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Re: terminal --silent option

From: Christoph Plattner
Subject: Re: terminal --silent option
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 00:01:04 +0200

Have you thought about the side effects ?

Think, you have a mouse on COM1, which also is your secondary console...

        *1* GRUB reinitializes the COM1 to the selected baud rate or mode
                (at this moment not the problem, as the mouse drive is not
                active yet).

        *2* You move the mouse (vibration, etc,....) then GRUB will select
                to speak with the mouse ?
                (OK, as the hardware handshake is not asserted at this time,
                we may have luck, that the mouse has no power to send data)

What is with other things connected to the RS232 as multi meter with
output, sending cyclic data ...

But (!) of course you can add and rewrite GRUB in any way you want. And
further I am not respnsible for GRUB decisions, etc, etc, ....
It is only this "secret" feature, I do not like very much.

My "UNIX way of like thinking" says:
* A system has one or 2 alternative console. Dependent on the system,
  console type is the default (PC & Workstation = Graphics/Keyboard,
  Servers & embedded systems = serial i/f).
* If a machine uses a serial console (potentially), this port MUST be
  reserved and not used by any other devices !
* Machines should have boot monitors, which are able to handle VT100
  (or similar) console type via serial or graphics.
  GRUB is a (wonderful) BIOS addon, which allows a boot monitor
  on PCs also, the only thing I miss is the permanent environment
storage ...

Now a possible solution: The serial port for the alternate console is
connected, so it is not a problem sending out "sensless" text. If a
has special instruction to handle a special case on the serial console,
the person will connect a terminal (or other things), and perhaps need a 
password. This is (only) my opinion.

With friendly regards
Christoph P.

Henrik Nordstrom wrote:
> Christoph Plattner wrote:
> > Bt it is a bad semantic in having "hidden features". This may be a
> > Microsoft method (which I really hate), but not more.
> Well, I need to hide it for what I think is valid reasons, which are
>   * Users not authorized to use the serial boot console should not find it
> that easily
>   * There may be other devices connected on the serial port not being that
> happy about grub sending data there.
> Should perhaps note that on these devices there is no external VGA or
> keyboard connector..
> > If I offer a feature, then in the correct way. If I want to have
> > "restricted" access, then password or similar features can be used.
> Our grub config is obviously also password protected.
> > The only thing to discuss is perhaps the message "press any key ...",
> > but this is another topic.
> It is.
> If you do not accept the --silent option or a equivalent option then this is
> fine by me. I'll just continue to patch the code before using to suit my
> needs.
> Regards
> Henrik

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