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Re: [vox-tech] Video Modes?
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Re: [vox-tech] Video Modes?

On Tue, Jun 26, 2001 at 08:31:54PM -0700, Terminator wrote:
> I'm using Slackware, and there's a command 'setfont' to change the console
> font. It's coming from the package kdb-0.98, I'm not sure if you can find
> this package/command in Mandrake.

Alas it is not that simple. PC hardware, the twenty years of legacy
compatibility hacks that is is, is only guaranteed to run in 600x800. This is
what you get by default in Linux, since it always works[1]. This means that
unless you know how to set up your monitor for a better mode, i.e., a
framebuffer device, you are limited to console fonts that work at this
resolution. If you want more lines or columns, you lose in character shape
quality. Also you can only select the number of lines and columns at boot
time, since this apparently requires real mode BIOS access, while Linux runs
in protected mode. Still, it's easy to experiment with it: add

	append "vga=ask"

to /etc/lilo.conf and re-run /sbin/lilo. Now Linux will provide a menu of
video modes (in this case meaning number of rows and cols) at boot time.

[1] A slight oversimplication. Linux without X or a framebuffer device writes
    plain text to the video card, which takes care of driving the monitor in
    600x800 and writing the appropriate pixels to the screen. By default a font
    resident on the video card's ROM is used, but Linux may override this with a
    custom font. It is your responsibility to match the font to the video

Henry House
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