sorry for butting in late here, but this keyboard plugging issue has been a 
pet peeve of mine for quite a while.

> But of course, the best solution to this whole hot-plugging issue is this:
> What you would rather do?  Buy a $20 keyboard/mouse or a $150+
> motherboard?
> Heck, you can buy cheap 4-port KVMs for under $200 these days too.

That argument just doesn't hold in home environments or low-budget colo 

Myself and pretty much everyone I know have a habit of unplugging and plugging 
keyboards freely and have done so for years and a multitude of machines, and 
so far I have never ever heard of it causing hardware problems.

The reality is that it is *extremely* annoying when you need physical console 
access and find yourself dead in the water because apparently the keyboard 
was disconnected during boot. Whether that is because of some cabling issue, 
a lack of keyboards, or something else isn't important - it can easily happen 
at home. And it may very well lead to some database corruption (or 
what-have-you) if you are forced to do an unclean shutdown.

In a colo situation it can be much worse. In order to remedy the situation you 
need a digital KVM switch since an analog switch is essentially emulating 
plugging/unplugging quickly rather than acting as an active keyboard for each 
machine it is connected to. Not only can such a switch cost more than $200 
(at least the ones I've seen) - they can also break (which happened to the 
one and only digital KVM switch I have ever used), and they waste precious 
rack space. And even with a KVM switch the flexibility of being able to 
re-arrange cabling is quite useful.

Serial redirection is not always an option in a low-budget environment such as 
personal colo boxes where you try to really press the costs. How many 
low-budget motherboards have you seen that support console redirection? Not 
many I would guess.

In short - it may seem like a trival problem but it's helluva annoying and can 
easily lead to serious problems both at home and in colocation environments. 
I'm very surprised FreeBSD doesn't handle this by default out of the box.

/ Peter Schuller, InfiDyne Technologies HB

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