I'm currently trying to build my own custom Linux OS for my Raspberry Pi 3 and am experiencing some trouble.

I'm using buildroot v2018_2.

I configured the system using make raspberrypi3_defconfig

Then just changed the following options :

  • C library : use glibc instead of uClibc-ng
  • Increased filesystem size from 60M to 100M
  • Add password root to root user under [*] Enable root login with password

After compiling, flashing the generated sdcard.img and booting, I can see kernel logs on the HDMI connected screen.

However after booting, the OS doesn't propose any prompt on the HDMI screen and I'm stuck here.

I know that the system is not freezed because I can see kernel logs if I plug/unplug my keyboard.

I suppose that the console is connected to the UART and only kernel logs are sent to HDMI port.

However I can't find how to force console prompt on HDMI.

Here are my config.txt and cmdline :

$ cat config.txt
# Please note that this is only a sample, we recommend you to change it to fit
# your needs.
# You should override this file using a post-build script.
# See http://buildroot.org/manual.html#rootfs-custom
# and http://elinux.org/RPiconfig for a description of config.txt syntax


# To use an external initramfs file
#initramfs rootfs.cpio.gz

# Disable overscan assuming the display supports displaying the full resolution
# If the text shown on the screen disappears off the edge, comment this out

# How much memory in MB to assign to the GPU on Pi models having
# 256, 512 or 1024 MB total memory

# fixes rpi3 ttyAMA0 serial console

$ cat cmdline
root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootwait console=tty1 console=ttyAMA0,115200

I didn't change any configuration in kernel and I'm using the one from raspberry-pi github repository.

Does someone know how I could get a prompt on the HDMI screen ?

2 Answers 2


Add a line as follows to your /etc/inittab:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1

but perhaps your speed should be 115200 iso 38400

  • Tried but still the same result. I already had a line for HDMI console in my inittab tty1::respawn:/sbin/getty -L tty1 0 vt100 # HDMI console
    – Arkaik
    Apr 7, 2018 at 18:59
  • /etc/inittab is part of the deprecated SysV init boot system. I don't know what you have compiled but Raspbian comes since years (Jessie) with 'Systemd' init system. There isn't anymore a /etc/inittab in official images. You should really consider to use systemd and check its services for output on consoles.
    – Ingo
    Apr 7, 2018 at 19:36
  • No systemd on my systems, I stick to Devuan, I prefer to know what's going on. Apr 7, 2018 at 20:31
  • @GerardH.Pille, do you mean Debian?
    – jsotola
    Apr 8, 2018 at 2:16
  • @jsotola, no, D e v u a n. Only older people like me are allowed to use it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devuan VUA = veteran unix administrators. Apr 8, 2018 at 3:24

Thanks to @Gerard H. Pille and his clue about /etc/inittab file, I could find a solution which is described here

Seems that for having HDMI console, two tricks have to be done:

  • console=tty1 shall be after console=ttyAMA0,115200 in cmdline.txt
  • In /etc/inittab only one console in enabled.

There may have a better solution which allow to have several getty into /etc/inittab but this solution is sufficient for me right now.

  • I only have console=tty1 in my cmdline.txt, never understood why one would have two of them. Isn't it always the last one that counts? In /etc/inittab I've got 6 consoles - 7 is for X - and I can login on all of them. Apr 7, 2018 at 20:36

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