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Bug#524666: installation-guide: Document the use of TERM= for serial consoles

On Sunday 19 April 2009, Samuel Thibault wrote:
> Frans Pop, le Sun 19 Apr 2009 00:08:37 +0200, a écrit :
> > Is this really useful given that D-I only supports ansi, bterm, linux
> > and vt102 (for a default install that is and AFAICT)?
> That's already much better than only dumb emulation.

AFAICT D-I only actually sets dumb for s390 (rootskel). Where do you see 
this and where does that come from?

If I start the regular installer and switch to VT2 I get:
# echo $TERM

Is dumb maybe the Linux default for serial console?
Not that I can see because if I boot an armel image over sercon from 
minicom I get TERM=vt102, which matches the minicom setting and thus 
seems to have a sane default.
Though if I change minicom to use ansi, I still get vt102. Adding the boot 
parameter TERM=ansi does change things a bit, but not enough to be called 
an improvement.

With TERM=vt102:
lqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqu Generating SSH host key tqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqk
x                                                                     x

With TERM=ansi:
����������������������Ĵ Generating SSH host key ����������������������ÿ
�                                                                     �

> > That would at the very least need to be documented as well,
> Agreed.

Please provide an improved proposed patch.

> That makes using arrows & such work while with dumb emulation you are
> mostly out of luck.  IIRC that also makes non-ASCII characters work.

When exactly is this needed? In which concrete cases would a user get what 
improvement? Is that actually important during an installation (keep in 
mind that a lot of sercon installs will switch to network-console pretty 
quickly anyway)?

> > Even then it seems to me that a more logical choice would be to have
> > D-I set a better default in cases where the current default is not
> > optimal (through the /lib/debian-installer(-startup).d scripts).
> Mmm, how can it detect whether a full-fledged linux terminal or a dumb
> terminal is used?

No idea. My knowledge of terminal stuff is close to zero.
How will the *user* know that he can/should select a different TERM and 
which one to use?

Please provide more context than you're doing currently. This has to be 
useful for *regular* users, not only for users who already know they 
might need a different terminal type and how to set things up correctly 
on their host system and in their terminal emulator.

If this is in fact specific to accessibility, then please document it as 

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