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Re: NetBSD-7.0 boots OK and NetBSD-8.0 hangs/crashes during boot on a MacBook7,1

On Mon, Jul 06, 2020 at 05:07:00PM +0200, Martin Husemann wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 06, 2020 at 07:55:29AM -0700, Brian Buhrow wrote:
> > 	hello.  In my case, there are times when I want a serial console, for
> > set up or troubleshooting, but cannot use the built-in display for various
> > reasons.  So, I think it would be useful in more situations than might
> > first appear.  Yes, it wouldn't give you DDB on that console, but for
> > environments where the kernel loads and runs, it would give you access to
> > everything else over a serial port.
> Stupid question: are there now actually x86 boards that do *not* have a real
> serial on-board? I have not seen any so far (none of the new ones come with
> an external connector of course, but they can be added easily unless it is
> a notebook).

Not a stupid question at all.  Short answer is "yes", unfortunately.

I don't buy brand-new boards very frequently, so it hasn't completely
impacted me yet, but dropping the connector already seems common, and
last time I shopped ITX for a small home server I ended up eliminating a
lot of candidates (maybe over 50%) because they didn't even have the COM
header on the board so I could add the connector myself.

I'd always hoped that, if anything, the "legacy" db9 connector might
over time start turning into rj45 serial connectors with telco pinouts
ala Cisco and other devices. But it doesn't seem a likely trend for PC
systems at this point.

Even some of the recent name-brand "enterprise" rackmount systems at
$work didn't come with a serial console port out the back -- it was an
add-on option at most.  The vendors presumably want to push their GUI
BMC paradigm, with the graphical server management goop. Some of it is
admittedly nice functionality, but a lot of it is simply overkill when
a good ole serial port would be fine.

I think it's already been mentioned downthread, but other systems in
this category are smaller devices like NUC and similar.  The low power
(noise, heat etc.) profile makes those attractive, but without a serial
console they're not as nice.  Best I've been able to do with a couple of
those is a USB-serial terminal (!=console) which is better than nothing,
e.g. to fix a broken network config, but doesn't help when you need to
interact with boot stuff.


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