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all kinds of problems installing with IPMI serial-over-IP terminal

Hi Folks,

Not getting a lot of help on debian-user, so thought I might raise this here.

I've been trying to build a headless server, remotely, using the netboot installer (PXEboot) and a serial-over-ip terminal provided by the motherboard's (Supermicro X8SIE-LN4F) on-board IPMI BMC.

The thing is, that the serial terminal is rather crippled - some things seem to get recognized, others not (function keys are particularly problematic, though that might be the Mac term program).

I can get the installer to load and provide a boot prompt, and run a straight install (simple CR to the boot prompt), but... - can't use any kind of graphical interface or VT100 type interface - only supports straight ASCII, sort of - putting DEBIAN_FRONTEND=text into the kernal options (on the boot server) just results in the installer hanging - typing a CR to the boot prompt leads to a working installer, and when I get to the point of shifting to an SSH net console, all works fine, except as below (had to set priority=low in the kernal options for this)
- can't seem to escape to the shell, except via the menu
- the most serious issue is that it seems impossible to type anything at the boot prompt, except a CR, without the installer hanging
---- can't type boot options at the boot prompt
---- can't get into rescue mode - which is really problematic as I'm having some problems getting either grub or lilo to install properly -------- in this regard, I tried putting rescue/enable=true into the kernal options on the boot server, but it doesn't seem to be recognized

So... general comment that, at least in the stable version, the installer really doesn't support a basic remote serial terminal all that well.

More immediate HELP request: Any suggestions on how I can boot into rescue mode via the remote terminal?

Thanks very much,

Miles Fidelman

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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