Serial port flaky when using vi - Netra 1 T 105

Small, Jim jim.small at
Mon Dec 22 16:20:21 PST 2003

I've seen this too.  Besides setting the terminal correctly, I've found that
if I set the columns and rows correctly it seems to fix the problem.

For example:
I use an xterm on a UNIX host and then connect via serial connection (tip).
Once the O/S is up and running I use ssh.  Either way though it's similar:
Assuming default of csh:
setenv TERM xterm
stty rows 48 columns 132

Once I do this, vi/more/less seem to work correctly.  You just need to enter
the correct row and column size.  On the UNIX host you're connecting from,
you can do an stty -a to get these parameters.

   <> Jim

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Coleman [mailto:richardcoleman at]
> Sent: Monday, December 22, 2003 3:22 PM
> To: Phillips, Paul
> Cc: freebsd-sparc64 at
> Subject: Re: Serial port flaky when using vi - Netra 1 T 105
> 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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