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ObviousGuy's Journal: FreeBSD loader niggle 6

Journal by ObviousGuy

The FreeBSD bootloader does not seem to talk to my USB keyboard, so I have to sit through 10 seconds of 'devil menu' every time I boot up.

It would be nice if this were configurable, skippable, or if the loader would just talk to my USB keyboard so I could skip the menu manually.

No update on the DHCP issue. The machine still isn't talking to the Internet.

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FreeBSD loader niggle

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  • If it's in any way similar to Linux, probably what's happening is that the USB driver is part of the kernel, so your keyboard won't work until you're done booting. If you use a PS/2 type keyboard everything is happening in hardwareland, and you should be able to type away at will before you're completely done booting.

    (Anyone who wants to jump to correct me or confirm my vague analysis please do so).
    • That's what I think is going on too. Unfortunately I have no PS2 port to plug my keyboard into.

      I'm wondering if there is a way to configure the bootloader such that the wait time can be lowered to 1 or 2 seconds. I'd hate to do away with it completely because in some circumstances it may be useful to boot into a Safe Mode.
      • Righty-o. I've had a bit of a google about and it appears that the wait time can be lowered to two seconds with the by playing around with the bootloader. In /boot/loader, change autoboot to autoboot 2 and you should be sweet.

        More info here [freebsd.org] and here [freebsd.org]. I've never done this myself (or even used FreeBSD), so proceed with extreme caution!
  • You may need to enable USB Legacy mode in your system's BIOS in order for it to "emulate" your USB keyboard as a PS/2 keyboard until the OS can take over with the specific USB drivers.
  • You could certainly shorten the length of time the menu sits there. Edit /etc/loader.conf and set autoboot_delay to a smaller value (like 2). For example:

    autoboot_delay="2"

    I haven't actually tested it, but it should work.

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