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New Good god
It's impossible to do a decent linux install using a serial interface. That's just broken.
New Do we dare ask?
New Even Debian's text install?
If so, I'll have to test that.
"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." --Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
New Didn't try Debian.
As in vanilla Debian. From the docs, it looks like it's probably the best of the lot, but compared to say the Solaris install, it's all badly broken.

The problem isn't the actual text part of the install; it's that you end up having to blind-type the serial parameters at the right part of the boot. You do it by adding it to the end of the boot prompt: "text console=ttyS0,9600n8" in the case of the machines we're using here. You have to just know when to do it (because when it switches to the boot splash screen, it flips into graphic mode but will still accept input from the serial port but not echo it back to the serial port). If you typo it, well, basically you need to drop back to the machine's PS computer (ILOM in the case of Sun PC hardware) and reboot and do it again.

Company policy has been that install media's always left in the CD drives of production machines. This is because if one of them gets rooted, we can still go in out of band via its serial interface and initiate a new install on the machine, without having to drive the three hours from our offices in Kingston to the data centre. This matters because we're working in the telecom industry and being able to save that time matters. It doesn't look like it's going to be possible with the linux boxen.

I would think that if the install program detects an active serial port (could check the DCD or DTR line to see if they're connected) then it could start a process to handle the i/o for each one it detects and if one of them gets used to start things up, could just connect the text installer to it so you could get it going on that way.

New Is PXEBoot an option?
I don't know enough about this stuff, but it sounds like a potentially better solution.


HTH a little. Good luck!

     Recommendations of linux distros - (jake123) - (18)
         Do you require 3rd party software? - (crazy)
         crazy makes sense. - (Another Scott) - (1)
             Concur - (scoenye)
         depends on mnagement - (boxley) - (2)
             Third option: - (pwhysall) - (1)
                 exactly, get the app you need then ask what it runs on -NT - (boxley)
         You know where I typically stand, but... - (folkert) - (1)
             Yeah - (jake123)
         I use all AWS these days - (malraux) - (2)
             Yeah, we're going to use that - (jake123) - (1)
                 If that's the case... - (malraux)
         Okay, thanks for all the input guys - (jake123) - (1)
             Sounds like my laptop - (drook)
         Good god - (jake123) - (4)
             Do we dare ask? -NT - (Another Scott)
             Even Debian's text install? - (folkert) - (2)
                 Didn't try Debian. - (jake123) - (1)
                     Is PXEBoot an option? - (Another Scott)

We're not surrounded, we're in a target-rich environment!
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