This article was first written in November 2004 for the BeezNest technical website (http://glasnost.beeznest.org/articles/185).
Getty is known to be memory-hungry. Let’s replace it with something lighter, which works in most cases: fgetty
On Debian Sarge and up, it is already packaged, so sudo apt-get install fgetty will do the trick. But this is not sufficent for it to be installed instead of getty.
You will have to edit /etc/inittab. Warning: this is a very dangerous file to edit, as it may render your system unbootable. You have been warned!
The following lines call getty
1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1 2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2 ...
Lets replace it with fgetty, which takes less arguments:
1:23:respawn:/sbin/fgetty tty1 2:23:respawn:/sbin/fgetty tty2 ...
And do that for as many virtual consoles you would like to have. If you don’t need many, comment the lines, but I advise you to keep at least 2.
Save the file and exit.
And then, restart init:
# killall -HUP init