serial console: LILO+getty ok, kernel not ok

serial console: LILO+getty ok, kernel not ok

Post by Alexis Huxle » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00

Hi, I've got a Debian 2.2 (potato test) installation running 2.2.14.
I'm trying to get a serial line configured as the console on a very
old 486DX2/50.


        added 'serial = 1,9600n8' to the global section of lilo.conf.

        added 'append = "console=ttyS1,9600n8"' to the relevent kernel
        paragraph of lilo.conf.

        uncommented the 'T1' entry in /etc/inittab in order to start
        a getty on the appropriate serial line.

        made a new kernel with console on serial line support:

                root# grep SERIAL .config
                # CONFIG_SERIAL_EXTENDED is not set
                # CONFIG_SERIAL_NONSTANDARD is not set

        rerun lilo, removed /etc/ and rebooted.

What I see is this:

        The 'LILO boot:' prompt appears on the VGA console and on the
        serial console, then I get something like 'uncompressing
        kernel'. (So the part of the lilo.conf relating to lilo
        itself is functional.)

        The kernel messages do *not* appear on the serial console :-(
        instead I get a gentle non-stop stream of backwards question
        marks :-( No matter how long I wait this is all I get.

        The VGA console gets the messages but with some bits missing -
        e.g. the names of the modules being loaded appear, but when the
        'ne' module gets loaded for the NE2000 NIC, I don't get the
        '(C) Donald Becker ... IRQ ... IO ...' stuff appearing.

        The getty starts and I get a log in prompt.

I've referred again to the Serial-HOWTO and to
Documentation/serial-console.txt in the kernel sources, and to Debian-
specific mailing lists and I cannot see anything wrong in what I've

If I comment out the 'append' line then there is no problem; I can
interact with lilo before the kernel gets called, and I can use the
getty when it starts up, but the kernel messages don't appear of course.

Has anybody any ideas why the kernel fails to send its messages to the
serial console when both lilo and getty can do it? I would have thought
this indicated an error in the 'append' but I can't see it.

Many thanks!


Incidentally, when I was making the kernel I wound up making it twice.
Which of 'make mrproper' and 'make depend' do I need to do the *second*
time round? (Having made a change to the .config, one would thing the
Makefiles would successfully minimise what has to be rebuilt, but I
seem to always get the make bombing out unless I clean right up and
start again (having saved the .config)).

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