Tyan serial console - how?

David Mathog mathog at mendel.bio.caltech.edu
Tue Nov 5 15:36:51 EST 2002

I've been trying to get the Tyan serial console working
on our rack full of 2466 boards. So far only partial success.

I've tried this:

In the BIOS in the serial console section on node A set to:
on Board ComA, direct, 115200, none, vt100, on

In kermit on node B (linux) which will connect to A:
set line /dev/ttyS0
set speed 115200
set flow none
set watch-carrier off

Connect Com A of node A to Com A of node B with a null modem
cable (6ft).

Boot node A.

Node A comes up, there's a quick flash in the kermit window,
and it goes on to lilo/linux.  On the monitor also plugged into it
I can see that the quick flash corresponds to the first screen
of the boot sequence.  It was possible to get into BIOS setup by
tapping F2 continuously on  node A's keyboard from reset or
power up.  (By the time anything shows up on A's monitor it's
always too late to hit F2 :-(.)  I've tried hitting the "F2" key
in node B's kermit window, but the boot process ignores that and
goes right on to lilo and linux.

What must be typed in the serial console to break into the BIOS?

Once in the bios there are squares (single letter size "pixels")
dancing around the screen like "snow" on a TV.  Presumably the
serial line protocol isn't set up quite right.  What should it
have been?

Is it possible to use the serial console to break into a 
Tyan node which has locked up in linux?  By this, I mean
something similar to the Sun console or the VMS console,
where you can get in "underneath" the OS and force a
reboot without having to cycle the power or hit the reset switch.


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
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