Gary's picture

We appear to be having the following problem with every single one of the Turnkey appliances that we currently run, in VMware, and using VMware's "Web Console" to interact with the appliances.  We are using v. 16 OVA files (I can't remember if they're 16.0, 16.1 or 16.2, but I can check if you need to know), and we are using v. 17.1 ISO files with Debian's "open-vm-tools" package installed.

After restarting an appliance, the initial Turnkey screen does show up, however there are Debian boot messages on the screen (see the attached screenshot "1.jpg") which obscure the "Quit" button.  Also, after an appliance has been running for a while without a reboot, more messages appear (see the attached screenshot "2.jpg") and the initial Turnkey screen seems to have disappeared completely.  Fortunately, however, and in both cases, we are, by pressing Enter, able to exit the initial Turnkey screen and get access to Debian's login prompt.

We were thinking that perhaps a bootup script somewhere needs to, to make Postfix start before the initial Turnkey screen is displayed, be changed?

Any thoughts?

Thank you so much!

Jeremy Davis's picture

Unfortunately, it's a known issue. IIRC it started in v15.x, when the init system transitioned to use systemd (instead of Sysvinit). It got worse in v16.x (as systemd got deeper integrated) and v17.x is the same as v16.x. It does seem to affect some appliances more than others (I assume depending on what services are running).

The messages can be disabled, but that will also disable the boot messages too (which can often give important info when things go wrong). I don't really want to make debugging issues harder if I can avoid it.

TBH, I'm not sure of the best way to do it, but at the very least, we probably should provide an easy way for users such as yourself to disable the messages when desired. Or perhaps we ship with it as is, but disable the messages on firstboot (when you set passwords etc)? That might work as the most likely time a user might hit an issue is the firstboot.

Another thought I had was that perhaps we could make the default grub boot menu entry "quiet", but add an additional entry to the grub boot menu, which would allow the full boot messages (for debugging issues). Having said that, there is already a "recovery" option, so perhaps that's just doubling up? Although the current "recovery" option will boot into a limited environment - so not quite the same as a normal boot.

Regardless, you can stop those messages by appending "quiet" to the kernel command line options.

To set it to be "quiet", edit /etc/default/grub and change the line that currently looks like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="net.ifnames=0 "

Append 'quiet' (space separated, within the quotes) so that it looks like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="net.ifnames=0 quiet"

Then run:


That should give output similar to this (although yours will have a different kernel; version and likely additional older kernels listed too):

Generating grub configuration file ...
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.10.0-21-amd64
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.10.0-21-amd64
Warning: os-prober will be executed to detect other bootable partitions.
Its output will be used to detect bootable binaries on them and create new boot entries.

Then reboot to apply it. You should notice the difference as soon as you get past the grub screen after it starts booting again (you won't see the scrolling boot messages).

I hope that helps and if you have any feedback regarding my thoughts, I'd really appreciate your perspective. Sometimes I'm so deep in TurnKey that I can lose track of what might be best for our "average user".

Gary's picture

Hi, Jeremy,

I agree with you that disabling boot messages would rob users of vital debugging information and may not be a good idea.

The fact that the boot messages on the initial Turnkey screen do not in fact disable the use of the "Quit" button but merely visually obscure the "Quit" button, makes them something that can be lived with, in my opinion.

Thanks for your thoughts on this!

Jeremy Davis's picture

Thanks for your feedback Gary.

I think I'd still like to make it easier for those that do want to disable those messages, but your feedback makes me feel more comfortable leaving it as is by default.

Out of interest, the messages are only forwarded to the "primary" terminal. If you log in via SSH then you won't get them overwriting your text (they're considered a pseudo-terminal). In fairness, the main thing I use Confconsole for personally, is getting the IP when I've launched a VM (which defaults to DHCP) - so is zero help in that scenario. But IMO SSH via a native client (i.e. OpenSSH) is still the best CLI experience. Mac and Linux generally ship with OpenSSH pre-installed but it can also be installed easily on Windows too these days (in fact was pre-installed on the version of Win 11 I tested recently).

Actually, I've just had a thought. What about a key you can press to clear the messages that overwrite? I.e. redraw the confconsole screen over the top. It won't stop new messages overwriting, but could be an improvement on the current situation?

Gary's picture

The main thing for which we use the initial Turnkey screen is, like you, to see what IP address DHCP has assigned to the appliance.  We usually then use the "Quit" button, then log in as "root", then execute "confconsole" at the command line, then do whatever else needs to be done (e.g. obtain an SSL key via Let's Encrypt), and then leave "confconsole" running.

I think that, upon first glance at the initial Turnkey screen and seeing boot messages obscuring the "Quit" button, we were worried that we would be prevented from using the "Quit" button, but that fortunately turned out to not be the case.

The idea of a key that can be pressed to clear messages that overwrite strikes me as good, if such a key would be available both on the initial Turnkey screen and on the first screen that appears when "confconsole" is executed at the command line.

Thanks again!

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