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serial console install issues

Hi all,

I'm commenting here partly because I don't know which bit of software is at fault for each problem ...

I have a PCEngines APU4, which has a serial port and no video hardware.

I'm using a USB-serial adapter, with a null-modem cable.

I'm using a Buster netinst USB stick - 10.1 I think - according to the cdrom lines in sources.list

My first issue was that xfce4-terminal (by default) traps F10, which I needed for the Coreboot/Seabios boot menu, but I've since discovered that's an option in the preferences. I got around that initially by using xterm.

My first try was with minicom. It connected ok, but it appeared the arrow keys weren't working, and the line drawing characters weren't displaying correctly either.

When I discovered screen acts as a serial terminal, that behaved rather better (colour, and nice line drawing characters), but still problems with arrows.

Then finally, I can't remember how, I discovered that it didn't like displaying on a 24-line terminal, which most of the terminals I tried default to.

With a 25-line terminal, it all seems useable - and Minicom mostly displays it ok too (not quite right; the blue box isn't quite drawn properly, and seems too low on the screen?

It then took me some time to realise that I needed to both add console=ttyS0,115200n8 at the end of the kernel line, and apparently remove the 'vga=xxx' part earlier in the line. I guess it's not possible for SysLinux to detect that?

Anyway, as I say I'm not sure whether the issues are in the terminal emulation (either the xterm or comms program), or in the menu system (is that SysLinux?) or somewhere else, or whether the mismatch in number of lines inevitably causes problems.

I hope this isn't to vague :-)


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