n00b question regarding installation via serial console

Jonathan McKeown j.mckeown at ru.ac.za
Fri Jun 5 07:42:10 UTC 2009

On Thursday 04 June 2009 17:28:56 Tim Judd wrote:
> On 6/4/09, Wojciech Puchar <wojtek at wojtek.tensor.gdynia.pl> wrote:
> >> Hello list,
> >>
> >> Is it possible to boot into the serial console from the installation
> >> CD, or must boot.flp be used as per
> >
> > make your own CD
> >
> > add file boot.config containing just one line:
> >
> > -P
> >
> > to existing, make sure you it's bootable (mkisofs -b boot/cdboot
> > -no-emul-boot) and record
> >
> > refer to
> >
> > man boot.config

Unless things have changed since I last did this, this isn't going to work. 
First of all, the CD boot process doesn't pick up the boot.config. Secondly, 
many motherboards use a BIOS which causes the -P test to fail.

What you can do is create boot/loader.conf on the CD image containing


> Sure that's enough?  ttys is still going to mark the ttyd0 line as
> "off" and won't present a tty/login then.

Yes, it is. You don't need a login for an installation. You do need to make 
sure you enable the correct serial port (usually ttyd0, as you point out) 
in /etc/ttys before you reboot at the end of the installation.

> I think it's more complicated than that.  And what if the boot process
> hangs for some reason?  no console output either by your solution.

It's not an ideal process (particularly since the serial console only cuts in 
at a very late stage). One day I will make time to sit down and work out how 
to do it properly on a CD.


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