Error attempting to run alsamixer

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# 8  
Ubuntu 16.04 is the distribution of my PC. Are you wondering what the version of the kernel on the embedded device is? The kernel version on the device is:
# 9  
I am wondering not just the kernel of the embedded device, but what software is running on it!
# 10  
U-Boot 2009.08 - dub- - GCC 4.4.6 - DigiOpenGL - crosstool-ng-1.20.0
# 11  
So, no init system or anything? Your terminal probably hasn't been set up. This is a surprisingly tricky bit of "magic" done with a special syscall which we're for the most part happy to let some linux distribution do for us.

One workaround for it, funny enough, could be ssh-ing into your device. A virtual terminal should be close enough.

I was sure that busybox had a utility for it, and their faq turns out to have that and a better explanation what it does:

"Why do I keep getting "sh: can't access tty; job control turned off" errors? Why doesn't Control-C work within my shell?"

Job control will be turned off since your shell can not obtain a controlling terminal. This typically happens when you run your shell on /dev/console. The kernel will not provide a controlling terminal on the /dev/console device. You should run your shell on a normal tty such as tty1 or ttyS0 and everything will work.

Example: you booted into your machine with init=/bin/sh and got "sh: can't access tty" error because sh has its stdio opened to /dev/console. You want to reopen stdio to, say, /dev/tty1 and thus acquire a controlling tty.

    # Let's try this:
    exec </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1
    # No, doesn't work: even if opening /dev/tty1 gave sh the ctty,
    # sh wouldn't know it - it checks for ctty just once at startup.

    # Let's try re-execing sh:
    exec </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1
    exec sh
    # Got "sh: can't access tty" again. Why?
    # The reason is somewhat obscure: kernel starts process with PID=1
    # (in this case, shell) with SID=0 and PGID=0, not with SID=1 and PGID=1
    # as you'd expect. IOW: our sh is not a session leader, and therefore
    # cannot acquire ctty by opening /dev/tty1 (or any other tty).

    # Let's try making us a session leader:
    exec setsid sh
    exec </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1
    exec sh
    # Yes, this worked!

    # This can be combined into one command,
    # but need to be careful and perform these operations
    # in the correct order:
    # 1. make ourself session leader,
    # 2. open /dev/tty1 and thus acquire a ctty,
    # 3. re-execute the shell, allowing it to notice that it has a ctty:
    exec setsid sh -c 'exec sh </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1'

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