Second virtual console missing in SuSE-installation

Second virtual console missing in SuSE-installation

Post by Pekka Aleksanteri Jussil » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00

I'd be grateful for some help regarding the SuSE Linux 6.1
installation boot diskette. My problem is that I cannot seem to be
able to use the second virtual console, only the one with the
menu-based installation program. The cursor blinks in the second
virtual console, but nothing else shows/happens. Third and fourth
virtual console display log and error messages. I cannot, however, use
them for input.

I have previously installed the same OS into two machines, one 486
desktop from LAN using FTP and one Pentium host directly from CD-ROM.
Both of these installations went well even without the second virtual
console (however, it was not there in either of the cases). Now I have
tried to install the same OS to a 486-laptop with only 8MB of RAM.
NFS-installation would work (network connection via a D-Link PCMCIA
network card works and the client can find the required files from the
server), but the installation program starts at some point complaining
about having too little memory and tells me to arrange some swap space
for it. I cannot do this since I don't have the second console for
giving the required commands.

Thus, I'd need to know:

1. Has anyone else but me noticed that the second virtual console
   does not exist?

2. How could I get the second console into use? I thought that perhaps
   the SuSE installation diskette has by accident a kernel image without
   support for virtual consoles, so I made a customised installation
   diskette (see below).

3. Are there any ways to get swap space into use without giving
   commands mkswap and swapon on the command line (I can manipulate the
   hard disk before installation, since I have an ages old ramdisk
   boot diskette, with all necessary commands for this, such as fdisk,
   using which I have already created a swap partition on the hard disk)?

I have tried the following:

(a) I tried to give kernel parameters upon boot, such as setting
    /dev/tty2 as a console, but with no results.

(b) I made a boot image, ensuring that virtual consoles are supported
    and prepared a custom installation diskette using that, but the
    result was the same as with the original diskette.

(c) I tried many other things, such as waking up the secod virtual
    console using different key combinations. They didn't help either.

The installation diskette contains the following files:
initdisk.gz      (loaded before loading the kernel)
linux            (image, which I have thus once replaced)
syslinux.cfg     (seems like lilo configuration)

When I once during one of the previous installations asked from the
SuSE installation support about how could I give commands while the
menu-based installation system was running, I was asked to press
Alt+F2 to make the second virtual console appear. As I told that I had
tried that, but the second console was empty (I cannot see anything
but the blinking cursor and there is no reaction to pressing keys),
they said that it does not seem to be in use and that for them it
works, so they cannot really help any further...
I cannot see this problem mentioned on their support database on the
Web, either.

Thanks for any suggestions.

- Pekka Aleksanteri