Dumb (Text) Terminals
What is a Dumb Terminal?
A Dumb Terminal or Text terminal or Glass TTY are basically the same thing. Device that display's (usually) serial data. They usually look like a monitor (mono) with a keyboard attached. You can, however, use many things as a Dumb Terminal.
Why would I want to use a Terminal?
Get better use out of your Computer.
More than 1 person on the computer at the same time.
Access same computer resources in multiple locations.
Access same computer resources in different locations.
Get some use out of the old Wyse 50 you bought by mistake.
Squeeze some more out of that old home computer you have lying in the closet.
Because it's neat and because you can!
OK, So whatdaya use it for?
It functions the same as the console mode of your Linux box, so you can use it in the same manner.
Get and read your e-mail
Administer your Linux Box.
Play some cool BSD text games.
If in the Kitchen - Recipes.
If next to the phone - Address / Phone Book.
Anything else you run on a 'VT" off of your console.
Where do I get one of these 'Dumb Terminals'?
Chances are you have one (or in my case several) laying around your house already.
You can use virtually any old (working) PC for a terminal by hooking it to your Linux box via a NULL MODEM SERIAL CABLE which can be bought in any computer store for $10 or less.
Look for used terminals at business closeouts, on the internet, in the scrap heap, at used computer stores, etc...
Some great 'terminals' I have used in the past are Commodore 64's, Apple II's, and old laptops make outstanding terminals.
How do I hook it up?
Most Terminals have a db25 serial connection on the back. Simply hook that up to a spare serial port on your server (Linux Box) using a Null Modem Serial Cable.
If you are using an old spare computer for your terminal, run a terminal program (usually used to call out over modems) on it.
Set up the Linux box to support a terminal connection.
Adjust the parameters on your terminal to match that of your server (usually everything is set for 9600 baud and a vt100 or ansi terminal emulation).
How do I set it up on my server?
You have to add a line in your /etc/inittab file after the section that opens your VT's. It would look something like this:
S0:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty ttyS0 9600 vt100
- The S0 is just a designator (can be anything 2 chars really)
- 2345 is the run levels the terminal will start on
- respawn tells the server to continuously restart the terminal
- /sbin/getty is the program that controls your login prompt
- ttyS0 is the serial port you have the terminal plugged into - ttyS0 is com1 and ttyS1 would be com2
- 9600 is the baud rate speed
- vt100 is the type of terminal emulation you want to use
After you add the appropriate line in the inittab file you need to restart init by issuing an 'init q' or 'telinit q' and if all goes well, you should see a login prompt!
OK, nothing you said makes sence you bozo - where's the Faq?
It's at http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/Text-Terminal-HOWTO.html
By Linc. Fessenden