I'm running FreeBSD 7.2 on a relatively new Dell Desktop, and when I switch between virtual consoles (ALT-f1, f2 etc) it works the first few times, but then just stops. It doesn't matter which terminal I switch to nor which one I switch back to. The terminal totally hangs up. The box remains up, stable and accessible in every way except the console.

I'm not running X, this is a straight text console. The keyboard (USB) is getting power (I can see the numlock lit up) but no keys respond (numlock, capslock, etc.). There is nothing odd in the messages file or dmesg.

Where else can I look?

Level of difficulty: long time Linux admin, relatively new to FreeBSD.

1 Answer 1


Have you checked Scroll Lock? Scroll Lock locks the terminal at it's current display output, and enables you to use page up/page down to scroll through the given virtual console's output history. Anything you type in while having scroll lock on will be recorded, but not displayed. Once you hit scroll lock again, the console will revert to normal mode.

Alternatively, if that's not it - what happens if you unplug and replug your keyboard? The USB keyboard should detach from the keyboard multiplexer (kbdmux(4)) and reattach.

  • It doesn't appear to be scroll lock. Some errors still appear on the terminal, so it looks like it is only an input problem.
    – Ben
    Sep 9, 2009 at 18:19

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