Re: Headless install on LX164
Paul Slootman wrote:
> On Mon 06 Dec 1999, Adam C Powell IV wrote:
> > edited that, commenting out consoles 2-6 and switching tty1 to ttyS0 in the two versions of
> > Next problem: when I boot, it asks me for a root password! Rebooting with the rescue floppy
> That's because you're then on ttyS0, and that's not listed in
> /etc/securetty (which defines the terminals on which a root login is
> permitted). So add ttyS0 to that file.
Excellent, I thought there was something like this which I was missing.
> > So, next I try commenting out the login line, and uncommenting the getty line in
> > /etc/inittab. Trouble is, getty needs a baud rate, and both 38400 (default) and 115200 give
> > me garbage.
> You probably need a baudrate of 9600 ?
Bingo! (Couldn't figure out how to determine/set this on my ancient Tek 4207 :-)
Thank you all, everything is working beautifully now! Well, except the terminal errors due to
Tek/VT220 incompatibility, but I'm managing. I'll potatoize in the next couple of days, and see
how that goes, but don't expect any problems.
So, what have we learned?
* Serial console uses different keystrokes to configure AlphaBIOS (at least on LX164), e.g.
TAB to select in menus (instead of cursor up/down), ctrl-B to enter setup (instead of F2),
ctrl-U to save the OS configuration (instead of F10, and it's not apparent when one needs to
do this- at least on my screen).
* Serial console install requires a special ramdisk image with /dev/console linked to
/dev/ttyS0. Greg Johnson made such an image and put it at
* After install but before rebooting, one must edit /etc/inittab changing tty1 to ttyS0,
changing getty's baud rate to 9600, and commenting the lines which start getty on tty2-6.
Also, add ttyS0 to /etc/securetty so root can log in.
* Curiously, after the initial root login, instead of merely uncommenting the tty1 line,
Debian replaced all of the tty lines! So, I had to hard-reboot to the rescue floppy, fsck
the badly-unmounted partitions, and re-edit /etc/inittab. I suppose the alternative is just
to start with a getty on ttyS0 instead of the root login thing, but I don't know what will
happen after the initial root login, it may just do the same thing. The answer is probably
somewhere in the as-installed /root.
* The default Slink kernel seems to come without tulip driver, either built-in or as a module,
despite more-than-ample space on the drivers floppy. (Or else, for whatever reason, I get
the following messages on startup: "eth0: UNKNOWN at 0x8800 (PCI bus 0, device 5), h/w
address...\neth0: Cannot find correct chipset for SROM decoding!" It's worth noting that my
switch sees the tulip card as no-duplex under Northern (RedHat), and full duplex under
Debian Slink and Potato, even with identical (Northern 2.2.12) kernel and tulip module!)
Thank you all for your help, I hope this message will be helpful to future serial consolers on
Adam Powell http://lyre.mit.edu/~powell/
Thomas B. King Assistant Professor of Materials Engineering
77 Massachusetts Ave. Rm. 4-117 Phone (617) 452-2086
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA Fax (617) 253-5418