Novell Cool Solutions

Screen Resolution Bug with the XEN Kernel


June 13, 2008 5:41 am





Date Created: 13 March 2008
Last Updated: 13 June 2008
Author: Sam Prior
Version: 1
Architecture: IBM BladeCenter E with LS41 double wide blades.

When booting your newly installed XEN server it may appear that the server doesn’t fully load as you won’t see the login prompt and instead see one of the services as the last entry on the screen e.g. “Starting CRON daemon done” or “Starting xend done”.

You may (and rightly so) think this is an issue with one of the services loading. However it could be down to a bug with the XEN kernel. On some systems the screen resolution does not get set correctly. To confirm whether this is the case press the Enter key several times. The screen will eventually move down and you will see a disorientated login prompt as shown below.

Switch to the second terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F2. The login prompt on this terminal should appear correctly. Login to the server and at the console type stty –a. In the output shown on the screen check the value set for Rows. On the system I was using the number of Rows was set to 25 (see below).

Swap back to the first terminal screen by pressing Ctl+Alt+F1. Login to the server (this should be possible, although it may take a few attempts because of the bug). On the console type stty –a. You will probably see that the Rows value is set to 50.

This bug has no effect on the servers operational ability. Therefore if you experience this problem load the XEN kernel and press enter several times to display the login prompt. Continue to work with the server locally (it’s easier to use the second terminal) or remotely, as you would if it booted normally.

Novell has accepted that this is a bug and a TID will be created shortly. A fix will be released in due course.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.