December 15, 2008    



In general Intel console redirection sucks these days. Here are some things to try to resolve these issues.

Legacy Console Redirection

Some Intel motherboards have a setting called Legacy console redirection. By default this is disabled. The symptom for this is that the console works fine for BIOS and through the HDD identification, but the screen goes blank and appears to hang at the point where a network boot would begin. This means that the DHCP configuration data is not displayed as it should be, and the Linux Kickstart menu, if there is one, is not displayed.

To fix this, power cycle the box and enter BIOS configuration. Set Legacy console redirection to enabled.

Console Redirection with only Serial “B” present

Some current Intel boxes have only serial port B present. Serial port A is not installed or not routed to an external connector. This is stupid, but can (sometimes) be circumvented with the following procedure.

  1. Boot and enter BIOS configuration using a KVM
  2. Go to Advanced => Serial Port Configuration
  3. Disable Serial Port A.
  4. Configure Serial Port B for I/O Address 3F8 and IRQ 4
  5. Go to Server Management => Console Redirection
  6. Select Serial Port B for Console Redirection
  7. Set Legacy console redirection to Enabled (see above)

The idea is that BIOS Goes by Serial A or B while the OS (Linux) uses IRQ and I/O address. So we make Serial port B have the IRQ and I/O address of Serial A for Linux, and tell the BIOS that it is using Serial B for console.

Confused? Me too.



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