Solution for blank screen when using KVM device to access remote server

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 5:05PM

Ah, so today I made a stupid mistake and got totally lost going down the wrong path.

My hosting company,, connects a KVM device to the server when I need to do certain kinds of changes to the server myself.

It seems they are using a spider duo ps/2 device.   Now that may ring a bell to a lot of technical people, but I didn't think anything about the "ps/2" bit.  I think in the past, they may have rebooted for me, and I didn't have to remember to do that - nor did they tell me I needed to reboot for it to work.

I was getting super frustrated trying to figure out why I was getting a blank screen after loading up the console window.

I assumed it was because of my system or the version of software, but not it was just the ps/2 connection.

Centos Linux has a blank screen until you press any key on the keyboard.   Since the ps/2 device was plugged in after the system was already booted, the system didn't detect the keyboard.  

Solution: It is necessary to REBOOT the server before you can use keyboard or mouse with a PS/2 KVM device.

I actually tried to run old version of Java, I tried to use a virtual machine to login, and I tried to disable security software.  I even reported an issue on the manufacturers support site, and had to cancel that request feeling a bit silly.  All that efforts was in vain since the problem wasn't on my end of the connection at all.

Since I couldn't find any resources on the web about needing to reboot the server to fix the blank screen - no input problem, I decided to post my own article here.   So many devices are USB and plug and play now adays that the ancient PS/2 devices are easy to forget about perhaps.

The KVM console software has a Ctrl+Alt+Delete button which can help you reboot the server yourself.  It is possible to disable Ctrl+Alt+Delete in linux, so you may want to review your configuration if you have trouble using that button.

Ah, sometimes its just the simplest things!

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