Serial port flaky when using vi - Netra 1 T 105

Richard Coleman richardcoleman at
Mon Dec 22 12:21:17 PST 2003

Phillips, Paul wrote:

> I have been installing FreeBSD 5.2 beta on a Netra T1 105.  This is a
> headless server, and I am using a Mac Powerbook running Zterm as a
> VT100 terminal emulator.  The settings on Zterm are 8-N-1.
> In the past, I have used Zterm on this Netra to install Solaris with
> no troubles.
> The actual booting up and install works fine.  However, post install,
> when I am running the console through the serial port, and attempt to
> use vi as an editor, it becomes very flaky.  The h, j, k, and l keys
> do not work to move the cursor.  The down and up arrow keys do work,
> but only if I move them VERY slowly.  When I use the left and right
> arrow keys, it starts to write over the line that I am moving over
> with different text from somewhere else in the file.
> Very strange.  This makes editing from the serial port virtually
> impossible.  Luckily, I can get it installed, then ssh in and do the
> edits.
> Anyone have any ideas? Thanks Paul Phillips

I also have a Netra T1 105.  I install over serial using minicom (from a 
laptop running NetBSD).  Minicom has a default terminal type of vt102.

After I've installed the new kernel and rebooted into single user mode, 
the first thing I do is "TERM=vt102; export TERM".  This cleans up some 
of the problems.  I'm able to use vim at this point.

But when mergemaster runs the pager on a big diff, the terminal still 
gets really screwed up.  It makes it difficult to see what I'm doing. 
So to counteract this, I also type the command "PAGER=/bin/cat; export 
PAGER" before running mergemaster.  Although I can't page through big 
diffs any longer, I can still read the screen enough to finish my install.

I always thought it was a minicom problem, so I never said anything. 
But it sounds like something else is broken.

Richard Coleman
richardcoleman at

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