3.15.6 ConIn

The platform connects the console devices using the device paths from the ConIn, ConOut, and ErrOut global UEFI variables. The ConIn connection process is discussed first.
ConIn = Acpi(HWP0002,0,PNP0A03)/Pci(1|1)/Uart(9600 N81)/ VenMsg(Vt100+)
The UEFI connection process searches for the device in the handle database having a device path that most closely matches the following.
Acpi(HWP0002,0,PNP0A03)/Pci(1|1)/Uart(9600 N81)/VenMsg(Vt100+)
It finds handle 17 as the closest match. The portion of the device path that did not match (Uart(9600 N81)/VenMsg(Vt100+)) is called the remaining device path.
17: PciIo DevPath (Acpi(HWP0002,0,PNP0A03)/Pci(1|1))
UEFI calls ConnectController(), passing in handle 17 and the remaining device path. The connection code constructs a list of all the drivers in the system and calls each driver, passing handle 17 and the remaining device path into the Supported() service. The only driver installed in the handle database that returns EFI_SUCCESS for this device handle is handle 30:
30: Image(PciSerialDxe) DriverBinding ComponentName2 ComponentName
After ConnectController() finds a driver that supports handle 17, it passes device handle 17 and the remaining device path Uart(9600 N81)/ VenMsg(Vt100+) into the serial driver's Start() service. The serial driver opens the PCI I/O Protocol on handle 17 and create a new child handle. The following is installed onto the new child handle:
  • EFI_SERIAL_IO_PROTOCOL (defined in the Console Support chapter of the UEFI Specification)
  • EFI_DEVICE_PATH_PROTOCOL
The device path for the child handle is generated by making a copy of the device path from the parent and appending the serial device path node Uart(9600 N81). Handle 3B, shown below, is the new child handle.
3B: SerialIo DevPath (Acpi(HWP0002,0,PNP0A03)/Pci(1|1)/Uart(9600 N81))
That first call to ConnectController() has now been completed, but the Device Path Protocol on handle 3B does not completely match the ConIn device path, so the connection process is repeated. This time the closest match for 'Acpi(HWP0002,0)/Pci(1|1)/Uart(9600 N81)/VenMsg(Vt100+)' is the newly created device handle 3B. Now the remaining device path is 'VenMsg(Vt100+)'. The search for a driver that supports handle 3B finds the terminal driver, returning 'EFI_SUCCESS' from the 'Supported()' service.
31: Image(TerminalDxe) DriverBinding ComponentName2 ComponentName
This driver's Start() service opens the EFI_SERIAL IO_PROTOCOL, creates a new child handle, and installs the following:
  • EFI_SIMPLE_TEXT_INPUT_PROTOCOL
  • EFI_SIMPLE_TEXT_OUTPUT_PROTOCOL
  • EFI_DEVICE_PATH_PROTOCOL
The console protocols are defined in the Console Support chapter of the UEFI Specification. The device path is generated by making a copy of the device path from the parent and appending the terminal device path node VenMsg(Vt100+). VT100+ was chosen because that terminal type was specified in the remaining device path that was passed into the Start() service. Handle 3C, shown below, is the new child handle.
3C: Txtin Txtout DevPath (Acpi(HWP0002,0,PNP0A03)/Pci(1|1)/Uart(9600 N81)/VenMsg(Vt100+))
At this point, the process still has not completely matched the ConIn device path, so the connection process is repeated again. This time there is an exact match for Acpi(HWP0002,0,PNP0A03)/Pci(1|1)/Uart(9600 N81)/VenMsg(Vt100+) with the newly created child handle 3C. The search for a driver that supports this controller results in two driver handles that return EFI_SUCCESS to the Supported() service. The two driver handles are from the platform console management driver:
32: Image(ConPlatformDxe) Driver Binding ComponentName2 ComponentName
33: Driver Binding ComponentName2 ComponentName
Driver 32 installs a ConOut Tag GUID on the handle if the device path is listed in the ConOut global UEFI variable. In this example, this case is true. Driver 32 also installs a StdErr Tag GUID on the handle if the device path is listed in the ErrOut global UEFI variable. This case is also true in the following example. Therefore, handle 3C has two new protocols on it: ConOut and StdErr.
3C: TxtInEx Txtin Txtout ConOut StdErr DevPath (Acpi(HWP0002,0,PNP0A03)/Pci(1|1)/Uart(9600 N81)/ VenMsg(Vt100+))
Driver 33 installs a ConIn Tag GUID on the handle if the device path is listed in the ConIn global UEFI variable (which it does because the connection process started that way), so handle 3C has the ConIn protocol attached.
3C: TxtinEx Txtin Txtout ConIn ConOut StdErr DevPath (Acpi(HWP0002,0,PNP0A03)/Pci(1|1)/Uart(9600 N81)/VenMsg(Vt100+))
UEFI uses these three protocols (ConIn, ConOut, and StdErr) to mark devices in the platform, which have been selected by the user as ConIn, ConOut, and StdErr. These protocols are actually Tag GUIDs without any services or data.
There are three other driver handles that return EFI_SUCCESS from the Supported() service. These driver handles are from the console splitter drivers for the ConIn, ConOut, and StdErr devices in the system. There is a fourth console splitter driver handle (which is not used on this handle) for devices that support the Simple Pointer Protocol. The three driver handles are listed below:
34: Image(ConSplitterDxe) DriverBinding ComponentName3 ComponentName**
35: DriverBinding ComponentName2 ComponentName**
36: DriverBinding ComponentName2 ComponentName**
37: DriverBinding ComponentName2 ComponentName**
Remember that when the console splitter driver was first loaded, it created three virtual handles for the primary console input device, the primary console output device, and the primary standard error device.
38: TxtinEx TxtIn SimplePointer AbsolutePointer
39: Txtout GraphicsOutput UgaDraw
3A: Txtout
The console splitter driver's Supported() service for handle 34 examines the handle 3C for a ConIn Protocol. Having found it, it returns EFI_SUCCESS. The Start() service then opens the ConIn protocol on handle 3C such that the primary console input device handle 38 becomes a child controller and starts aggregating the SIMPLE_INPUT_EX_PROTOCOL and SIMPLE_INPUT_PROTOCOL services. The same thing happens for handle 36 with ConIn, except that the
SIMPLE_TEXT_OUTPUT_PROTOCOL functionality on handle 3C is aggregated into the SIMPLE_TEXT_OUTPUT_PROTOCOL on the primary console output handle 39.
Handle 37 with StdErr also does the same thing; the SIMPLE_TEXT_OUTPUT_PROTOCOL functionality on handle 3C is aggregated into the SIMPLE_TEXT_OUTPUT_PROTOCOL on the primary standard error handle 3A.
The connection process has now been completed for ConIn because the device path that completely matched the ConIn device path and all the console-related services has been installed.