System console

Interface used to control computers or operating systems / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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One meaning of system console, computer console, root console, operator's console, or simply console is the text entry and display device for system administration messages, particularly those from the BIOS or boot loader, the kernel, from the init system and from the system logger. It is a physical device consisting of a keyboard and a screen, and traditionally is a text terminal, but may also be a graphical terminal. System consoles are generalized to computer terminals, which are abstracted respectively by virtual consoles and terminal emulators. Today communication with system consoles is generally done abstractly, via the standard streams (stdin, stdout, and stderr), but there may be system-specific interfaces, for example those used by the system kernel.[1][better source needed]

Knoppix system console showing the boot process

Another, older, meaning of system console, computer console, hardware console, operator's console or simply console is a hardware component used by an operator to control the hardware, typically some combination of front panel, keyboard/printer and keyboard/display.