USB console or other alternatives

Doug Lee dgl at
Wed Apr 25 14:18:14 UTC 2007

I'm one of these guys running FreeBSD 4.11 on very old hardware (a
Pentium 166, specifically), and I want to upgrade to FreeBSD 6 or 7
soon but with new hardware.  Being blind, I need to use something
other than the video card for a console.  I've been using a serial
console for a long time, but serial ports are getting scarce.  I need
the console to become active during the boot sequence in case of
problems, as it can with a serial console.  As I did with FreeBSD 3
and 4, I will also want to activate this console during FreeBSD
installation if possible, so I don't have to have someone else be here
when I install it.

Can modern hardware and a modern FreeBSD version provide console
access before the kernel loads via USB or via anything other than an
actual on-board or PCI serial port?

Please Cc answers.  Thanks very much for any info.

Doug Lee                 dgl at        
SSB + BART Group         doug.lee at
"Innovation is hard to schedule." -- Dan Fylstra

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