Sun Ultra 60 serial console login with a VT132

I recently assembled a VT132 and have been connecting it to various things to enjoy some serial terminal goodness.

I’ve tried a number of serial cables and serial terminal programs on my Atari ST to get a serial connection to my Sun Ultra 60 but never managed to get it to work. I didn’t know if this was due to my serial cable or something else. I bought and assembled the VT121 as a VT100 compatible serial terminal to have a better attempt at connecting to some of the devices I have around that support serial connections.

On the VT132 there are jumper pins to switch between a straight though connection or a crossover connection. Through trial and error I found I needed to put the jumpers on 1-3 and 2-4 for the cross over connection and this worked with the Sun Ultra.

I don’t have a pic of the pins in this configuration, this is the section in the docs, and here’s the pin layout next to the voltage regulator for reference (center of the photo):

Pins 1 2 3 4 are on the right. Here’s the pins in the straight through config 1-2 and 3-4, the two jumpers on the right need to be switched to the other 1-3 and 2-4 configuration to work with the Sun Ultra:

There’s two serial connectors on the Sun Ultra 60, note that the DB25 at the top is a parallel connector. Serial A and B are beneath the keyboard connector:

Here’s some useful info on configuring Serial console connections to Sun hardware here. Typically on Sun Sparc systems, if you disconnect the keyboard and have a terminal connected to Serial A when you boot, the boot messages are redirected to the serial terminal instead of the video output. This is useful if you need to run diags on a machine, but it’s also fun to boot the machine up and logon from a serial console. Here’s what the console boot messages look like on my Ultra 60:

At this point I could successfully logon via the console. As I was looking into getting this working I took some notes as I was working on this. I’ll include them here for future reference in case they’re useful.

Other useful notes:

/etc/remote has section for enabling hardwire tip via /dev/term/a|b

See also here https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19455-01/806-1377-10/tipapp.html talks about /etc/ttytab to enable logins

To enable a logon prompt via Serial A or B after booting, and with keyboard connected:

From here: https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19253-01/817-0403/modsafapp-84569/index.html

sacadm -a -p mbmon -t ttymon -c /usr/lib/saf/ttymon -v `ttyadm -V` -y "TTY Ports a & b"

cat /dev/term/a shows keyboard entry from my VT132 terminal when I press enter, so I know input is reaching the port.

With my serial cable, I needed to set the straight through vs crossover jumpers on the VT132 to the crossover position get any output to appear on the terminal.

Set terminal to 9600 8N1.l

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