Linux, Technical

Install Red Hat via Serial Console

This is an easy problem, but Googling the answer didn’t immediately return a great solution.

I want to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux via serial console. How to set that up? Red Hat says how. Hook up a keyboard / monitor, and at the boot prompt, enter:

linux text console=ttyS0

Now, I have to figure out what driver to load to get the system running on my Marvell SATA controller, but if you have a running (Fedora) system, you can configure serial console by editing /boot/grub/grub.conf:

  1. Comment out the splashimage directive
  2. Add the serial and terminal lines, seen in bold
  3. Add the console argument to the kernel, mind the \ on the line before

Your grub.conf will look something like this: (changes in bold)

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE:  You have a /boot partition.  This means that
#          all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
#          root (hd0,0)
#          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sda2
#          initrd /initrd-version.img
serial --unit=0 --speed=9600
terminal --timeout=5 serial console
title Fedora Core (2.6.9-1.667smp)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-1.667smp ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet \
        initrd /initrd-2.6.9-1.667smp.img
title Fedora Core-up (2.6.9-1.667)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-1.667 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
        initrd /initrd-2.6.9-1.667.img

The neat thing is that at least Fedora will notice this change when you boot, and offer to configure the /etc/ttys and whatnot for you.

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Categories: Linux, Technical

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