I have a dialup console on a Linux box (Raspbian 9.1 on a Raspberry Pi 2 model B Rev 1.1, if it matters). mgetty version is 1.1.36-3. I can dial in and everything functions fine.

In the past, on my previous dialup console machine (which was running Debian 6.0; the system's not running so I can't check the mgetty version), running 'who' would show interesting information about the modem-connected user:

jim      tty7         2018-02-27 15:41 (:0)
jim      pts/2        2018-02-27 22:20 (
jim      ttyS0        2018-03-03 12:05 (33600/ARQ/V34/LAPM/V42BIS)

(Manually generated from memory of how it displays.)

Instead it displays as:

jim      pts/0        2018-02-14 17:00 (2605:xxx:b9ff:fe17:e860)
jim      pts/1        2018-03-03 14:08 (2605:xxx:d7e3:d555:6906)
jim      ttyUSB0      2018-03-03 14:10

Notice that it's blank.

The log file in /var/log/mgetty clearly shows the connection information, so I know that the modem is giving a useful connection string to mgetty. mgetty is not passing this along to whatever who gets its information from, though.

Contents of relevant log file:

08/19 10:52:51 ##### data dev=ttyUSB0, pid=25733, caller='306xxxyyyy', conn='16800/ARQ/HST/HST/V42BIS', name='TORVALDS L :)', cmd='/bin/login', user='jim'

I know this is trivial and unnecessary, but I prefer how it used to work. How do I restore this functionality?

I doubt it's relevant, but the old machine used a real serial port, but the new one, lacking any, is using a USB-to-serial converter.

  • Were you using portslave rather than mgetty on your previous dialup machine? portslave did fancy things with wtmp/utmp, but it got dropped from debian somewhere around 2013 or 2014 because the author (who also maintained the debian package) felt that nobody used it any more. It probably wouldn't be too hard to get the debianised source from a Debian 6.0 ('squeeze') archive and rebuild it for raspbian 9.1 – cas Mar 4 '18 at 9:20
  • BTW, if you still have the old system's hard disk you should be able to install it in a USB drive box and mount it to inspect the configuration without having to boot it up. – cas Mar 4 '18 at 9:21
  • @cas I was definitely using mgetty, unless installing mgetty at one point used portslave instead. I've never even heard of portslave. :) – Jim MacKenzie Mar 4 '18 at 14:42
  • @cas I do still have the system's hard disk, and I have a backup that doesn't predate the system's problems by too much. (I broke it with a kernel upgrade, and still have hopes of resurrecting it at some point. It was my first Linux machine.) – Jim MacKenzie Mar 4 '18 at 14:42
  • 1
    You could convert it to a VM, try searching for VM and P2V or Physical to Virtual. BTW, if you do mount the old disk, check the /etc/mgetty/login.config file and compare it to your current version. Check especially the options passed to either /usr/sbin/pppd or /bin/login. Also worth checking /etc/ppp/options (if you're using ppp login rather than logging in to a shell). BTW, can you add a relevant log entry from /var/log/mgetty to your question? – cas Mar 5 '18 at 5:04

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