[Mageia-dev] agetty vs. mingetty

Colin Guthrie mageia at colin.guthr.ie
Thu Mar 8 15:17:33 CET 2012


Since switching to systemd, the mingetty we used to default to in
inittab has been replaced by agetty (the default choice upstream).

The question is should we switch it back to mingetty?

An argument against mingetty is that the current support in systemd will
automatically work over serial consoles. With embedded systems and such
more common these days, this might actually be a common situation (for
very small values of "common" of course!).

>From the man page of mingetty:

mingetty is a minimal  getty  for  use  on  virtual  consoles.   Unlike
agetty(8),  mingetty  is  not  suitable  for serial lines.  I recommend
using mgetty(8) for this purpose.

So if we switch to mingetty in getty at .service we'll be sacrificing
serial console support.

Have people got strong opinions on this? Can anyone remember why we
ended up defaulting to mingetty in the first place?


PS I'm aware of some "strange" behaviour on the current gettys. When on
a getty you can use the cursor keys and move the cursor around. Keys
such as backspace don't seem to work if you mistype your username or
password (I'm pretty sure this used to work, but maybe I'm
misremembering?). This is slightly improved with mingetty - in that the
cursor keys don't move the text entry area, but they do print
non-printable characters that still can't be deleted. I'll try and make
this nicer, but it's probably not the highest priority problem on my list :p


Colin Guthrie

Day Job:
  Tribalogic Limited http://www.tribalogic.net/
Open Source:
  Mageia Contributor http://www.mageia.org/
  PulseAudio Hacker http://www.pulseaudio.org/
  Trac Hacker http://trac.edgewall.org/

More information about the Mageia-dev mailing list