apt upgrade hangs on Pi 4

Once again an 'apt upgrade' has stalled on my 1Gb Pi 4. Here's where it stops after a standard 'apt update' and 'apt upgrade' :-

... ... ... Unpacking apt-utils ( over ( ... Preparing to unpack .../1-libssl1.1_1.1.1d-0+deb10u4+rpt1_armhf.deb ... Unpacking libssl1.1:armhf (1.1.1d-0+deb10u4+rpt1) over (1.1.1d-0+deb10u3+rpt1) ... Preparing to unpack .../2-openssl_1.1.1d-0+deb10u4+rpt1_armhf.deb ... Unpacking openssl (1.1.1d-0+deb10u4+rpt1) over (1.1.1d-0+deb10u3+rpt1) ... Preparing to unpack .../3-python-apt-common_1.8.4.2_all.deb ... Unpacking python-apt-common ( over ( ... Preparing to unpack .../4-python3-apt_1.8.4.2_armhf.deb ... Unpacking python3-apt ( over ( ... Preparing to unpack .../5-rpi-eeprom_11.0-1_armhf.deb ... Unpacking rpi-eeprom (11.0-1) over (10.3-1) ... Setting up libssl1.1:armhf (1.1.1d-0+deb10u4+rpt1) ... Setting up systemd (241-7~deb10u5+rpi1) ... Setting up libapt-inst2.0:armhf ( ... Setting up udev (241-7~deb10u5+rpi1) ... update-initramfs: deferring update (trigger activated) Setting up python-apt-common ( ... Setting up rpi-eeprom (11.0-1) ...

The system is still running as I can still ssh into it from another terminal window (it's a headless system on my LAN). After rebooting and a long wait for it to run disk checks etc. the system came back OK and had actually finished the upgrade.

This is a pretty standard Raspios Buster Lite installation with few additions, it's an old Pi 4 with only 1Gb of memory and has a big, external USB disk drive which powers down when idle. The USB disk has its own power supply, the Pi 4 is powered by an 'official' Pi 4 PSU.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be causing this and/or ways to diagnose what's happening?

Chris Green
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Chris Green
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There are logs in /var/log/apt/ that may be useful. If they're not useful, I would go with:

strace -o upgrade.output *troublesome command here*

on the step that causes the issue. -o names an output file, which will contain stuff like:

execve("/usr/bin/aptitude", ["aptitude", "search", "ldap"], 0x7fff03348030 brk(NULL) = 0x559115325000 access("/etc/ld.so.preload", R_OK) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory) openat(AT_FDCWD, "/usr/local/lib/tls/x86_64/x86_64/libapt-pkg.so.6.0",

This is quite voluminous. Ideally, it'll log enough information so that you can narrow things down to a particular packgage being installed.

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