CRITICAL ERROR: stuck initializing surface

I’m getting an error I haven’t encountered before:

Info Beamer PI 0.9.9-beta.132ee8~stretch (
Copyright (c) 2012-2018, Florian Wesch <>

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[main.c] root node is infobeamer
CRITICAL ERROR: stuck initializing surface

I can’t find any documentation on this and would be grateful for any hints.

Is this info-beamer hosted version?

No. This is the standalone version.

Let me guess: You tried running info-beamer pi on the Pi4? If so, that doesn’t work at the moment. The Pi4 is the first time the Pi is incompatible to its predecessor. OpenGL works completely different and the current info-beamer pi release “gets stuck” currently trying to use OpenGL. It might take a bit until info-beamer is as polished on the Pi4 as it’s on earlier versions. See also Raspberry Pi 4 release and info-beamer information

Sorry, nope. This is on a pi 3 that has been running info-beamer for a few months now. The problem has ceased on it’s own but this error was present for several hours one day.

Usually that’s the result of the firmware side of the Pi crashing. Are you doing anything special with info-beamer? Like running more than 2-3 videos at once? Or do you run other software in parallel that does anything that might use any firmware features (like CEC/querying vcgencmd/etc)?

Did you see any special log output in dmesg? You might also try vcdbg log msg to get firmware log output.

From my experience, the only way to recover is to reboot the Pi in that case.

We don’t run multiple videos. Also don’t use any of the features you listed (CEC, etc) in other software. I’ll try dmseg and vcDBG log msg. Thanks.