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SubjectRe: Q: Serial Console Patch?

In' own words (And I ">_") :
> Hi there,
> I just read the notes about the serial console patch ... and I've a few more
> questions:
Well, I have a little I'd like to say on it too :

I'm currently setting up remote servers at sites that I don't have easy
access to nor intelligent life forms nearby. To make matters worse, I only
get a small amount of space and am using a special rack mount computer, power
cycling device and terminal server. I'm supposed to do alot of administration

Making kernel changes is the scariest thing in the world for me. I'm
afraid some day I'll make a bad mistake on a kernel that will prevent the
system from booting. When this happens, I'll be in BAD shape. So, what I'm
looking for is the following. Please forgive references to other UN*Xs and

On IBM A*X systems, when it boots it broadcasts a message "Press <F1> on
the console". If you press it on any device, the console or any serially
attached device, the system changes that to the console. If nothing is
pressed, it remains with serial0.

I would LOVE that ability. This way, if something failed, the next time
the system booted (I'd have to cycle power), I could use the terminal server
to reverse telnet to the port and when I saw the message pop up before
the warm/fuzzy LILO one, I could gain control and fall back to another

Now, a friend of mine came up with another scenerio. Lets say LILO gets a
"fallback" kernel and parameter name/list (This could be just another entry).
When LILO runs, it checks to see if the last boot was ok. If so, it continues
normal operation. If not, it does a "fallback" entry. After the system
totally boots, we could then mark something to say "boot done". This
again could save my skin.

What I don't want to see, and what I think the serial console patch is,
is that the serial port is ALWAYS the console.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone else, especially ISP minded, that
thinks this is something worth while. I've CC'd the author of LILO, and
I hope he doesn't mind, to see what his take on it is. Please see if he
replies before cc'ing him again, unless you have a better idea!

Thanks, Tuc
Scott J. Ellentuch, The Telecom Security Group/TTSG, Newburgh, NY
Visit our Web Site at

"Over the UUCP link, out the ethernet, through the media converter, down
the fiber, off a router, down the 56K, past my ISP...nothing but Net" -
with poetic license from Dave Owen of IBM

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