How to boot without keyboard

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

How to boot without keyboard

Postby Thierry91 » 2018-11-24 23:55

Hi,
I am building a small headless server on a cherrytrail box with debian 9 . The goal is no monitor, no mouse, no keyboard, no X server on it (but GUI acces with XRDP). Everything is set up and running, except one blocking issue :
If I have a keyboard plugged in one of the 2 usb ports at boot time, everything is booting ok.
If I try to boot with no keyboard at all, the boot will not complete and I get messages looping on the console :
usb1-port4 : cannot enable : maybe the usb cable is bad
usb1-port4 : enable to enumerate usb devides

I've spent hours reading the forums, but found no solution.

Any idea?
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Re: How to boot without keyboard

Postby TonyT » 2018-11-25 11:24

Connect a monitor but no keyboard & view the messages.
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Re: How to boot without keyboard

Postby Thierry91 » 2018-11-25 15:06

The messages are what I have written in the first post :
usb1-port4 : cannot enable : maybe the usb cable is bad
usb1-port4 : enable to enumerate usb devices

Continuing further investigations, I have discovered that it was not a matter of keyboard, but of having something plugged in one of the usb ports at boot time, ie I connect a usb disk, but no keyboard, it will boot. It it like if it had to be able to exchange some messages with a usb device to be able to boot. One exception anyway, if it is a usb mouse which is connected, it won't boot.
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Re: How to boot without keyboard

Postby tynman » 2018-11-25 16:00

I'm surprised you haven't received more responses to your issue. Maybe the "cherrytrail" reference was too obscure. I was not familiar with that term, so I googled "cherytrail". I see it is a flavor of Intel Atom motherboard.

So I have two thoughts, maybe not that helpful, but....

1. Leave something plugged into one of the USB ports (e.g., an old USB flash drive you're not using any more).

2. Experiment with the newer Linux kernel available in Stretch backports. (version 4.18)
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Re: How to boot without keyboard

Postby Thierry91 » 2018-11-25 18:24

Thanks forr your reply Tynman. I was also considering option 1 (leave an old usb key plugged) when you replied, unless someone gives another solution.
I've already spent a lot of time on this issue, so I will not give a try to a kernel upgrade.
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Re: How to boot without keyboard

Postby p.H » 2018-11-25 19:06

I have a solution (rather a workaround), but you won't like it : disable the USB ports or the USB drivers.
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Re: How to boot without keyboard

Postby Thierry91 » 2018-11-25 21:28

p.H wrote:I have a solution (rather a workaround), but you won't like it : disable the USB ports or the USB drivers.

Sounds a bit risky to me. If for any reason I cannot connect anymore with xrdp, I have no way to connect back to the physical machine to fix the issue. I will have a brick.
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Re: How to boot without keyboard

Postby sunrat » 2018-11-26 02:34

Does your UEFI/BIOS have an option to halt boot if keyboard not detected?
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Re: How to boot without keyboard

Postby p.H » 2018-11-26 08:35

Thierry91 wrote:
p.H wrote:I have a solution (rather a workaround), but you won't like it : disable the USB ports or the USB drivers.

Sounds a bit risky to me. If for any reason I cannot connect anymore with xrdp, I have no way to connect back to the physical machine to fix the issue. I will have a brick.

I knew you would not like it. Anyway, USB is supposed to be enabled at boot time, until the boot loader is loaded.
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