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Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Serial Consoles

All of these nifty boot functions let you do useful stuff when your system is in trouble, but how can you use them when your computer isn’t right in front of you? If your computer is in a data center on the other side of the country, or sitting in the basement behind the last decade of payroll records, a serial console will make your life far more pleasant.

A hardware serial console allows you to run a serial cable between a computer and a terminal server (on another computer) to access BIOS messages and operating system boot and startup messages which simplifies managing remote systems. Serial consoles are invaluable when debugging system crashes, too; error messages come over the serial port, where you can easily capture them. ...

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