Replacing Getty with Ngetty on Debian

This is useful especially for tiny VPS servers with less than 1GB of RAM. In which case every MB counts! Ngetty is a single-process getty replacement, so instead of running 6 getty processes consuming up to 3MB of RAM each, you can use a single ngetty process using less than 1MB of RAM total. Saving valuable RAM.

First login to your Debian box and run the following command:

Once installed, edit /etc/inittab. The end of it should be edited to look like this:

So basically this line (ng:2345:respawn:/sbin/ngetty 1 2 3 4 5 6) replaces six getty lines.

I was stripping down a Debian 7 server for a client and part of the process follows these steps here. I noticed no instructions for replacing getty with ngetty on that Debian page, so hopefully this helps someone as its quite a simple task.

Replacing Getty with Ngetty on Debian was last modified: October 11th, 2013 by Hayden James

Replacing Getty with Ngetty on Debian

3 Responses

  1. thanks!

    Patrick October 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm #
  2. Good for small mother boards like beagleboard, pi etc. as well. Just you need to add to your tutorial, “init q” for inittab restart without system reboot.

    ZEROF December 12, 2014 at 3:20 am #
  3. Note: this no longer works for debian 8 as jessie does not have /etc/inittab (due to systemd). I would love to have updated instructions for jessie if ngetty can still be used as its been a great resource saver in the past!

    drad September 27, 2015 at 11:28 am #

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