No boot without graphics card (?)



  • hi,

    i had a pfsense 2.1.5 box up and running headless without any graphicscard without problems (amd FX-8320E, intel nics, usb stick as boot media)
    after the upgrade to 2.2 it simply wont boot without any graphicscard installed, no ping nothing. i saw the usb lighting up as it loaded the kernel but thats it. when i inserted a pcie graphicscard it will boot just fine. the usb delay in the config is set up (else it wouldnt even boot with graphicscard)

    anyone experience the same and/or knows a fix?


  • Netgate Administrator

    You're running a Nano image on the usb stick? Are you running 64bit?

    Steve



  • im running a regular install (pfSense-LiveCD-2.1-RELEASE-amd64-20130911-1816 was it originally) which got updated through the time, yes it 64bit and i never had problems with it. it feels strange to me that the lack of a simple graphicscard wont boot the os (not only the nics as a press on the power button shuts it down instantly (acpi didnt load i guess) whereas if booted with graphicscard the shutdown routine will shut it down just fine. i just ordered a cheap simple passive gt 210 but for the time there is a spare gaming graphicscard inside gerating heat und consuming power (350w power supply yey)


  • Netgate Administrator

    I forget exactly where this applied but it seem relevant here. In 2.2 there is only one kernel for 64bit versions and it does both serial and VGA consoles by default. I suspect yours is trying to write to a VGA device and failing. There may be a loader option to override this behaviour.
    One option would be to switch to 32bit because that is still two different kernels. Of course then you have a 4GB RAM limit etc.
    You should really be running Nano from a USB flash drive to avoid killing it.

    Steve



  • so either i have to get a serial connection (somehow) to manage from time to time or get a vga (which is always connected as it cant boot otherwise) ?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah, OK. So what install type and kernel type were your using with 2.1.5? I assumed you'd been using an embedded kernel previously hence the change.

    Steve



  • uhm it showed 2.15 amd64 freebsd 8.3 if i remember correctly, it was definitely amd64 before, no embedded install as the usb stick is a high performance usb3.0 one with wear leveling and such things


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ok, but importantly it was a standard, vga enabled, kernel and it booted just fine with or without a VGA card in the box?

    So perhaps (speculation time!) the new dual console configuration attempts to recognise which consoles are present and is finding in your box there are none. I assume it doesn't have a serial port? Even if it doesn't have a physical serial header it may be possible to enable a serial port in the BIOS to give the console something to write to. If you're upgrading from 2.1.5 you shouldn't need console access anyway. However if that does work you'll be stuffed if you do ever need console access.  ::)

    Might have to wait for some higher level knowledge here.

    Steve



  • it actually has a serial port (but i dont have any cables or such) and yes, normaly i dont need console access, i will look into the bios in a few minztes and check if i can enable a serial console if it isnt and report back

    yes it was a standard vga enabled kernel (amd64) and it booted fine with graphicscard and without


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah well if it has a serial port it is probably already enabled in the BIOS. Try disabling it. If the dual console kernel sees that you have a serial console but no VGA console it may be telling you that at the serial console.

    Steve



  • jup disabling fixed it, thanks a lot (y)


  • Netgate Administrator

    No problem. That's useful info, bound to be a few others caught by that.  :)

    Steve


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