Subject: Re: Can I configure the i386 kernel to allow either serial or video console?
To: bob <email@example.com>
From: Greg A. Woods <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 12/02/2003 15:04:37
[ On Monday, December 1, 2003 at 19:43:53 (-0500), bob wrote: ]
> Subject: Can I configure the i386 kernel to allow either serial or video console?
> On my alpha, I have the kernel configured to support video if keyboard
> is plugged in, and serial if it is not plugged in.
> Can I do the same thing with i386 1.6.1???
Nope, I don't think so.
I had used a hack like that in the 1.3.x days which I borrowed from
FreeBSD. On many systems (most of the ones I had) it could detect
whether the keyboard was plugged in or not. IIRC it's a hack to the
second stage boot program though, not the kernel. The kernel on i386
just tries to use whatever console the boot program tells it to use
(though it's not quite that simple either).
Since then though I've decided it's best to always force the issue and
pick one or another depending on the normal use of the system. This has
worked out well for me, especially now since in 1.6.x and newer where
the wscons keyboard interface initializes itself properly and a getty
can be started reliably on the keyboard/vga for multi-user access.
There are some problems with the likes of xconsole and similar, though
they should now be fixed in -current.
Note too that a "dynamic" console based on the presense of a keyboard
can really confuse things if you have a KVM and someone forgets and
leaves a normally serial-console system selected.
In fact I would even be tempted to run a serial console by default on my
sparcstation desktop workstation (on which I run X11) if I had a
terminal server near enough to use with it. Actually I do have a
suitable spare terminal server -- it just needs a power supply. :-)
Greg A. Woods
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