[rescue] E450 Console puzzler

Steve Hatle shatle at nfldinet.com
Thu Jan 11 21:02:34 CST 2018


Thanks to Dan Sikorski and Christopher Bachmann, I'm playing with my 
new-to-me Sun E450. I'll play with it's little brother E250 later :-)

I've run into something that has me stumped, however.

The machine has no framebuffer. If I hook up a serial console that's 
known to work on other Suns (VT320), I get output to the screen, but no 
keystrokes are recognized.

Christopher had mentioned that there was "something funny" with the 
console, and they had to run it with a Sun keyboard connected along with 
the serial terminal. Lo and behold, I plugged in a Sun keyboard, powered 
up, and I was getting output on the terminal, and keystrokes on the Sun 
keyboard were recognized.

I reset all the nvram defaults. With the system working in this mixed 
mode, printenv shows input device as "keyboard" and output device as 
"screen". The startup banner does say "keyboard detected".

devaliases shows the device tree I would expect, but there is an alias 
"keyboard!" with the same tree as "keyboard", but with ":forcemode" 
appended. I have not checked another of my machines (or Google) to see 
if this is normal.

If the Sun keyboard is not plugged in, the login banner gives the 
expected 'no keyboard' message and that input/output is going to ttya. 
However, as I said, while I get output, I can't input anything on the 
terminal keyboard.

Googling this, I come up with a reference to a similar situation where 
the problem was an "incorrectly wired cable". Since my terminal/cables 
work OK on a SparcClassic and LX, I would assume it would be OK on the 
E450, but I've been wrong before.

I can certainly work with the machine in this mode to get an OS 
installed enough to ssh in, but even if it's only for my education I'd 
like to figure this one out. If anyone has any insights, please pass 
them along.



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