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Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Serial Consoles

All this console stuff is nice, but it can be a problem when your FreeBSD system is in a co-location facility on the other side of the country or on another continent. A keyboard and monitor are nice, too, but in many data centers you won't have room for them. And how do you reset the machine remotely when it won't respond to the network? A serial console solves all these problems and more.

A serial console simply redirects the computer's keyboard input and video to the serial port instead of the keyboard and monitor. Serial consoles appear on all sorts of network equipment, from Cisco routers and Ethernet switches to network-based KVM switches. Many physical security systems, such as keypad-based door locks, also have serial consoles. ...

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