USB keyboards (and other usb devices?) failing at boot.



  • For reference, please see the trouble I got into in the OpenVPN thread:

    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=478.msg3920#msg3920

    It seems that if a USB keyboard is plugged in at boot time, pfSense will detect it, but you can't actually type anything.  The keyboard must be unplugged, and then plugged back in.  This doesn't do much for remote management abilities (I have a vnc capture card hooked to a bunch of systems giving me a remote vga console to the kvm).

    As you'll read, I've tried adding the appropriate info in /boot, but it doesn't appear to matter.  This has been shown to happen on Nexcom hardware, Hacom hardware, and now just a generic pfSense box I had deployed at a client site this evening, I was doing remote phone support when they rebooted the firewall and complained that they "lost keyboard".  Turns out it was a USB one.  Unplug, plug, and the keyboard is back.

    I'd be interested to hear any hypothesis as to what could be causing this.  From a keyboard perspective, we're really not running anything different from a stock FreeBSD 6 install, right?  Aside from forcing the default boot option to be FreeBSD with USB keyboard (which I don't think works either, I think I tried it), I'm running out of ideas.

    Thoughts?



  • We use the keyboard mux system.  There are  a few MFC's waiting to be put into place to correct some bugs.



  • Would the FreeBSD 6.1 release help this issue?  Take a look at the "What's New" section:

    http://www.freebsd.org/releases/6.1R/relnotes-i386.html



  • I've been using a generic usb keyboard on an intel 815 chipset and it's been working without a problem.



  • @Numbski:

    Would the FreeBSD 6.1 release help this issue?  Take a look at the "What's New" section:

    http://www.freebsd.org/releases/6.1R/relnotes-i386.html

    We have used this method for quite a while.  In fact 6+ months.



  • Erm…then why so many issues with USB keyboads then?  ???

    I guess I don't fully understand the issue.



  • @Numbski:

    Erm…then why so many issues with USB keyboads then?  ???

    I guess I don't fully understand the issue.

    No idea.  It works on all the systems I have tried it on.

    Patches accepted.



  • Nexcom and Hacom systems, along with a generic Compaq desktop all display the same symptoms….if the USB keyboard is plugged in at boot time, it will not work.  It must be unplugged, and then re-plugged in order to be used.  This makes it impossible to do remote KVM administration. :\

    Is this the expected behavior?  If not let me know.  I had dug into it before and was told not to worry about it as it was being worked on...



  • As for the nexcom I use a serial cable with enabled serial console at system>advanced which is connected to another server I manage remotely via RDP. As the nexcom even has the biosoutput at the serial console I can completely manage it this way. Besides of the redirected Bios this should also be an option for other systems and it even doesn't need a KVM.

    This is only a kind of "workaround" and no real solution to your problem or more or less a suggestion.



  • @Numbski:

    Nexcom and Hacom systems, along with a generic Compaq desktop all display the same symptoms….if the USB keyboard is plugged in at boot time, it will not work.  It must be unplugged, and then re-plugged in order to be used.  This makes it impossible to do remote KVM administration. :\

    Numbski - was it the same USB keyboard you used to test all those machines?  Have you tried another USB keyboard?
    Also in the BIOS look for an option like "Legacy USB" which basically emulates a PS/2 keyboard with the USB one.



  • Different USB keyboards.  I've messed with every USB option I could think of in the bios.  It's the same in every case, no difference.  The keyboard must be unplugged after the kernel is loaded and plugged back in to be used.


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