I managed to do a serial console install of RH7 on a system without video
adapter and keyboard. I like to share my experience and report some problems.
In order to do a serial install you need to add an extra command to the
boot command. Instead of starting the installation process with 'text' on
the bootprompt, with a serial console installed on the first serial port
you need to type 'text serial=ttyS0'.
But....... in this case I didn't have a bootprompt on the serial line while
I didn't tell the system yet I wanted to do a serial line installation. And
if I had a normal console to type the command I didn't have a need to do a
serial line installation.
I found a solution in modifying the bootdisk on a different system. In the
file 'syslinux.cfg' I changed the line reading "append initrd=initrd.img
text" to "append initrd=initrd.img text serial=ttyS0" and the line "default
linux" to "default text". In this way the installation starts on the serial
line by default.
The actual installation process works exactly the same as a text
installation on a normal video console. No problems.
After the installation process I ran into another problem. Linux installs
virtual terminals on the video console by default (mingetty). However it
does not install a getty process on any serial line by default. So after
the installation process I had a perfectly working system (I presume). I
wasn't able to reach it though.
This is a real problem. For this one I haven't found a solution so far. People
from RedHat can you solve this problem. Can you make the installation
process that intelligent, that if it knows it is doing an installation over
a serial line, a getty-process is installed on that serial line. In general
make the installation process install a getty on the installation line, wether
it is the console or any other line.
Assigned to a QA engineer to reproduce.
your observations are correct!
1) for serial installs without a video adapter, the default redhat boot disk
will not work (you have to modify the syslinux cfg file like you did!)
2) /etc/inittab does not have support for a getty from the serial console
We have added these requests to our feature request list ... thanks for your report!
additionally, as a workaround for now, you may manually add getty support for
the serial console in /etc/inittab in two ways:
1) perform a kickstart instllation, and in the %post section list the commands
necessary to add the serial mgetty line
2) temporarily add a video adapter to the machine, perform an install as usual,
modify the /etc/inittab to add the serial mgetty line, then remove the video
I hope this helps you in your current situation!