- This topic has 8 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Andrew Brehm.
Thu, Jun 9 2022 at 5:57 am #1566281
I just encountered an annoying issue.
When trying to log onto Windows Server Core via ILO using a local account, it is impossible to type a backslash if the server’s keyboard layout is too foreign.
In my case it’s a Swiss keyboard layout. Swiss keyboards apparently have a key between z and left-shift that (in combination with alt-gr, another special key on the Swiss keyboard) types \. My American keyboard doesn’t have that key.
1. Changing the keyboard layout in the console. This fails because ILO does not, apparently, send shift-alt through to the server.
2. Typing left-alt and 9 and 2 on the numberpad to get ASCII \. This fails because Server Core apprently doesn’t support this handy input method. (It acts as if I pressed return.)
3. Using / instead of \.
4. Using @servername instead of servername\. (Obviously this didn’t work.)
5. Using ILO hotkeys, which apparently cannot send foreign keycodes either. \ becomes $ (because a Swiss keyboard has $ where an American has \).
6. Calling a colleague with a Swiss keyboard. That worked, but is not practical at all hours.
How did HPE think this should work? What am I overlooking?
Thu, Jun 9 2022 at 8:15 pm #1566290
If I remember right, you have to specify the keyboard layout when you install the server, but I guess the real problem is ILO here. You probably won’t have a problem logon physically with different keyboards.
So if you have physical access, you can logon and then change the keyboard layout.
I never tried this, but perhaps you can connect to the server via PowerShell remoting and then change the keyboard layout.
Thu, Aug 18 2022 at 3:48 am #1567233
If I could connect via PowerShell remoting, I wouldn’t need to use the ILO.
The company would also object to me changing the system’s general keyboard layout for the login screen (which is the default keyboard layout for all users).
“So if you have physical access, you can logon and then change the keyboard layout.”
If I had physical access, I also wouldn’t need to to use the ILO. However, I now assume I would have the same issue logging on. If logging in requires me to type a Swiss
“\” and my keyboard doesn’t have that key, I won’t be able to logon. So I think the issue is really with Windows Server and not with ILO.
Windows Server Desktop allows changing the keyboard layout on the login screen, Windows Server Core does not. I really don’t know how MSFT imagined this should work.
(I think perhaps they imagine a world where different keyboard layouts don’t exist, just like they imagine a world in which every server everywhere is always connected to the Internet and hence PowerShell modules don’t have to come with help files because they can be downloaded at will, in MSFT-land.)
Thu, Aug 18 2022 at 12:46 pm #1567241
I doubt that Microsoft’s engineers imagined anything. It is a special case and Microsoft only cares about everything that affects the masses. Server Core is full of inconsistencies because transforming a GUI OS into a CLI OS was a silly idea from the start. You encountered one of the countless cases where this becam apparent.
Why don’t you get yourself a Swiss keyboard?
Thu, Oct 27 2022 at 1:15 am #1568414
I think switching keyboards around based on the “nationality” of the server currently using is stupid.
Besides, it’s not an option for our team in Singapore who have no access to Swiss keyboards but do (apparently) have a need to send a keyboard code produces by one to Swiss servers.
I could solve the problem by having a US, a German, a French and a Swiss keyboard ready at my desk. Or perhaps there is a superkeyboard available somewhere that can send all sorts of international codes?
Thu, Oct 27 2022 at 2:20 am #1568415
I don’t think that there is a Swiss keyboard since they speak German, Italian and French. So you need to figure out which language they used for the server.
I somehow doubt that the ALT codes don’t work on Server Core because it is not related to the GUI.
Did you enable Num Lock on your keyboard? The ALT codes might also be disabled. Check this out.
Another option you have is to use the On-Screen Keyboard.
Mon, Dec 19 2022 at 9:49 am #1569156
Ok, that was a confusing reply.
1. Yes, there is a Swiss keyboard. I live in Switzerland. I know. I actually speak German and French. But I use a qwerty keyboard. I know there are servers that use a Swiss keyboar layout.
2. You can doubt it, but I actually experienced it. ALT+ASCII doesn’t work on Server Core. I don’t think it matters that it is “not related to the GUI”.
3. No, Num Lock was not a factor.
4. There is no On-Screen Keyboard on a Server Core server. That actually IS related to the GUI.
Mon, Dec 19 2022 at 7:37 pm #1569157
Did you try the ALT codes on a physically connected keyboard or only via ILO only?
What I meant with OSK, is to start it on your client system. Not sure if this works with ILO. Never tried that.
And did you try to simply switch the keyboard layout settings on your client?
Thu, Jan 5 2023 at 3:08 am #1569385
Hm… ok, that was weird.
1. The OSK on the client works on one server in the BIOS setup program. I.e. return and up/down keys work in the menu. (I don’t know why.)
2. The OSK on the client does NOT work on the Windows Server Core login screen. (I don’t know why. Especially since it works in 1.)
3. However, an American “\” worked now. Perhaps this was fixed in one of the updates of the last few months.
Perhaps MSFT found out (I told them and they seemed to ignore the issue) and fixed it.
Or this was a fluke or someone reconfigured the keyboard layout of the server. Have to find out.
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