Console display in UEFI/EFI boot



  • So I mentioned in another post that I can't see many of the pfSense startup messages when my box is rebooting... I see all the kernel messages as drivers load and initialize, but pfSense messages about interfaces being configured and services being started, package updates on upgrade, etc. are not visible. Eventually the pfSense console menu appears.

    I noticed when booting that there was a message about an invalid console... finally got a picture of it last night. The message is...

    ...
    Loading /boot/defaults/loader.conf
    console vidconsole is invalid!
    Available consoles:
        efi
        comconsole
        nullconsole
        spinconsole
    

    then the kernel messages all appear, and eventually the console menu.

    What's weird is that, like everything else unusual I've experienced with this originally clean 2.4.4 install, it didn't start out that way. I actually originally saw the pfSense logo and the whole boot sequence... but something must have updated or something that caused it to not work that way anymore, leading to what I see now.

    Any thoughts on how to get things appearing as expected?

    Edit to add: Ok... so I did a little digging... I see that /boot/loader.conf actually specified comconsole,vidconsole for the console types... I took those out and put in efi in their place and rebooted... that got me to see the pfSense logo and boot menu, but after that, I still only saw the kernel messages as drivers loaded, until the console menu appeared. I suppose I can keep trying the others and see what happens... comconsole alone was a bit different than when it was also present with vidconsole... but with both efi and comconsole, after the screen cleared and went to a high-white text, all I see is kernel messages until the console menu, which shows up in the normal low white color.



  • So a clean install seems to get me the desired boot visual... the pfSense boot menu followed by the kernel messages AND the other messages. It seems like installing a package or something is changing things, as a reboot after installing the packages causes it to go to kernel messages only. Fortunately my package list is small (only 6) so shouldn’t be hard to see which one is doing it. I’ll look at that tonight.



  • Well, very weird... a clean install, a restore of my config and reinstall of packages (automatically after restoring config), and now three reboots later the console is still displaying everything like it should on boot... I see the pfSense boot menu, the kernel messages, and the other status messages as things start up. Not sure if something changed in the snapshots between what I downloaded Thursday night and what I downloaded this morning, but it seems to be working as expected now...



  • Got it figured out... comconsole is likely sending the pfSense boot menu and other status messages to the serial port... when I disable the serial port in my system's BIOS, the messages all appear on the monitor. Not a bad idea, I suppose, if I actually had a serial port to connect to! The motherboard has a header for one, but didn't include a ribbon cable or anything for it.

    And this is what I get moving my config from a serial console box to a VGA console box... duh. :) In the Advanced settings, the serial console was selected as the default. Sorry 'bout my stupidity on this one!