USB console or other alternatives

Doug Lee dgl at
Thu Apr 26 21:38:13 UTC 2007

On Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 04:24:23PM -0400, Lowell Gilbert wrote:
> Doug Lee <dgl at> writes:
> > On Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 11:14:26AM -0400, Lowell Gilbert wrote:
> >> What do you hook up to that serial port, anyway?
> >
> > A desktop Windows machine with a serial port, until said machine
> > suddenly ceased to function entirely.  Now it would be a laptop
> > with a USB-to-serial adapter except the one I bought also seems
> > unwilling to function.  I tend to run short of PCMCIA slots for
> > such things on my laptop, my one-and-only PCMCIA slot being occupied
> > pretty permanently by an EVDO card.
> So the problem is a lack of serial ports on your laptop "terminal",
> not on the FreeBSD machine?  That sounds easier to work around than
> the other way around.

Lack of serial ports on laptop yes; the FreeBSD hardware hasn't been
chosen yet, but I predicted difficulty getting a modern machine with a
serial port.  Perhaps not.

> There are some other possibilities, but I don't think they will work
> as early in the boot process.  I *think* you can use a USB serial port
> as a console, but the loader doesn't seem to understand it.  There's
> also dcons(4), but that needs firewire, and I don't know if that knows
> how to talk to anything on a Windows machine.

I predicted the USB problem you mention.  I have firewire on this
laptop but I've never tried to use it.

Doug Lee                 dgl at        
SSB + BART Group         doug.lee at
"There are no guarantees.  From a standpoint of fear, none are
strong enough.  From a standpoint of love, none are necessary."
- from Emmanuel's Book II

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