Bug 180493

Summary: [handbook] Single-user mode console confusion
Product: Documentation Reporter: ahamiltonwright
Component: DocumentationAssignee: freebsd-doc (Nobody) <doc>
Status: Open ---    
Severity: Affects Only Me    
Priority: Normal    
Version: Latest   
Hardware: Any   
OS: Any   

Description ahamiltonwright 2013-07-12 15:30:00 UTC
I have these lines in /boot/loader.conf in order to enable a sometimes-installed serial console device:


A side effect of these lines is that entering single-user mode produces a prompt only on the external console.  This was extremely confusing when attempting to boot single-user, as all messages prior to the single-user prompt are produced on the vid terminal (and on the external console), however at the moment that single-user mode is entered, the mirroring ceases.  While it is now clear what happened, the effect is that single-user mode appears to be unavailable.

I have no /boot.config file that would indicate which console is meant to be used for messages.


I would suggest adding some text to the handbook page "Setting up the Serial Console"

Currently, these page makes no comment regarding single-user mode whatsoever.  Informing the user that configuring the console may well have repercussions on entry to single-user mode will lessen confusion in the future.

 I would therefore suggest adding the following text into section 26.6.6 "Setting up the Console from the Boot Loader", subsection "Setting Up the Serial Console":

Note that entry to single-user mode will only honour input on one console, even if multiple consoles are indicated using the <tt>console</tt> boot option.  Care must be taken that the first named console is available to the system manager entering single-user mode.

I will note that the first sentence in this section "The boot loader and the kernel to use the serial console can be specified by writing one line in /boot/loader.conf" seems very poorly written -- I do not understand what this line is attempting to say.

Additionally, there is already a section "26.6.7 Caveats"; a note here indicating possible effects on single-user boot would probably not go amiss.
How-To-Repeat: Add these lines to /boot/loader.conf, attempt to boot single user.
Comment 1 Eitan Adler freebsd_committer freebsd_triage 2017-12-31 08:00:55 UTC
For bugs matching the following criteria:

Status: In Progress Changed: (is less than) 2014-06-01

Reset to default assignee and clear in-progress tags.

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