I have a line in my inittab like the following:

# Put a getty on the serial port
ttyS0::respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS0 115200 vt100 # GENERIC_SERIAL

If I try to perform a similar operation from an session command line (this time towards a usb-serial adapter I have):

/sbin/getty -L ttyUSB0 115200 vt100

I receive the following response:

getty: setsid: Operation not permitted

Is i possible to launch the process from my session and have a serial be presented on the usb-serial adapter? Why does this have to occur in inittab?

  • Apparently this error has something do with the fact that I am using busybox, though I am still not sure how to resolve the problem...
    – dtmland
    Apr 17, 2015 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


I solved that problem running :

su root -c "getty /dev/ttyXX"

I am running busybox 1.23.1 on an ARM platform.

  • From what I can gather, I believe my system has some sort of problem. I was able to perform the command on other systems using the same adapters/cables and the getty works just fine.
    – dtmland
    Jan 15, 2016 at 15:10
  • For reference, I had to add the force local line parameter to my command: su root -c "getty -L 115200 ttyUSB0"
    – dtmland
    Jan 15, 2016 at 15:11
  • I'm using BusyBox v1.31.1 and running as root. I get the same error as the OP. Any suggestions on how to diagnose this further? Nov 23, 2022 at 16:06

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