Install headless via serial console only - How?

Hi again!

I have here an older Atom board with serial access, which apparently also has a VGA graphics (CN1 on page 10 of manual):

The board boots fine from USB (tried Debian: OK, with TW live only with mixed success, sometimes I see output in serial console during boot, sometimes not) and it boots fine from CF-card.

What I want: Boot USB-stick with TW-DVD image to boot to installer and install a minimal server install on the 4GB CF-card present.

I disabled the graphics in BIOS:

and set “redirect always to serial”:

When booting, I see the BIOS:

then some short message looking like the installer is booting, (afterwards minicom with 115200 8N1 looks as if the baud rate is wrong, as the cursor flips over the screen). If I let it sit for hours, blank screen without changes.

Can somebody point me in the right direction? :slight_smile:

Oooops, I changed “Redirection after BIOS Post” to “Bootloader” and now I see the TW boot…

Hmmm, installed fine to the CF-card, I can boot from the CF-card an old i386 notebook (on serial console I can log in at localhost as root w/o password etc.), but on the Openvox embedded the last output on booting is

* Main Processor(s): Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU Z530   @ 1.60GHz                 *  

afterwards it’s dead, no nothing, no DHCP request on the network.

PS: Wrong boot device, now booting just fine…

I have here

sudo lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation US15W/US15X SCH [Poulsbo] Host Bridge (rev 07)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation US15W/US15X SCH [Poulsbo] Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation US15W/US15X/US15L/UL11L SCH [Poulsbo] USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 07)
00:1d.1 USB controller: Intel Corporation US15W/US15X/US15L/UL11L SCH [Poulsbo] USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 07)
00:1d.2 USB controller: Intel Corporation US15W/US15X/US15L/UL11L SCH [Poulsbo] USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 07)
00:1d.7 USB controller: Intel Corporation US15W/US15X/US15L/UL11L SCH [Poulsbo] USB EHCI Controller (rev 07)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation US15W/US15X/US15L/UL11L SCH [Poulsbo] LPC Bridge (rev 07)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation US15W/US15X/US15L/UL11L SCH [Poulsbo] IDE Controller (rev 07)

and no errors in dmesg, but the 3 built-in NICs (Realtek? iirc…) are not detected. How to find a driver? :-/

sudo inxi -SNxz
[sudo] password for root: 
System:    Kernel: 5.12.0-2-pae i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 10.3.0 Console: tty pts/0 
           Distro: openSUSE Tumbleweed 20210507 
Network:   Device-1: ASIX AX88772 type: USB driver: asix bus-ID: 1-2:2 

ASIX is a USB-RJ45 adapter, better than nothing… But I can’t find the built-in NICs…

ip a
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: enp0s29f7u2: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:0e:c6:c1:63:7a brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet brd scope global enp0s29f7u2
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

What about /sbin/lspci output, does it see the NIC’s? Might have to inspect the BIOS…

second last post has the output :wink: Nothing found!

it was a (OPNsense) router firewall in the past, I booted an old CF-card yesterday and that looked fine, iirc…

Oooops again! Booted the OPNsense, but no interfaces either! :frowning:

BIOS issue? BIOS update available?

Again, the BIOS was the problem, I disabled some stuff yesterday to get rid of the built-in graphics (thought TW used it instead of serial) and disabled the NICs at the same time…rotfl!

If you have NIC then why you’re using serial connection?

For the install… it’s all I use for RPI’s no screen connected…

But we can install OS using Ethernet?

Sure, lots of ways to install PXE, AutoYaST, create an image with no use interaction… OP wants to use serial…

Correct, as I come from the Raspberry Pi, Odroid-side of the universe I normally use images to be dd’ed to cards (SD, CF, …) as installation, and this time I wanted to install TW from USB-stick. Serial is the easiest way to go… :wink: