kickstart & usb keyboard gripe

Linda Laubenheimer LindaL at
Tue Oct 14 13:34:01 CDT 2003

Argh.  I am developing a kickstart for 1750s running essentially RH 7.3.  We have clusters of these boxes racked neatly in our machine room, with one 16 channel monitor/keyboard switcher for every 40 or so machines.  Needless to say, not every box is plugged in to this continuously.  So we switch cables.  On the 1650s, this was no problem - there was a monitor and ps/2 keyboard port on the front of each box.  No muss, no fuss.

But the 1750s only have a usb port on the front.  While the bios sees this fine, your average Linux kernel does not have this built in, but as a module.  So a reboot becomes problematic, although the power button fixes that.  Then, when the installed kernel comes up, kudzu happily finds the "new" hardware - the usb keyboard that is - and then asks you to *press any key to continue* to set up your new hardware!  Uh, if the "new" hardware is the keyboard, it won't recognize any keys!  Catch 22.

Where am I going with this?  Well, it's a complaint, and a solicitation for suggestions.  Yes, we can plug the monitor and keyboard into the back of the boxes, risking disturbing all of the other cabling each and every time.  But it really would be nice to use a stock kernel (we don't want to recompile our kernel, it would involve months of qa time to verify afterwards), and still be able to plug a plain, ordinary, supported since the stone age, ps/2 keyboard into the front of the boxes.  We have a lot of techs working with these, and not all of them are used to fiddling with cables in back of systems.  We tried a usb -> ps/2 adapter, but that didn't work - although I don't know the brand - if people have a brand that is proven to work, I would appreciate knowing about it.

L J Laubenheimer

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