SUMMARY: serial port as console on x86

From: John Ebert (
Date: Fri Sep 01 1995 - 13:48:30 CDT

About a week ago I posted a request for help configuring Solaris
2.4 x86 to use a serial port as the console. I asked for responses
by E-mail and promised to summarize. I received no responses to
that request.

In the meantime, I have not been idle.

On page 48 of "Solaris 2.4 Open Issues and Late-Breaking News",
under the x86 Utility Bug, "System panics appear as hung OpenWindows
on console", it says that the process for equipping the system with
a serial terminal to act as the console is detailed in "Writing
Device Drivers". I haven't tracked down a copy of that manual
yet, but if someone else has it maybe they could check and see if
it really says how to do it.

I also discovered that we're paying a VAR for Solaris support, so I
asked them about this. They said they thought it was possible and
suggested configuring a terminal on the serial port, removing the
graphics adapter and keyboard, and rebooting. They thought Solaris
would notice the graphics adapter was gone when it booted up and
use the serial port instead. I tried it, but it didn't work.
The boot parameters screen does comes up on the serial terminal, but
when Solaris itself tries to start, it complains that the integral
keyboard is not connected and hangs. So it recognizes that the
graphics console is gone, but it doesn't know what to do about it.
Doing a reconfiguration boot results in the same hang.

I'm going on vacation next week, but when I get back, I'll talk to
our VAR again and see if I can get a definitive answer. Maybe I'll
try to find a copy of "Writing Device Drivers". If I figure
it out, I'll let you all know.

John Ebert <> The Ohio Company, Columbus, Ohio USA

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