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Alpha serial console on SRM level

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Mihails Nikitins
Super Advisor

Alpha serial console on SRM level


I have an old AlphaServer 800. It's serial console uses MMJ interface (COM1), the cable is lost. There are also two 9-pin COM ports. I got UNIX console on port COM2, but I also need serial acceess to SRM .

I know about 'set console serial' but I'm afraid to lose console at all. I hope everything can be returned back by Resetting the RMC to Factory Defaults but I'm not quite sure about it.

There's also SRM variable tt_allow_login. Can it help?
Enables or disables login to the SRM console firmware on alternate console ports. If
the environment variable console is set to serial, the primary console device is the
terminal connected through the COM1 port. The command set tt_allow_login 1
enables logins through either the COM2 port or a graphics monitor.

Many points in advance for sharing your experience!
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: Alpha serial console on SRM level

>>> I got UNIX console on port COM2,

With that, do you mean a real terminal like a VT220 which is used to work with the system? Yikes... that is so retro :-).
Seriously though... the system is (also) hooked up to a (private) network is it not? If so please investigate just using telnet/rlogin/ssh form an other Unix box or a Windoze PC to work with the Alpha. Pick any terminal emulator VTstar, Putty, M-soft telnet, excursion, anything besides 'hyperterm', and you'll never look back!

Now you can use you adapter on COM1 for SRM access. There again, if you happen to have a 'terminal server' (DEC90M for example) then you may want to (indirectory) hook it up to the networ and you will rarely look back. It is so much more convenient to have a virtual terminal with a large scroll buffer and cut & paste!
Only in the most desperate of circumstances, when I am loosing faith in all smart boxes, will I ever get back in the lab and hook up a 'real' terminal.
I switched many systems to serial console and never looked back. I see little or no risk with that process, and I do believe you can still always hook up a local keyboard and display to get back in during boot no?

Ralf Puchner
Honored Contributor

Re: Alpha serial console on SRM level

you are a funny man, why not reading the whole documentation for tt_allow_login or using the search function to find a pointer to the docu on the HP site?

Extracting from the documentation:

If the console output device is set to "serial," set tt_allow_login 1 allows you to log in on either a graphics terminal or through the COM2 port.

If the console output device is set to "graphics," set tt_allow_login 1 allows you to log in through either the COM1 or COM2 console port.

So you found the solution youself but didn't consult the documentation to use it.....
Help() { FirstReadManual(urgently); Go_to_it;; }