serial console for dummies?

Ken Stevenson ken at
Sun Jan 29 07:02:02 PST 2006

Scott I. Remick wrote:
> Hello... I'm trying to set up a serial console for watching console error
> messages while in X, but am having a real hard time getting my head around
> the concepts of what I need to do (and don't need to).
> I've seen but
> I'm not clear about how much of that applies to what I want to do, since
> it talks about setting it up for a headless system (no keyboard or
> monitor) and actually instructs you to remove the keyboard. I've also
> searched the mailing list archives but I've read a lot of conflicting
> info, much of which for different uses of the serial console than what I
> want to use it for, and I've now read back so far that I can't even be
> certain that the suggestions apply to FreeBSD 6.0. Ugh
> So is there someone who can give me a hand-held walk-through of just what
> I need to do to make this work? I'm running FreeBSD 6.0-RELEASE and live
> in X (Gnome) all the time. My intention here is to be able to see console
> messages (Errors) so when something dies (like X locking, which happens
> sometimes) I have a chance to see what the heck happened. I have an old
> 486 laptop I intend to use as the "dumb terminal", as well as the
> necessary null modem cable. I just need to know what to configure on my
> FreeBSD box so that console errors are mirrored to the serial port. Thanks!
I was trying to accomplish the same thing a couple weeks ago and 
somebody recommended the following:

touch /var/log/console.log

Edit /etc/syslog.conf and uncomment the line that begins with

Reboot (you might be able to just restart syslogd).

Ken Stevenson
Allen-Myland Inc.

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