1]: Starting LSB: pihole-FTL daemon...
Aug 08 16:54:47 pihole-8 pihole-FTL[10545]: Not running
Aug 08 16:54:47 pihole-8 su[10564]: (to pihole) root on none
Aug 08 16:54:47 pihole-8 su[10564]: pam_unix(su:session): session opened for user pihole by (uid=0)
Aug 08 16:59:47 pihole-8 systemd[1]: pihole-FTL.service: Start operation timed out. Terminating.
Aug 08 16:59:47 pihole-8 systemd[1]: pihole-FTL.service: Control process exited, code=killed, status=15/TERM
Aug 08 16:59:47 pihole-8 systemd[1]: pihole-FTL.service: Failed with result 'timeout'.
Aug 08 16:59:47 pihole-8 systemd[1]: Failed to start LSB: pihole-FTL daemon.

   -----tail of pihole.log------
   Aug  8 16:54:46 dnsmasq[11074]: exiting on receipt of SIGTERM

However, FTL seems to be still running

   [2022-08-08 17:49:35.185 10566M] Resizing "FTL-strings" from 2867200 to (2908160 * 1) == 2908160 (/dev/shm: 30.0MB used, 471.6MB total, FTL uses 30.0MB)
   [2022-08-08 17:49:47.442 10566M] Resizing "FTL-queries" from 20004864 to (458752 * 44) == 20185088 (/dev/shm: 30.1MB used, 471.6MB total, FTL uses 30.1MB)
   [2022-08-08 17:49:49.395 10566M] Resizing "FTL-domains" from 6184960 to (310272 * 20) == 6205440 (/dev/shm: 30.3MB used, 471.6MB total, FTL uses 30.2MB)

Thank you all for your test. We are confident that we haven't encountered a show-stopper.
Soon this change will be part of our development version which then becomes the next Pi-hole version. You can stay on that branch if you like, but make sure you go back to master before upgrading your Pi-hole.

pihole checkout ftl master


Yes sitting there at 100% for 1.5 hours not answering anything.
The first time it crashed after a load test I did a reinstall after I changed upstream DNS servers.

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