Serial console menu stoppes working after a while

  • After a while the serial console menu stoppes working (ALIX board). After that I have the prompt and can enter commands as I like.

    Top brings the following:
    last pid: 60670;  load averages:  0.03,  0.04,  0.01    up 0+15:17:23  10:49:16
    35 processes:  1 running, 31 sleeping, 1 stopped, 2 zombie
    CPU:  2.7% user,  0.0% nice,  3.5% system,  0.0% interrupt, 93.8% idle
    Mem: 39M Active, 16M Inact, 28M Wired, 4K Cache, 28M Buf, 156M Free

    There is 1 stopped and 2 zombie processes????
    The Firewall is still working, SSH menu and WebGui still there…

    Forgot: pfSense-1.2.3-RELEASE-2g-nanobsd.img.gz is the image I have installed.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Sure you didn't leave the console at a shell prompt when you disconnected?

    The serial console will stay wherever you left it when you disconnect.

  • Yes, I'm shure. It dies after about 3-4 hours. Reboot was at Jun 14 14:15:05

    Out of the log:
    Jun 14 14:16:30 login: login on console as root
    Jun 14 16:57:43 login: login on console as root
    Jun 14 19:39:33 login: login on console as root
    Jun 14 20:14:45 login: login on console as root

    Now there is no log entry anymore from the console…

    When I re-conncect to the serial console I press <enter>for updating the menu. But I'll get this as answer:
    öýJþ: not found

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    What happens if you type "exit"?

    That random data when you reconnect looks odd. I bet there is some serial noise happening when you reconnect and it's somehow crashing the menu (which shouldn't happen)

  • After exit:
    You have stopped jobs.

    (There is one stopped job in TOP, no zombies this time)

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    That really does sound like something is writing randomly to the serial port. ctrl-Z would suspend jobs. Try typing "fg"

  • Entering exit twice "helps". The the menu shows up again.

    But I'm interested what job was stopped, as I have problems with the DHCP on the WAN interface.
    I did yesterday a fresh install, but this diodn't solve the problems.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    It sounds more like a hardware issue, either with the serial port on the unit or the serial cable/port on the client PC. You should not see any random data on the line when you connect/disconnect.

    If you want to know more about the stopped job, read up on shell job control:

  • I removed yesterday the serial cable from my computer and pluged it today again. The menu showed up after pushing "Enter".
    So probably my new computer is writing something to the serial port…

    But what can cause a stop of the menu on the serial port?

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    It's hard to say what might be causing the stop. A shell script isn't really intended to take binary input directly from the console, but it maybe could be handled in a more graceful manner.

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