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F.4. Installation from a Serial Console

Most SPARC users have grown accustomed to being able to install an OS using a serial line as the console. Linux/SPARC provides this facility as well.

The installation mechanisms I know about at this time all support the use of vt100 terminals only. When you boot the installer for your favorite distribution, it will automatically figure out if you have booted it on a serial console, and it will use whatever is appropriate for the installation procedure.

The installer will assume that if you installed the machine using a serial console, you will use the serial console for the running system. That is to say, if you install using a serial console, and then hook up a monitor and graphics card for the first boot, it won't work.

This does not mean you cannot change back to a framebuffer console from a serial one, and vice versa, after installation. A special shell script exists specifically for this purpose, called setconsole. Here are some sample uses:

setconsole ttya

This will use the first serial line as the console.

setconsole ttyb

This will use the second serial line as the console.

setconsole video

Use the graphics card as the console.

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