Too easy to confuse debian-installer to write to one TTY but read from another

Bug #34355 reported by Ross Younger on 2006-03-10
10
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
debian-installer (Ubuntu)
Low
Unassigned

Bug Description

I was installing Breezy on an old Pentium 133 today. After booting the installer main menu seemed to be taking a "long" time to show, so (having installed a few systems in my time) I hit Alt-F4 to see whether anything interesting was happening in the system log. After a few seconds the installer's menu appeared but wouldn't accept keyboard input - I figured out by experimentation that it was reading keyboard input from tty1 (which was otherwise blank). I was in the comedy situation of my having to repeatedly switch VCs, type something and switch back to see the effect - all the way through the installer.

In short, the installer main menu shouldn't automatically open on the _current_ virtual console if you have switched to another, and it certainly shouldn't read from one VC and display on another.

Of course, my impatience is arguably a bug too, but you don't have a package for that on launchpad :-)

On Fri, Mar 10, 2006 at 08:07:55PM -0000, Ross Younger wrote:
> In short, the installer main menu shouldn't automatically open on the
> _current_ virtual console if you have switched to another, and it
> certainly shouldn't read from one VC and display on another.

I noticed this one a while back too. It's particularly noticeable when
using Kickstart, which has an interesting quirk in that it brings up an
early menu, does some stuff, and then shuts that down and brings up the
real main menu; if you switch to a different VC in that time then the
main menu will come up on that VC.

The problem I encountered when I last tried to fix this was that the
/etc/inittab we use is used for both virtual-console and serial-console
installations. If I explicitly hardcode main-menu to start up on vc/1,
then that breaks on serial consoles.

I think the best way to deal with this will be to make the bootstrap
init script try to figure out whether you're on a serial console, and if
so substitute in a different inittab. This may also help with
http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2006/01/msg01021.html, which
discusses difficulties on serial-console-only machines.

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) on 2006-04-05
Changed in debian-installer:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Adam Niedling (krychek) wrote :

Breezy is not supported anymore.

Changed in debian-installer:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Breezy not being supported does not affect the validity of this bug in the slightest.

Changed in debian-installer:
status: Invalid → Triaged
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