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NetBSD/hp700: Changing to Serial Console on HP 9000/712 models

WARNING: Improper setting of the console path may cause the system to become inoperable. Beware.

Unfortunately, HP decided that the 712 should be hard to configure for headless use. Briefly, you must get to the HP-UX bootloader prompt (which they call the ISL) which will allow you to permanently set your preferred console location to the first serial port at 9600 8N1.

The original source of this information is http://lists.parisc-linux.org/pipermail/parisc-linux/1999-December/008117.html.

To change to a serial console, you need:

  1. a PS/2 style keyboard
  2. a monitor with VGA style interface
  3. the HP-UX ISL (either an HP-UX bootable hard drive or netboot)

First, you need to get to the BootROM prompt. When your system prints the following on screen, press and hold ESC until you get the BOOT_ADMIN> prompt:

Press <ESCAPE> to stop boot sequence.

Step 1: Setting monitor type

If your display doesn't show properly, the frequency may be out-of-range. You can select the monitor type suitable to your display.

If your 712 has the add-in VRAM board, normal VGA 680x480 mode is monitor type 7. Without the VRAM board, the number may be different (possibly 5?).

BOOT_ADMIN> monitor 7
        Monitor Choices
Type     Resolution     Frequency
----     ----------     ---------
  1      1280x1024        72Hz
  2      1024x768         75Hz
  3      1024x768         70Hz
  4      1024x768         75Hz     Flat Panel
  5      1280x1024        60Hz
  6      1024x768         60Hz
  7       640x480         60Hz
  8      1280x1024        75Hz     VESA
  9      1024x768         75Hz     VESA
 10       800x600         75Hz     VESA
 11       640x480         75Hz     VESA
 12      1280x1024        72Hz     Greyscale
 13      1280x1024        50Hz

Current Monitor Type is
  7       640x480         60Hz

BOOT_ADMIN> reset

Step 2, Case 1: If you have HP-UX installed on local disk

BOOT_ADMIN> boot pri isl

Booting

ISL Revision A.00.38  OCT 26, 1994 


ISL>

Step 2, Case 2: If you don't have HP-UX

Preparation:

  1. Get the firmware update (PF_C7120023) from HP site (but we are not updating firmware here).
  2. Extract the binary.
        % mkdir /tmp/712
        % cd /tmp/712
        % sh /somewhere/PF_C7120023
        x - C7120023.text
        Compiling unpacker for non-ascii files
        /tmp/ccIy0Rg8.o: warning: this program uses gets(), which is unsafe.
        x - C7120023.frm [compressed]
        ERROR: wc results of C7120023.frm are 5518 32547 709632 should be 5518 22318 709632
        % rm /tmp/uud*end

    The checksum may not match if you execute this on an OS other than HP-UX, which is probably OK.

  3. Set up netbooting (using BOOTP and tftp) to boot the file extracted above (just specify C7120023.frm in dhcpd.conf or bootptab, and setup tftpd).
  4. Boot 712 from LAN.
    BOOT_ADMIN> boot lan isl
    
    Booting
    
    ISL Revision A.00.25 November 18, 1992 
    
    
    ISL>

Step 3: Setting console location

Run the following command to set your 712 to use a serial console:

ISL> conspath 2/0/4.0x283

To set your 712 to use the local console (i.e. keyboard and screen), run the following command:

ISL> conspath 1/0/0.0

You can use the display and information commands to verify that your settings have been stored properly. Once you're sure everything looks right, power cycle your workstation to start using your serial console.

Additionally, you can temporarily use the local console by pressing the Esc key on the PS/2 keyboard while resetting. This is setting only affects the console location temporarily and only works with firmware rev 1.6 and later.

Example

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
BootRom Version    1.6  

Memory Size:  64 MB
----------------------------------------------------------------------------




(c) Copyright 1990-1993, Hewlett-Packard Company.
All rights reserved

Press <ESCAPE> to stop boot sequence.
<ESC>
Selecting a system to boot.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Command                             Description
-------                             -----------
Auto [boot|search] [on|off]         Display or set auto flag
Boot [pri|alt|scsi.addr] [isl]      Boot from primary, alternate or SCSI
Boot lan[.lan_addr] [install] [isl] Boot from LAN
Chassis [on|off]                    Enable chassis codes
Diagnostic [on|off]                 Enable/disable diagnostic boot mode
Fastboot [on|off]                   Display or set fast boot flag
Help                                Display the command menu
Information                         Display system information
LanAddress                          Display LAN station addresses
Monitor [type]                      Select monitor type
Path [pri|alt] [lan.id|SCSI.addr]   Change boot path
Pim [hpmc|toc|lpmc]                 Display PIM info
Search [ipl] [scsi|lan [install]]   Display potential boot devices
Secure [on|off]                     Display or set security mode
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOOT_ADMIN> monitor 7
        Monitor Choices
Type     Resolution     Frequency
----     ----------     ---------
  1      1280x1024        72Hz
  2      1024x768         75Hz
  3      1024x768         70Hz
  4      1024x768         75Hz     Flat Panel
  5      1280x1024        60Hz
  6      1024x768         60Hz
  7       640x480         60Hz
  8      1280x1024        75Hz     VESA
  9      1024x768         75Hz     VESA
 10       800x600         75Hz     VESA
 11       640x480         75Hz     VESA
 12      1280x1024        72Hz     Greyscale
 13      1280x1024        50Hz

Current Monitor Type is
  7       640x480         60Hz

BOOT_ADMIN> reset

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
BootRom Version    1.6  

Memory Size:  64 MB
----------------------------------------------------------------------------




(c) Copyright 1990-1993, Hewlett-Packard Company.
All rights reserved

Press <ESCAPE> to stop boot sequence.
<ESC>
Selecting a system to boot.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Command                             Description
-------                             -----------
Auto [boot|search] [on|off]         Display or set auto flag
Boot [pri|alt|scsi.addr] [isl]      Boot from primary, alternate or SCSI
Boot lan[.lan_addr] [install] [isl] Boot from LAN
Chassis [on|off]                    Enable chassis codes
Diagnostic [on|off]                 Enable/disable diagnostic boot mode
Fastboot [on|off]                   Display or set fast boot flag
Help                                Display the command menu
Information                         Display system information
LanAddress                          Display LAN station addresses
Monitor [type]                      Select monitor type
Path [pri|alt] [lan.id|SCSI.addr]   Change boot path
Pim [hpmc|toc|lpmc]                 Display PIM info
Search [ipl] [scsi|lan [install]]   Display potential boot devices
Secure [on|off]                     Display or set security mode
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOOT_ADMIN> boot lan isl

Booting

ISL Revision A.00.25 November 18, 1992 


ISL> display

    Fastsize value is 0000000F

    Autoboot is ON (enabled)

    Autosearch is ON (enabled)

    Primary boot path is 2/0/1.6.0.0.0.0.0
    Primary boot path is (hex) 2/0/1.6.0.0.0.0.0

    Alternate boot path is 2/0/2.0.0.0.0.0.0
    Alternate boot path is (hex) 2/0/2.0.0.0.0.0.0

    System console path is 1.0.0.0.0.0.0
    System console path is (hex) 1.0.0.0.0.0.0

ISL> conspath 2/0/4.0x283

ISL> display

    Fastsize value is 0000000F

    Autoboot is ON (enabled)

    Autosearch is ON (enabled)

    Primary boot path is 2/0/1.6.0.0.0.0.0
    Primary boot path is (hex) 2/0/1.6.0.0.0.0.0

    Alternate boot path is 2/0/2.0.0.0.0.0.0
    Alternate boot path is (hex) 2/0/2.0.0.0.0.0.0

    System console path is 2/0/4.643.0.0.0.0.0
    System console path is (hex) 2/0/4.283.0.0.0.0.0

ISL> 

Then, cycle the power.


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