[BETA PATCH] VESA mode support for syscons

Sascha Wildner saw at online.de
Sat Aug 21 15:38:27 PDT 2004

Hi folks,

here is a patch that makes syscons support 16/32 bit video modes with 
direct memory model:


After patch application and kernel recompilation it should be possible 
to select these modes with vidcontrol, e.g. for a 1024x768 console you 
have to type:

# vidcontrol MODE_280

You can obtain a list of valid mode numbers with 'vidcontrol -i mode'. 
Generally, this patch adds support for all modes with numbers >=272 and 
16/32 bits depth.

Here are some remarks:

1) On my machine here at home, when a screen saver exits into one of 
those new modes the colors are either way too dark in the 16 bit modes 
or nothing can be seen at all in 32 bit modes (setting the video mode 
again helps). On a friend's machine it works the way it should! This is 
strange and it would be nice if I could get feedback from you on how the 
screen saver is behaving on your system.

2) Due to the non-optimal way of drawing pixels the output speed of the 
console is rather low (at least here on my 550MHz P3). You'll see it 
when doing things like 'rain' or 'ls -R /'. Blame this on my programming 

3) If moused is active you'll get minor drawing errors when selecting 
text with the mouse. But they vanish after you move the mouse around a bit.

4) I haven't changed anything in syscons for PC98.

5) I haven't added direct mode support to libvgl (Video Graphics 
Library). The only places in the system where libvgl is used are a 
console PNG viewer in release/picobsd and a libvgl demo in 
share/examples/libvgl so I think it's neglectable.

6) I haven't tested the whole stuff with X (which I don't have 
installed), e.g. if it is possible to switch to X and back again.

I'd like to read any of your comments. I think there are probably more 
issues. I have some other things on my list that I'd like to change in 


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