SP on Sun Fire V40z can be configured so that you can access system console over the network as you would on a UltraSPARC machine with Net Management port. Here is a quick way to get started using V40z and RedHat. Before starting, connect up SP network interface to the network.

Now, edit /etc/inittab and add the following line:

co:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -t 60 ttyS0 9600 vt100

This will spawn agetty in runlevels 12345 on serial port 1 with 9600 baud rate and vt100 emulation.

Next you need to edit /etc/grub.conf and comment out splashimage line so boot menu gets rendered properly. Then add following two lines:

serial --unit=0 --speed=9600
terminal --timeout=10 console serial

This will initialize serial port 1 after GRUB startup. If you want to use serial port 2 you would set –unit=1. The terminal we will be using are console and serial in that order, with timeout of 10 seconds. Terminal gets selected depending on where keystroke is detected first, before timeout runs out. If timeout expires, first terminal specified is used.

Finally, append following to the kernel line: console=tty0 console=ttyS0,9600n8. So it will end up looking something like this:

kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-67.ELsmp ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet console=tty0 console=ttyS0,9600n8

Now, you need to add serial port device name to /etc/securetty. This file specifies devices where root can log in. Just append ttyS0 (serial port 1) to the end of the file.

Time to reboot and go to BIOS’s Advanced Settings. Select Console Redirection to Serial Port A and verify you have correct baud rate selected. Reboot the server for all changes to take effect. At this point SP might not have an IP address assigned, so assign it one using V40z’s front panel. Once you configured SP with IP address, subnet mask and default gateway, ssh to the IP address, from local subnet, using the following:

bash-3.00# ssh setup@IP

You will be asked to setup SP usernames and passwords. When you are done, ssh back to the SP using one of the usernames you have set up, and disable and then re-enable Serial Over LAN:

localhost $ platform set console -s platform
localhost $ platform set console -s sp -e -S 9600

After the SP has been re-enabled, it might be a good idea to set up command prompt so you know which server you are logged into:

localhost $ sp set hostname ultra-sp

Now you can access the console using:

ultra-sp $ platform console

After you connect to the console you can get help by pressing CTRL+E followed by c and ?.Here is sample output:

ultra-sp $ platform console
[Enter ''^Ec?' for help]
Red Hat Enterprise Linux release 4
Kernel 2.4.21-3.EL on an i686
ultra login:
.    disconnect                        ;    move to another console
a    attach read/write                 b    send broadcast message
c    toggle flow control               d    down a console
e    change escape sequence            f    force attach read/write
g    group info                        i    information dump
L    toggle logging on/off             l?   break sequence list
l0   send break per config file        l1-9 send specific break sequence
m    display the message of the day    o    (re)open the tty and log file
p    replay the last 60 lines          r    replay the last 20 lines
s    spy read only                     u    show host status
v    show version info                 w    who is on this console
x    show console baud info            z    suspend the connection
|    attach local command              ?    print this message
<cr> ignore/abort command              ^R   replay the last line
ooo send character by octal code

At this point you should have a usable network console. You might want to make additional setup changes to the SP to fit your environment.

The first time I issued platform console command in SP I got this error:

console: connect: 59372@console: Connection refused

Rebooting SP using sp reboot fixed the issue for me.