Why does my serial console shows a # prompt sometimes



  • Hi everyone

    I still haven't managed to find out what triggers this, but here it is : usually when I access my pfSense router (Watchguard X750e) using the serial console and press enter I am welcomed with the usual menu prompt like this:

    
    *** Welcome to pfSense 2.2.6-RELEASE-nanobsd (i386) on pfSense ***
    
     WAN (wan)       -> sk0        -> v4/DHCP4: 74.xxx.xxx.23/24
     LAN1 (lan)      -> sk1        ->
     LAN2 (opt1)     -> sk2        ->
     LAN3 (opt2)     -> sk3        ->
     LAN4 (opt3)     -> msk0       ->
     LAN5 (opt4)     -> msk1       ->
     LAN6 (opt5)     -> msk2       ->
     LAN7 (opt6)     -> msk3       -> v4: 192.168.2.1/24
     LAN (opt7)      -> bridge0    -> v4: 192.168.1.1/24
     0) Logout (SSH only)                  9) pfTop
     1) Assign Interfaces                 10) Filter Logs
     2) Set interface(s) IP address       11) Restart webConfigurator
     3) Reset webConfigurator password    12) pfSense Developer Shell
     4) Reset to factory defaults         13) Upgrade from console
     5) Reboot system                     14) Disable Secure Shell (sshd)
     6) Halt system                       15) Restore recent configuration
     7) Ping host                         16) Restart PHP-FPM
     8) Shell
    
    

    Buuuut, sometimes I am thrown directly at a # shell prompt. If I type pwd, it tells me I'm in /root. When I type exit, I am back to the usual console menu. I have left my putty open to see if any event triggers this, but nothing in that log. I have also checked the system logs but nothing seems unusual. Since I am trying to figure out a pattern I will out of the blue press enter to see if the menu is there and sometimes I get this shell prompt instead. See the "serial console log below". The prompt is different from the "regular" shell prompt that has the version included at the beginning.

    
     7) Ping host                         16) Restart PHP-FPM
     8) Shell
    
    Enter an option:
    Message from syslogd@pfSense at Dec 28 19:50:50 ...
    pfSense php-fpm[9036]: /index.php: Successful login for user 'admin' from: 192.168.1.13
    
    #
    #
    # exit
    
    FreeBSD/i386 (pfSense.localdomain) (ttyu0)
    
    *** Welcome to pfSense 2.2.6-RELEASE-nanobsd (i386) on pfSense ***
    
     WAN (wan)       -> sk0        -> v4/DHCP4: 74.xxx.xxx.23/24
     LAN1 (lan)      -> sk1        ->
     LAN2 (opt1)     -> sk2        ->
     LAN3 (opt2)     -> sk3        ->
    
    

    I haven't found out what triggers this and any help would be appreciated. This router is under very low to no load as I am currently testing it until I get my wireless APs.



  • For me it is crud interference on the serial cable from time to time - a random "input" drops it out.



  • @phil.davis:

    For me it is crud interference on the serial cable from time to time - a random "input" drops it out.

    But why would that drop me to a bare root shell prompt?  :o

    It seems more like a server-side issue, but I just don't know what I have done to cause this as it happens very randomly.



  • But why would that drop me to a bare root shell prompt?

    I am on-the-road at the moment so don't have a physical console to connect to and play, but I think pressing ctrl-C or some similar ctrl-thingy will drop the menu out and get to the # prompt on the physical console.



  • Yep indeed, it does! But according to my "log" there was no ^C before this happened so most likely not that.



  • I have played alot with my cables yesterday and the # prompt came back. I think it might have something to do with lcdproc reloading everytime a port goes up/down


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