[lfs-support] Framebuffers

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Tue Mar 3 21:48:45 PST 2015

On Tue, Mar 03, 2015 at 08:01:45PM -0800, Paul Rogers wrote:
> This isn't a request for a problem solution on LFS, but for advice.  In
> the decade I've been using LFS I've avoided using framebuffers.  That's
> been OK for the stuff I do, which is as often on CLI as in X, but things
> have moved on a lot, and I guess it's time--got an i7 and Nvidia card
> now for one thing ;-) .  On this LFS-7.2 system I'm building out I tried
> it, picking up the Nouveau driver in the process.  As soon as udev
> creates /dev/fb0 the console explodes into huge screen with an itsy,
> bitsy miniscule font that is often too hard to read.  Some stuff I see
> says to use vga=769 on the boot line.  That does nothing. The LDP
> HowTo's are 5 years old and speak of kernel-2.1!
> So my question is, where is a good source for me to get up to speed so I
> can make the console framebuffer behave the way I want outside of X?

 Look for information on video=, for example video=1024x768.  The
useful value(s) will depend on your monitor.

 For example, my main monitor is 1600x1200.  On that I sometimes use
video=800x600 (radeon, kms, 8x16 console font).  On other boxes, or
other systems on that box, I omit the video= specification and
sometimes use a 12x22 console font.  Unfortunately, there are no
console fonts between 8x16 and 12x22 - well, maybe there are a few
9-wide non UTF-8, but nothing useful and certainly no intermediate
heights (I did spend some time trying to create an intermediate
height font, but gave it up as a waste of my time : 12x22 gave me
enough columns and rows to be useful).

 If you want to use 12x22, you need to select it in the kernel, I
think (Sun 12x22 font), otherwise trying to load a 12x22 font in kbd
may fail.

 Basically, it comes down to the details of what you want.  I
remember somebody complaining fairly recently, perhaps on lkml,
because a framebuffer on his screen gave him a _lot_ more than the
80x25 that he really wanted.  Me, I'm happy to see the penguins and
a few more character cells ;-)  [ I ran linux on ppc apples for some
years, and there a framebuffer was mandatory, even if the config help
suggested it was a dangerous experiment. ]

 For 7.2, vga= is probably fine (although I think that the version
of grub even that long ago claimed that vga= was deprecated).  I
still use a vga= option (with 7.6) on the "desktop" machine which is
my server.  But I've also been using it recently in qemu to try the
vmware driver - with unusable (console) results.

Nanny Ogg usually went to bed early. After all, she was an old lady.
Sometimes she went to bed as early as 6 a.m.

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