Re: [rock-devel] adding console on serial support to bootdis…

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Author: Thomas \"fake\" Jakobi
To: ROCK Development Mailing List
Subject: Re: [rock-devel] adding console on serial support to bootdisk

(this is not about kernel-wise serial output, but passing the isolinux
bootloader an option to present the boot menu on the first serial port, too,
so headless machines that don't support output redirecting can use the cd
bootloader to pass the correct console=... line to the kernel)

my point is that the average desktop pc isn't intended to be used without a
VGA card and a Mouse/Keyboard - 99% of the BIOSes don't support it, because
the PC/PS2/whatever specifications don't mention it. Of course, server
hardware with quality BIOSes supports redirecting output to serial console.
So 99% of the folks needing serial output from a headless peecee are very
well aware that they'll need to touch some things, because their box isn't
set up according to specifications.

On Friday 28 January 2005 11:09, Andreas V. Meier wrote:
> Pro: - install possible for machines without keyboard
> -> you could bring a monitor and keyboard, but that's not always
> possible (-> see also embedded devices)

embedded devices (for example clifford's soekris engineering box) do NOT
replicate the behaviour you have on your peecee. think about it. there is no
vga card. there will never be one. of course output is made to the serial
port, from the bios up to the kernel - you may only need the 'console=...'
option in cases where you want to adopt the default baud rate of the output.

> Contra: - another machine might be connected via serial cable and
> receive the output as input
> -> you could disconnect the serial cable for the time of
> install or even use the other side to configure the install
> process

we can't make assumptions on what's connected and what not. image a notebook
with some strange hardware hardwired to ttyS0 ... anything would be possible.
if we start making assumptions like that, we could also very well start
dhclient if the network wasn't configured. And no, that's *not* what we want.

> - there might be no serial port
> -> there is a console=auto switch which decides automatically.
> And console=ttyS0 without ttyS0 should not hurt.
> The isolinux option "SERIAL 0" also makes use of serial and
> normal input.

i don't think that's a problem at all (i assume isolinux doesn't hick up in
that case). i no case i'd add another boot-argument-shuffled-kernel-start
option to the boot menu - adding console=... or other options is absolutely
possible, and people using serial consoles at alas know how to use them.

i have done quite a few serial-console-only installs with the current
bootdisk, without the need for any of this. Of course, the systems were ment
to be used via serial console, or supported it (sgi, cobalt/sun machines,


Thomas "fake" Jakobi ______________________________ PGP KeyID: FCA99A91
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