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I am maintaining an ec2 bootstrapping script for debian squeeze on github. The setup has become very minimal and I try to justify all my changes to the standard setup.

Currently I am wondering whether there would be any problem with disabling all TTYs via /etc/inittab.
People log in to an AMI via ssh anyways, which spawns its own shell.
Is there anything that can be installed on the server which expects a TTY to be present?
Would XEN have a problem with this in the long run?

p.s.: Github issue here

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's not the TTYs you would disable; it is the gettys (you can also modify udev rules to not create device files for the ttys, but they are implemented in the kernel).

If you log in only via SSH and do not log in through any of the console ttys or a serial tty ever, by all means remove the inittab rules that run a getty on them. However, I would personally recommend leaving one, for troubleshooting purposes (in case sshd doesn't work for some reason). Their load on your system resources is pretty minimal.

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Aha, well that distinction makes sense. The TTYs are inaccessible on EC2 instances anyways, so I might as well remove all of them. –  andsens Jul 2 '12 at 0:42

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