Installing 5.3-BETA7 without PS/2 keyboard

Brooks Davis brooks at
Thu Oct 7 22:28:05 PDT 2004

On Thu, Oct 07, 2004 at 10:06:48PM -0700, Don Lewis wrote:
> On  7 Oct, Brooks Davis wrote:
> > On Fri, Oct 08, 2004 at 12:12:22AM -0400, Rajappa Iyer wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >> 
> >> I hope someone can help me out here.  I have a machine with
> >> no PS/2 connectors... so I only have USB keyboard.  I have turned
> >> on the BIOS emulation of keyboard -- the boot loader seems to see
> >> it fine.  But once FreeBSD boots, then it is no longer able to
> >> see the keyboard.
> >> 
> >> I tried disabling the atkbd and atkbdc, but it still finds and
> >> attaches kbd0 to atkbd and kbd1 to the USB keyboard.
> >> 
> >> Any way out of this situation?
> > 
> > Sounds like your BIOS is too smart for it's own good.  It emulates
> > enough of the keyboard for atkbd to to probe, but then ukbd finds the
> > keyboard and breaks it.  Does the same thing happen if you disable
> > emulation?  (I suspect it does).  If so, you may need to install by
> > sticking the disk in something else and installing there.  One other
> > idea, if you can disable ukbd that may keep the keyboard from being
> > initalized which should keep the emulation work.
> This sounds a lot like what I ran into with my Athlon XP machine in the
> early days of 5.x.  I set up the machine to dual boot FreeBSD 5.x and
> RedHat Linux using GRUB to select the OS.  If I was using a USB keyboard
> and keyboard emulation was off, I couldn't interact with the loader, and
> I don't think I could interact with GRUB either.  If keyboard emulation
> was enabled, FreeBSD stumbled across atkbd and atkbdc and ignored the
> USB keyboard once it booted.  If I could get in over the network, I
> could use kbdcontrol to switch enable access to the USB keyboard.  This
> was sometimes a problem because neither the BIOS nor FreeBSD saw the fxp
> card when the machine was first powered on.  Letting the machine boot
> part way and hitting the reset button, or logging on and rebooting would
> cause fxp0 to appear, though the latter method could not be done
> remotely ...
> RedHat 7.3 automagically used the USB keyboard.
> These days I'm using the PS/2 ports via a KVM switch, so I have no idea
> if this is still a problem.

5.3 will work fine in multiuser mode once you have it installed.  The
problem is that a number of machines emulate enough of the AT keyboard
that we pick it up.  The flags are supposed to prevent attaching a
keyboard when none actually exists, but on some systems that don't work.
We actually have the flags set on the install media and it does help
some people.  Unfortunatly, these system with emulation are becoming
more and more common.  We should have a fix by 5.4.

-- Brooks

Any statement of the form "X is the one, true Y" is FALSE.
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