FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
» Video Reviews

» Linux Archive

Linux-archive is a website aiming to archive linux email lists and to make them easily accessible for linux users/developers.


» Sponsor

» Partners

» Sponsor

Go Back   Linux Archive > Gentoo > Gentoo User

 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
 
Old 02-03-2011, 05:07 AM
"Walter Dnes"
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

Back around 2000, we still had CRT monitors, not LCDs. The cheaper
monitors shimmered badly in GUI mode and were hard on my eyes. One of
the factors that drove me to linux back then was that, except for web
browsing and spreadsheets, I could do most of my work in a true text
console (and I don't mean an xterm, either). I love sharp crisp
textmode fonts on a text console. I used to do email and write code in
text consoles, and {CTRL-ALT-F10} to GUI for browsing (yes, I tweaked my
/etc/inittab to allow 10 consoles).

Recently, however, video drivers for both Intel and ATI have switched
over to some brain-dead framebuffer mode that renders regular
consolefonts microscopic. Also the line lengths are ridiculously long.
E.g. on my 1920x1200 LCD monitor, an 8x16 font gives 75 rows of 240
columns each. On my 14" notebook (1366x768) it's 48 rows of 170 columns
each. The largest consolefont I can find in /usr/share/consolefonts/ is
sun12x22. It's large enough to be at least readable, but I don't like
the way the font looks, and it's still too small for my taste, 54 rows
of 160 columns each on the LCD monitor.

My questions, in decreasing order of preference, are...

Plan a) Is there a way to have a real text console? I know that I can
have 2 X sessions on tty10 and tty11 with different resolutions, and
colour depths. Is there a way to set tty1..tty9 to 640x480 *IN TEXT
MODE*, so that lat1-?? fonts would look normal, without killing the
ability to have X run at 1920x1200?

Plan b) Are there extra large versions of lat1-?? fonts (24 pixels wide
for my 24" LED and 17 pixels wide for my notebook) that I can use in
framebuffer mode to emulate the look of real text mode?

Plan c) Are there any font-design and manipulation utilities that will
allow me to modify lat1-?? fonts to generate bigger versions?

--
Walter Dnes <waltdnes@waltdnes.org>
 
Old 02-03-2011, 01:54 PM
Johannes Kimmel
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

On 02/03/2011 07:07 AM, Walter Dnes wrote:

Back around 2000, we still had CRT monitors, not LCDs. The cheaper
monitors shimmered badly in GUI mode and were hard on my eyes. One of
the factors that drove me to linux back then was that, except for web
browsing and spreadsheets, I could do most of my work in a true text
console (and I don't mean an xterm, either). I love sharp crisp
textmode fonts on a text console. I used to do email and write code in
text consoles, and {CTRL-ALT-F10} to GUI for browsing (yes, I tweaked my
/etc/inittab to allow 10 consoles).

Recently, however, video drivers for both Intel and ATI have switched
over to some brain-dead framebuffer mode that renders regular
consolefonts microscopic. Also the line lengths are ridiculously long.
E.g. on my 1920x1200 LCD monitor, an 8x16 font gives 75 rows of 240
columns each. On my 14" notebook (1366x768) it's 48 rows of 170 columns
each. The largest consolefont I can find in /usr/share/consolefonts/ is
sun12x22. It's large enough to be at least readable, but I don't like
the way the font looks, and it's still too small for my taste, 54 rows
of 160 columns each on the LCD monitor.

My questions, in decreasing order of preference, are...

Plan a) Is there a way to have a real text console? I know that I can
have 2 X sessions on tty10 and tty11 with different resolutions, and
colour depths. Is there a way to set tty1..tty9 to 640x480 *IN TEXT
MODE*, so that lat1-?? fonts would look normal, without killing the
ability to have X run at 1920x1200?

Plan b) Are there extra large versions of lat1-?? fonts (24 pixels wide
for my 24" LED and 17 pixels wide for my notebook) that I can use in
framebuffer mode to emulate the look of real text mode?

Plan c) Are there any font-design and manipulation utilities that will
allow me to modify lat1-?? fonts to generate bigger versions?



Maybe you should also try using a tiling-window-manager like awesome or
xmonad. This way you can easily switch between consoles and most
x-terminals support a lot of fonts.


Johannes Kimmel
 
Old 02-03-2011, 03:08 PM
Paul Hartman
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 12:07 AM, Walter Dnes <waltdnes@waltdnes.org> wrote:
> *Recently, however, video drivers for both Intel and ATI have switched
> over to some brain-dead framebuffer mode that renders regular
> consolefonts microscopic. *Also the line lengths are ridiculously long.

Sounds like KMS perhaps. Try to add "nomodeset" to your kernel boot
command-line to disable it and see how that goes.

Alternately don't use the KMS driver at all, disable all
framebuffer/bootsplash stuff, don't use vga=xyz on your kernel
command-line if it's there. (I don't know if avoiding KMS is always
possible, at least with my laptop's ATI chipset I still have the
choice to use the old driver)

Worst-case scenario, use fbset and setfont to set a resolution and
font size that is a close approximation to what you are comfortable
with, then make it permanent in the kernel command-line and
consolefont settings.
 
Old 02-03-2011, 08:40 PM
Mick
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

On Thursday 03 February 2011 06:07:55 Walter Dnes wrote:
> Back around 2000, we still had CRT monitors, not LCDs. The cheaper
> monitors shimmered badly in GUI mode and were hard on my eyes. One of
> the factors that drove me to linux back then was that, except for web
> browsing and spreadsheets, I could do most of my work in a true text
> console (and I don't mean an xterm, either). I love sharp crisp
> textmode fonts on a text console. I used to do email and write code in
> text consoles, and {CTRL-ALT-F10} to GUI for browsing (yes, I tweaked my
> /etc/inittab to allow 10 consoles).
>
> Recently, however, video drivers for both Intel and ATI have switched
> over to some brain-dead framebuffer mode that renders regular
> consolefonts microscopic. Also the line lengths are ridiculously long.
> E.g. on my 1920x1200 LCD monitor, an 8x16 font gives 75 rows of 240
> columns each. On my 14" notebook (1366x768) it's 48 rows of 170 columns
> each. The largest consolefont I can find in /usr/share/consolefonts/ is
> sun12x22. It's large enough to be at least readable, but I don't like
> the way the font looks, and it's still too small for my taste, 54 rows
> of 160 columns each on the LCD monitor.
>
> My questions, in decreasing order of preference, are...
>
> Plan a) Is there a way to have a real text console? I know that I can
> have 2 X sessions on tty10 and tty11 with different resolutions, and
> colour depths. Is there a way to set tty1..tty9 to 640x480 *IN TEXT
> MODE*, so that lat1-?? fonts would look normal, without killing the
> ability to have X run at 1920x1200?

Yes.

Leave KMS enabled and add the parameter:

video=1024x768 (or whatever suits your screen and taste)

to your kernel line. You shouldn't need vesafb, uvesa or any other drivers to
achieve this.

Read more here: /Documentation/fb/modedb.txt

I think that if you revert to a framebuffer driver then you must add nomodeset
on your kernel line.
--
Regards,
Mick
 
Old 02-03-2011, 09:11 PM
Nikos Chantziaras
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

On 02/03/2011 08:07 AM, Walter Dnes wrote:

Is there a way to have a real text console? I know that I can
have 2 X sessions on tty10 and tty11 with different resolutions, and
colour depths. Is there a way to set tty1..tty9 to 640x480 *IN TEXT
MODE*, so that lat1-?? fonts would look normal, without killing the
ability to have X run at 1920x1200?


Note that the suggestion the others gave about disabling KMS is probably
not what you need. Disabling KMS means that it will also be disabled
for X11, not only for the framebuffer. As you can imagine this is a bad
thing.
 
Old 02-03-2011, 11:05 PM
walt
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

On 02/03/2011 02:11 PM, Nikos Chantziaras wrote:

On 02/03/2011 08:07 AM, Walter Dnes wrote:

Is there a way to have a real text console? I know that I can
have 2 X sessions on tty10 and tty11 with different resolutions, and
colour depths. Is there a way to set tty1..tty9 to 640x480 *IN TEXT
MODE*, so that lat1-?? fonts would look normal, without killing the
ability to have X run at 1920x1200?


Note that the suggestion the others gave about disabling KMS is probably
not what you need. Disabling KMS means that it will also be disabled for
X11, not only for the framebuffer. As you can imagine this is a bad thing.


I'm aware of KMS because of my experiments with the 'nouveau' driver, but
I still have no idea what KMS really does.

In other words, I *cannot* imagine why disabling KMS is a bad thing, but I
would very much like to know
 
Old 02-03-2011, 11:33 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

Apparently, though unproven, at 02:05 on Friday 04 February 2011, walt did
opine thusly:

> On 02/03/2011 02:11 PM, Nikos Chantziaras wrote:
> > On 02/03/2011 08:07 AM, Walter Dnes wrote:
> >> Is there a way to have a real text console? I know that I can
> >> have 2 X sessions on tty10 and tty11 with different resolutions, and
> >> colour depths. Is there a way to set tty1..tty9 to 640x480 *IN TEXT
> >> MODE*, so that lat1-?? fonts would look normal, without killing the
> >> ability to have X run at 1920x1200?
> >
> > Note that the suggestion the others gave about disabling KMS is probably
> >
> >not what you need. Disabling KMS means that it will also be disabled for
> >X11, not only for the framebuffer. As you can imagine this is a bad thing.
>
> I'm aware of KMS because of my experiments with the 'nouveau' driver, but
> I still have no idea what KMS really does.
>
> In other words, I *cannot* imagine why disabling KMS is a bad thing, but I
> would very much like to know

Very short answer:

Without KMS, changing video modes or changing from console to X requires a
fantastically gigantic amount of swapping running code in and out, handing
over control of the graphics hardware for one driver to another, and is a
magnificent bug-injection mechanism. It's why it takes 2-3 seconds to switch
from X to tty1 and why some hardware flickers like in banshee while doing it.

KMS removes the need for the video driver to be aware of all the nonsense that
requires. The driver no longer needs to get up close and personal with
everything else the kernel is doing and make really sure it's timing is really
right. Of course, the video driver has to support KMS for this to work. nVidia
doesn't, nouveau does.

In fact, nouveau *requires* KMS. It's such a good idea that the nouveau devs
decided they were simply not going to support no-KMS.

Disabling KMS (if it works with your hardware and drivers) in general is a bad
idea as you lose all that nice KMS goodness. It's an especially bad idea with
nouveau as the video hardware stops working at all.





--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 02-03-2011, 11:37 PM
Nikos Chantziaras
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

On 02/04/2011 02:05 AM, walt wrote:

On 02/03/2011 02:11 PM, Nikos Chantziaras wrote:

On 02/03/2011 08:07 AM, Walter Dnes wrote:

Is there a way to have a real text console? I know that I can
have 2 X sessions on tty10 and tty11 with different resolutions, and
colour depths. Is there a way to set tty1..tty9 to 640x480 *IN TEXT
MODE*, so that lat1-?? fonts would look normal, without killing the
ability to have X run at 1920x1200?


Note that the suggestion the others gave about disabling KMS is probably
not what you need. Disabling KMS means that it will also be disabled for
X11, not only for the framebuffer. As you can imagine this is a bad
thing.


I'm aware of KMS because of my experiments with the 'nouveau' driver, but
I still have no idea what KMS really does.

In other words, I *cannot* imagine why disabling KMS is a bad thing, but I
would very much like to know


For the radeon driver at least, disabling KMS means that you won't get
DRI2 in X11. That means slower performance and tearing. The non-KMS X
driver is pretty much considered deprecated.
 
Old 02-04-2011, 05:10 PM
Paul Hartman
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 6:37 PM, Nikos Chantziaras <realnc@arcor.de> wrote:
> On 02/04/2011 02:05 AM, walt wrote:
>>
>> On 02/03/2011 02:11 PM, Nikos Chantziaras wrote:
>>>
>>> On 02/03/2011 08:07 AM, Walter Dnes wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Is there a way to have a real text console? I know that I can
>>>> have 2 X sessions on tty10 and tty11 with different resolutions, and
>>>> colour depths. Is there a way to set tty1..tty9 to 640x480 *IN TEXT
>>>> MODE*, so that lat1-?? fonts would look normal, without killing the
>>>> ability to have X run at 1920x1200?
>>>
>>> Note that the suggestion the others gave about disabling KMS is probably
>>> not what you need. Disabling KMS means that it will also be disabled for
>>> X11, not only for the framebuffer. As you can imagine this is a bad
>>> thing.
>>
>> I'm aware of KMS because of my experiments with the 'nouveau' driver, but
>> I still have no idea what KMS really does.
>>
>> In other words, I *cannot* imagine why disabling KMS is a bad thing, but I
>> would very much like to know
>
> For the radeon driver at least, disabling KMS means that you won't get DRI2
> in X11. *That means slower performance and tearing. *The non-KMS X driver is
> pretty much considered deprecated.

Anecdote: On my laptop, which has a Radeon Mobility 9700 (uses RV350
or RV360), I got 30fps in Sauerbraten using the old non-KMS radeon
driver, and only 15fps using the new KMS driver. Enabling gallium on
latest mesa improves that to about 18fps, but causes my computer to
crash after a few minutes...

Both of them are slower than the proprietary ati-drivers used to be,
but I stopped using those a long time ago (and they don't support my
card anymore anyway).
 
Old 02-04-2011, 07:05 PM
Enrico Weigelt
 
Default Any way to get real text console without killing X capability?

* Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@gmail.com> wrote:

> KMS removes the need for the video driver to be aware of all
> the nonsense that requires. The driver no longer needs to get
> up close and personal with everything else the kernel is doing
> and make really sure it's timing is really right. Of course,
> the video driver has to support KMS for this to work. nVidia
> doesn't, nouveau does.

AFAIK, KMS moves parts of the video driver's jobs to kernelspace.
Mode switching from userland (more precisely: done by X) always
has been a tricky and unstable thing, eg. crashing Xserver leaving
behind usuable console. That should be gone w/ KMS (admitting,
I didn't really test it yet).


cu
--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Enrico Weigelt, metux IT service -- http://www.metux.de/

phone: +49 36207 519931 email: weigelt@metux.de
mobile: +49 151 27565287 icq: 210169427 skype: nekrad666
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Embedded-Linux / Portierung / Opensource-QM / Verteilte Systeme
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Thread Tools




All times are GMT. The time now is 01:41 PM.

VBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO ©2007, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright 2007 - 2008, www.linux-archive.org