Solaris 11 Express: Problem #5

Dec 19, 2010 | 2 minutes read
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Tags: X11, SMF, Bug

In this series, I will report the bugs or problems I find when running the Oracle Solaris 11 Express distribution. I hope this will give more visibility on those PR to Oracle to correct them before the release of Solaris 11 next year.

Some builds before Oracle decided not to provide a binary distribution of Solaris Next anymore (build snv_124 if I recall correctly), virtual consoles were introduced. This a well-known feature for the Linux and BSD people, but Solaris 11 Express is the first supported release of Solaris where we can run multiple virtual terminals on the console.

This long-time missing feature is not enable by default though. Here are the steps to do so:

$ pfexec svccfg -s vtdaemon setprop options/secure=false
$ pfexec svccfg -s vtdaemon setprop options/hotkeys=true
$ pfexec svcadm enable vtdaemon
$ pfexec svcadm enable console-login:vt2
$ pfexec svcadm enable console-login:vt3
$ pfexec svcadm enable console-login:vt4
$ pfexec svcadm enable console-login:vt5
$ pfexec svcadm enable console-login:vt6

Using Control-Alt-F1 to Control-Alt-F6, one can now switch to virtual consoles. And using Control-Alt-F7, one can switch back to the X server. Note: not setting the options/secure property to false will automatically lock the X server screen.

Although switching to virtual consoles works as expected, getting back to the X server is not really easy. From my experience, with the options/secure property set to true, using Control-Alt-F7 get me to a new login prompt, bypassing my (always?) logged-in session. With the options/secure property set to false, using Control-Alt-F7 leave me with a black screen and a blinking _ cursor... and nothing what I can do without a remote access.

FYI, this problem is covered by the Bug ID number 7001741. Note that you can add yourself to the interest list at the bottom of the bug report page: