linux kernel - installation accessibility improvement

Jason White jason at
Mon Aug 4 10:00:05 UTC 2014

Tony Baechler  <blinux-list at> wrote:
>I could be totally wrong here, but doesn't the kernel have an option to use
>a serial console?  I vaguely remember a parameter to send messages out a
>serial port, but I could be imagining things.  I know for a fact that
>FreeBSD supports this as I've seen it in the install docs.  Server
>motherboards also support this or something similar.

Grub 2 supports it, as documented in the manual.

>I think you're overlooking a few things.  First, many machines don't have
>serial ports, so a serial console wouldn't do any good.  Second, if you do
>have a serial port, it's just that, a single serial port.  Therefore, it
>would be impossible to plug in a speech snythesizer, Braille display and
>serial console on one machine.  Finally, USB wouldn't be supported that
>early in the boot process, so output wouldn't go to a USB Braille display.

Interestingly, however, UEFI is said to support console redirection.

If this can be done over the network, or if there are UEFI drivers for USB to
serial converters, the need for a traditional serial port goes away.
Apparently, UEFI offers a much more sophisticated environment, including
drivers, than BIOS did.

I agree that the user will need another machine which can run a terminal
emulator in order to gain access. If wireless drivers were written, this other
host might even be mobile.

We're still living in a situation in which people tend to have multiple
systems, e.g., a desktop machine and a mobile phone or tablet. We haven't
reached the point at which the mobile devices take over, and it will be
fascinating to see whether this ultimately happens.

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list