Getting Solaris 11.3 x86 to output to serial console

I just set up a new Solaris 11 system for the first time in ages. I was struggling to remember how to configure terminal output through this system’s serial port…

I found this article: Solaris 11 Serial Console

which confidently seems say that the only commands necessary are:

# bootadm set-menu console=serial serial_params=0,19200,8,n,1
# bootadm change-entry -i 0 'kargs=-B console=ttya'

Note: according to Solaris doc Using the set-menu Command, if you’re using ttyb instead of ttya, you’ll want to set "serial_params=1,19200,8,n,1"

However, my serial output seemed to end as soon as GRUB started loading the kernel…

I found that I also needed to set the following

# eeprom console="ttya"
# eeprom ttya-mode="19200,8,n,1,-"

Changing this eeprom setting will create a new default “Solaris bootenv rc” entry in GRUB.

You can see this new entry like such:

# bootadm list-menu

And delete it (assuming the index is “1”) via:

# bootadm remove-entry -i 1

BTW (since this also took me a while to figure out) my USB<-->RS232 setup is a HL-340 chipset USB-A to RS-232 male cable hooked up to the male RS-232 port on this old Supermicro motherboard using a female/female RS-232 “null modem” cable (StarTech part #SCNM9FF2MBK), though a simple null adapter should work as well. During the confusion, I also bought a PL2303 chipset USB-A to RS-232 female cable (CableCreation part #CD0489) which can be plugged in directly (no need for a null modem or adapter). The benefit to the PL2303 chipset is that Solaris 11.3 has driver support for the USB end of it, whereas my HL-340 cable doesn’t seem to work out of the box on Solaris.

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