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:
apt-get install ngetty
Once installed, edit /etc/inittab. The end of it should be edited to look like this:
# /sbin/getty invocations for the runlevels. # # The "id" field MUST be the same as the last # characters of the device (after "tty"). # # Format: # <id>:<runlevels>:<action>:<process> # # Note that on most Debian systems tty7 is used by the X Window System, # so if you want to add more getty's go ahead but skip tty7 if you run X. # #1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1 #2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2 #3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3 #4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4 #5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5 #6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6 ng:2345:respawn:/sbin/ngetty 1 2 3 4 5 6 # Example how to put a getty on a serial line (for a terminal) # #T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS0 9600 vt100 #T1:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS1 9600 vt100 # Example how to put a getty on a modem line. # #T3:23:respawn:/sbin/mgetty -x0 -s 57600 ttyS3
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.