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Bug#255330: Install report: MVME162

wouter wrote:
> Some notes I wrote down as I was performing the installation:
> * Choosing Dutch as installer language will hang the installer at the point
>   where a hostname has to be chosen (hence the "E" at network configuration,
>   although it isn't the network configuration udeb at fault). The reason is
>   probably some non-ASCII characters being sent to the console, which modifies
>   terminal setup in ways it shouldn't.
>   As a possible way to resolve this issue, I suggested on IRC to disable
>   langchooser when we're working on a serial console. Both Christian Perrier and
>   Martin Michlmayr seemed to welcome this suggestion.

As a short term solution, yes. OTOH, vt102 and above support latin1, so
fixing the real bug is generally preferable.

> * I got a "mount: /dev/pts: no such file or directory" or similar message before
>   the initial appearance of the main menu. Not sure whether or not it's
>   harmless, but it should be looked into.

IIRC 2.2 kernels don't use it, but 2.4/2.6 do.

> * Most VME systems, including mine, only have a serial console to work with. As
>   a result, I got these messages all through the base-config:
>   INIT: id "2" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
>   INIT: id "3" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
>   Moreover, after base-config was completed (and the "full" /etc/inittab was
>   installed), I didn't have *anything* anymore; the installed inittab assumes
>   tty1 through tty6 are available. I had to ssh in and change the inittab to be
>   able to log in at the console.
>   Perhaps base-config should configure an inittab that has a getty on a serial
>   port if we're configuring through a serial console.

IIRC this is done by prebaseconfig, with help from kbd-config (it works
for mips).

> * baseconfig-udeb didn't work. Rebooting the system and configuring it that way
>   was required.
> * "Configure timezone" main-menu option in base-config didn't work.
> * "Configure the keyboard" shouldn't be there on a serial console.

It should default to "No Keyboard".

> In short, the support for serial consoles isn't well tested and should be
> improved a lot. At the moment, some udebs test whether we're working on a serial
> console and handle it appropriately, but it's all done inconsistently, and the
> physical test whether we're running on serial consoles is done a few times.

Once in rootskel, once in kbd-config, and once in some bootloader-installers
to find the correct parameters. We should have a serial-support udeb which
runs before lowmem and checks the serial parameters as well.


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