No serial console input in loader

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No serial console input in loader

Postby anselm » 17 Aug 2010, 10:27

I have an Alix 2d2 board from pcengines.ch with one serial port. When I boot I have input and output on the serial console during all stages of the boot process, from BIOS to the tty login prompt, except in the loader menu. There I can see all output but whatever key I press I cannot interrupt the counter or escape to the prompt. The annoying thing is that when I have some bad configuration in loader.conf the boot stops and there's nothing I can do to manually fix it in the loader or the emergency prompt. I have to remove the compact flash card and mount and fix it from another system.

This is on a 8.1-RELEASE on i386. I installed /boot/pmbr and /boot/gptboot into a GPT partitioned CF card and the root filesystem is a UFS. in /boot/loader.conf I configured console and comconsole_speed.

Beside that problem the serial console works perfectly.

Any ideas on that? Thanks.
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Postby SirDice » 17 Aug 2010, 11:12

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Postby anselm » 17 Aug 2010, 17:53

That's what I did. I followed the terse version, since boot.config only applies if you have BSD labels. I tried my custom kernel, the generic kernel, different speeds, two different boards of the exactly the same hardware ... still nothing.

I remember this worked in 7.2, although the input was sometimes chopped off in the loader and some keys I had to type twice.
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Postby anselm » 17 Aug 2010, 18:48

Could it have anything to do with the fact I'm using pmbr and gptboot? Or should the loader itself provide the necessary code for the serial console?

What's about the recent switch from the sio driver to uart? It's just in the kernel, so the loader shouldn't be affected, although the kernel is loaded into memory before the loader menu.
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Postby anselm » 18 Aug 2010, 19:01

Hmmm .... so I was wrong in one point. When I set kernel= to some non-existent path in /boot/loader.conf, the loader fails and escapes to the command prompt. Then the serial input works. But it still doesn't work in the beastie loader menu.

I guess my serial console configuration must be okay. Maybe a bug in the loader ... And I still have the problem that about every tenth character in the loader command prompt is swallowed and I have to type the key twice.
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Postby anselm » 19 Aug 2010, 19:08

So the only way this works for me is to disable the beastie menu and then press and hold a key very early during boot. Either the autoboot delay must be long enough or I have to press the key before the autoboot starts when the kernel is still being loaded. That's the only way I'm able to interrupt the autoboot.

Just in case there is still somebody reading my monologue here ... ;-)
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Postby egeltje » 14 Sep 2010, 07:03

Hi anselm,

I just created an account to say thank you for your monologue. :-)
This helped me a great deal in installing and configuring on the 2D13 board.
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