Subject: Re: What tools for serial console ?
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/13/1999 00:50:54
[ On Tue, January 12, 1999 at 19:19:47 (-0800), Curt Sampson wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: What tools for serial console ? 
> I still find rtty works a lot better, since you don't detach anybody
> or anything; you just have multiple people on the console at the
> same time if that's what you need. (It's very handy to have that
> when you are at home and want to watch what someone at work is
> doing.)

That's one of the features of rtty that I don't like -- I want only one
person on the console at a time....  If one or more others want to see
what's going on they need only examine the log file.

> Also, rtty logs all output to a file as well as allowing interactive
> connections to the daemon, so you can easily grep this, do automated
> scans of it, archive it, etc.

Screen can log too -- I'm not sure how easy it is to roll over the log
files when screen is running, but that's probably not hard to fix, and
certainly a monthly reboot of the console server could do the trick.

Screen could also easily be taught to timestamp log files, though the
syslog "mark" message serves this purpose while at the same time proving
that the system itself is still doing something and that the console
connection is still fine, etc.

> I had a quick look at screen, and for this task it doesn't appear
> to offer anywhere near the functionality that rtty offers.

Screen has one major feature that rtty lacks, which is that it maintains
an image of the current display (in a scrollable buffer no less).
There's no need to open two windows to review the log while connecting
to a system's console -- you get an instant picture of recent events as
soon as you connect.

The web page I referred to before has hints of how to use a single
screen process with one "session" per console port, as well as other
reasons for using screen:

I have set up a console server, mostly as per those instructions, and it
was very easy to do, quite reliable, and very simple to use (especially
if you're at all familiar with using screen for other tasks).

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
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