running vkernels in production

n0g0013 ttw+bsd at
Fri Feb 3 03:52:36 PST 2012

i'm thinking about testing 'vkernels' as a virtualisation solution;
mostly as a platform for some development ideas, however, i have a
dilemma regarding how to get console access to the systems without
logging in and manually re-starting them.  the solution would
appear to be, use `/etc/ttys` to start and manage the process.
however to the untrained eye, one link seems missing from the
chain -- the ability to redirect stdin/stout to the process
(similiar to the 'i' mode of 'inittab' in SysV).

i can think of three basic strategies to tackle this and appreciate

(1) modify `init` to recognise a `vkernel` (or more generic
`interactive`) type to launch interactive processes

	this seems pretty ugly since (if i understand the code
	correctly) this isn't init's job, it just sets line
	disciplines and launches the process.  `getty` will then
	open the correct console.

(2) modify `getty` and add an interactive option to the gettytab

	this looks pretty good and could probably be achieved by
	small modification to the way that `getty` handles it's
	'lo' option.

(3) modify 'vkernel' to allow the passing of tty on the command
line and for it to open this prior to startup

	i haven't looked at this as, realistically, investigating,
	understanding and writing that patch would take more time
	than i have right now.

finally, if there's a more generic solution that i'm not aware of
-- for example, a tty redirector of some description -- then
i'd like to hear of that too.  whilst my current plan is to use
`netcat/socat` on the localhost and run it that way (for now at
least) i think it would be a bonus to have some way of integrating
these in base system.


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