Ship Troubleshooting

Urbit is still in the development stage, so there's a chance that your ship won't start properly, or will stop working properly when you're running it. That's ok! This document is intended to help you in such an event.

This page contains resolutions to many of the most commonly encountered issues. If your issue is not covered here, please check out our Troubleshooting Knowledgebase.

Table of Contents

Best Practices

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so let's first go over some best practices to keep your ship in working order.

Only initialize your ship once

Once your ship has been initialized (with the -w variation of the ./urbit command), you should never do so a second time. If you do initialize it anew without special measures, you will experience trouble communicating with ships on the network you had talked to before.

If you accidentally did this a second time, or want to intentionally start fresh, you need to perform a factory reset, which is explained in the next section.

Do not delete your pier

Urbit is stateful, meaning that it needs to hold onto all your data. If you delete your pier and start your ship again, you won't be able to talk to any ship you've talked to before. The only solution to this is performing a factory reset.

Keep track of the directory that you put your ship in

When you first start your ship, you should make sure you put it a place where you can find it again and where it won't get accidentally deleted.

Keep up-to-date builds

Check for latest Urbit version at If you're behind, update using this guide.

|hi your star to see if you're connected

Find out who your star is by running (sein:title our now our) in the Dojo. Then, run |hi ~star, where ~star is the star's name, and if things are working properly, you should get the message hi ~star successful. It could also be helpful to use |hi to check connectivity with ~zod or another planet that you're in a Chat channel with.

Turn your ship off and on again

Use ctrl-d to gracefully exit your ship, and then start it again. This can solve many issues.

Use the |knob command to customize your error messages

Error messages can be by overwhelming, so the |knob command is intended to remedy this. It's used to silence errors that aren't important.

The command takes two arguments, and comes in the form of |knob %error-tag %level.

%error-tag is the name of the error in question. It's usually printed at the top of the stack trace, such as in crud: %hole event failed -- %hole here is an example of an error tag.

%level determines how much you will see of errors with your chosen %error-tag. There are three levels:

  • %hush: no output.
  • %soft: one line of output, just containing the error tag.
  • %loud: full output.

So for example, to silence all Ames packet-related errors, try |knob %hole %hush.

Perform a factory reset.

A factory reset is when a ship tells the rest of the network to treat it as though the ship was just started for the first time again. Any ongoing or outstanding communication is forgotten and connections are reestablished from scratch.

Factory resets often fix connectivity issues, but should only be used as a last resort. To find out how to perform a factory reset, check out our Guide to Factory Resets. Before taking such a drastic measure, try other methods in this guide. You can also ask for help on in the Help channel in the Urbit Community group at ~bitbet-bolbel/urbit-community.

Reset +code

WARNING: Do not reset your +code if you are using a hosted ship. You will be locked out. Please contact your hosting provider for more information.

You login to Landscape using the camel-case phrase obtained from dojo by entering +code. For security reasons you may wish to change this code regularly. You may do so by entering |code %reset into dojo. Doing this will prevent Bridge from being able to derive your code, meaning you will only be able to check it from dojo in the future.

Operation Issues

My urbit is frozen

Sometimes this happens if you're processing a very large event, or if you're in an infinite loop, or for a variety of other reasons.

Before doing anything, try waiting for a minute: an event might finish processing. If it doesn't clear up, then use the Unix kill-command, ctrl-z, to end your ship's process. Then restart your ship.

When I try to type into the Dojo, it prints %dy-edit-busy or %dy-no-prompt

This happens when your Dojo is waiting on a request, such as an HTTP request. You can fix it simply by typing backspace or (delete on Mac).

My ship doesn't recognize file changes that I make in my pier

Since version 0.8.0, changes no longer automatically sync between the Unix side (your pier) and your ship. To sync your file changes, you must run |commit %desk in your Dojo, where %desk is the desk you'd like to sync.

Connectivity Issues

I can't communicate with anyone

Maybe you booted your ship twice, or ran it using old files. If this is the case, you must perform a factory reset.

I don't have the latest OTA

You can check what build your ship is on by entering +trouble into dojo and reading the %base hash. If this does not match the latest hash published in the urbit-dev mailing list, you are behind.

Your sponsor may just be lagging behind, so sometimes this will resolve on its own with patience. Otherwise, try the procedure outlined here.

I keep getting an ames error stack-trace

You may see a message like this one: /~zod/base/~2019.7.22..18.55.46..83a3/sys/vane/ames:<[line column].[line column]>. This is a clay path to a Hoon file, pointing to the line and column where an expression crashed. This kind of error might be accompanied by a crud message.

This means that another ship is sending invalid packets to you. This could be because one of the ships has not updated the other ship's "rift number", which is the number that starts at one and increments every time that ship performs a factory reset.

This can happen if they have the wrong keys of yours, or if you have the wrong keys of theirs. You can figure out who has the wrong keys by running this scry command in your dojo: .^(* %j /=life=/shipname), where shipname is the other ship's name. Save that information. Then, go to the Azimuth contract on Etherscan, scroll down to 32. points, and put in the hexadecimal representation of the other ship's @p. You can find the hexadecimal representation by running ...


... in the Dojo, where ~sampel-palnet is the other ship's name. Then, compare it to the scry information that you saved. If that information matches up, it means that the other ship is the problem. If it doesn't match up, your ship has wrong information about the other ship. If you have such wrong information, you can fix this by running:

:azimuth-tracker|listen ~ %app %azimuth-tracker

The last line above syncs from an Ethereum node for all ships on the network. If you only wanted to sync with certain ships, run:

:azimuth-tracker|listen ~[~sampel-palnet ~zod ~marzod] %app %azimuth-tracker

~sampel-palnet ~zod ~marzod are example ship-names; replace these with any number of desired ship-names.

The above commands work if you have the wrong keys of other ships. If other ships have wrong keys of yours, you need to somehow ask them to to run such a command.

I can talk to some ships, but I can't talk to my sponsor and some other ships

This is usually the result of deleting your pier and starting your ship again. To fix this, you must perform a factory reset.

Booting Issues

My ship booted for the first time, but it turned into a comet instead of my planet or star

You may have used the wrong arguments when booting your ship for the first time. Delete this comet and try again.

My development ship ("fakezod") gets a boot: malformed failure

This means that you gave your development ship an invalid @p. So, you will get this error if you write, for example, urbit -F zodzod instead of urbit -F zod.

Crashing Issues

I got a bail error and my ship crashed

Try bringing it back up; it will often start working just fine again.

However, if you get a bail error again, this is a serious issue and should be reported (see below). It's advised to keep the old files around to assist issue research. If you want to get back on the network immediately, you might want to perform a factory reset.

Making a GitHub issue out of your bail

You can get help with you problem by creating an issue at But to make a good issue, you need to include some information.

When your urbit crashes with a bail, you'll probably get a core dump, which is a file that contains the program state of your urbit when it crashed. On Mac, core dumps can be found in /cores. On Linux, cores can often be found in /var/crash, or the home directory.

Navigate to the folder containing your core dumps. Find the most recent core dump by looking at the dates after you run ls -l. Then lldb -c <corename>. Once that loads, you'll be at an (lldb) prompt; type bt at this prompt. This will create a stack trace that looks like this:

(lldb) bt
* thread #1, stop reason = signal SIGSTOP
* frame #0: 0x000000010583d871 urbit`_box_free + 17
frame #1: 0x0000000105845ee6 urbit`u3j_boot + 182
frame #2: 0x000000010584d1f9 urbit`u3m_boot + 89
frame #3: 0x000000010583d15d urbit`main + 2765
frame #4: 0x00007fff75cb83d5 libdyld.dylib`start + 1

Copy this stack trace and include it in your GitHub issue.

My ship crashed with a bail: meme error.

This means that your ship ran out of memory.

  1. Make sure you are running the latest binary if you are not already on it.

  2. Restart your ship. If you don't crash again, everything may be fine.

  3. If you do crash again, try running the following after your ship has shut down: ./urbit-worker meld your-ship (Replacing your-ship with the name/directory of your ship.) This will attempt to compact the memory of your ship. Note that this may use large amounts of memory on the machine you are running it on, and will be very slow if the machine has little memory available.

  4. If the above succeeds, but you still get bail: meme immediately, or after running for a little while, please file an issue. If you can, run |mass and share its output.

  5. As a last resort, you may perform a factory reset.

My ship crashed with a bail: oops error

Restart your ship. These issues often just go away on their own. If this error repeats after restart two or more times, post the messages in an issue at

This same error might also appear with a message like Assertion '0'.

My ship crashed with an pier: work error error

This means that the Urbit worker process has shut down for one reason or another. Just restart your ship; this is not a notable or reportable error.