Reward for fixing keyboard support in FreeBSD, apply within
blaz at si.FreeBSD.org
Sun Dec 7 09:13:25 PST 2003
In the last couple of days I've been fighting with a evaluation IBM
BladeCenter. For those that don't know, it's a 7U rackmount box with 14 slots
that can take one PC each.
All the PC's share a single CD, floppy and the builtin KVM. CD, floppy and the
KVM are USB connected. There are two problems with FreeBSD on this box:
1. No FreeBSD version boots from CD on this box. Tried with 4.x and 5.x.
Both complain that they can't find their own boot device and don't know how to
load the kernel. There are some signs that booting from any USB connected
CDROM on any hardware is broken.
2. The more troubling problem is that upon bootup the keyboard does not work.
The problem is that there are actually two USB keyboards. The first one is
apparently some dummy device connected to the KVM while the second is the
working keyboard. Logging in through the network and running "kbdcontrol -k
/dev/kbd2" activates the keyboard. The problem is that only a single keyboard
can be active at any time in FreeBSD and on boot the first detected keyboard
becomes active. As the first USB keyboard on the Bladecenter is not actually
connected anywhere, the keyboard is basically dead as soon as the FreeBSD
kernel takes over. The box does not have any serial ports, so a serial console
is out of the question.
Needless to say, both Windows and Linux work just fine on the Bladecenter. The
main reason for working keyboard support is, that both under Windows and
Linux, *all* keyboards are active at the same time. On FreeBSD only a single
keyboard can be active at any time.
My company would really like to deploy the Bladecenter as it is otherwise a
very solid solution for our problem. But 99.9% of our servers are FreeBSD and
the above problems are a real showstopper.
That's why I'm offering a reward to anybody who produces working patches that
are polished enough to be included both in -stable and -current. I will do my
best to provide all the neccesary information as well as an account on the
box. I don't have much time left, as I will have to return the evaluation box
soon, so if you think you are able to solve the problems, send me an email
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