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Old 24th May 2008
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Default X kills console text

Hi all, my first post here (moved from predecessor forum), hope it's in the right area.

I recently did a complete install of OpenBSD 4.3 for i386. Setup is pretty much default. I'm having a problem with Xorg; it runs fine but when I exit it (either temporarily with Ctrl-Alt-Fn, or permanently) I find the wsconsoles have no text on them anymore. They're still active, so I can reboot cleanly, but just can't see anything.

Video card is an ATI rage128 AGP w. 32 MB.
Yes, machdep.allowaperture=2 (also tried =1, same problem).
This happens with or without an xorg.conf file, even just running X, but also startx and xdm; as root or user too.

Anyone had this happen? Or more to the point anyone have a good idea what to do? I can try to post more info as needed.

Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 24th May 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
I'm having a problem with Xorg; it runs fine but when I exit it (either temporarily with Ctrl-Alt-Fn, or permanently) I find the wsconsoles have no text on them anymore.
The standard key sequence for exiting X is Ctrl-Alt-Backspace. What happens when you use this instead?

It may also be worth reviewing Section 11.3 of the FAQ:

http://openbsd.org/faq/faq11.html#amd64i386

Last edited by ocicat; 24th May 2008 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 24th May 2008
unicyclist unicyclist is offline
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I had that happen on my 4.2 box before upgrading to 4.3. I never found a solution, but IIRC, I could type "reset" and then I would have a prompt.
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Old 24th May 2008
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Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
The standard key sequence for exiting X is Ctrl-Alt-Backspace. What happens when you use this instead?
Yes, the same thing happens when I use that (by "exiting permanently" I had meant to cover that possibility). So to recap and extend a bit, it happens with Ctrl-Alt-Fn (in this case I can get back to X that way), and also with Ctrl-Alt-Backspace or by exiting an X session by killing the last client.

Quote:
It may also be worth reviewing Section 11.3 of the FAQ:
Have done that also; that's where I got the ideas of running just X and using no config file, or the "Xorg -configure" generated file.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unicyclist
I had that happen on my 4.2 box before upgrading to 4.3. I never found a solution, but IIRC, I could type "reset" and then I would have a prompt.
Thanks, I'll give that a try. (I had tried "clear" to no avail.)
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Old 25th May 2008
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Quote:
... "reset" ...
Unfortunately this didn't help; the console screens stay blank.
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Old 9th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp
... OpenBSD 4.3 for i386.
For completeness, here's an update on this topic.

An upgrade to OpenBSD 4.4 did not help.

Yesterday, I upgraded to OpenBSD 4.5 -release, and the problem was gone!

Kudos to the folks for whom it's all in a day's work to fix this sort of thing.

Unfortunately, the ending is not entirely happy, as I also installed NetBSD 5.0, which has just switched to using Xorg, and the exact same problem is now occurring there. At least this fix provides some hope for that (assuming there is really no universal conservation law of dead console video ).
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Old 9th May 2009
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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This was fixed prior to the 4.5 release, it's on the plus45 page.. and there were several mailing list posts about it.

"Save VGA text mode colour palette upon startup and restore it when switching consoles or when X11 exits."

Previously you could workaround this problem by setting a depth of 16 instead of 24... but Miod Vallat found a proper fix.

http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-cvs&m=123349965622593&w=2
http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvswe...1=1.48;r2=1.47
http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvswe...?r1=1.5;r2=1.4
http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvswe...?r1=1.9;r2=1.8

Perhaps this bug still exists in the NetBSD 5 release?
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Old 9th May 2009
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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Here is my crack at it, not sure if it compiles.. or if I ported it properly.. it might even cause random fires or explosions.

Use at your own risk, don't blame me.
Attached Files
File Type: diff vga.diff (5.7 KB, 14 views)

Last edited by BSDfan666; 9th May 2009 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 9th May 2009
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Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
This was fixed prior to the 4.5 release, it's on the plus45 page.. and there were several mailing list posts about it.
That's not surprizing, though as I only install -release the exact point of the fix was unknown to me.

I'll have a look at those.

Quote:
Perhaps this bug still exists in the NetBSD 5 release?
Sure seems like it is. I can try setting it to 16 bits. Normally I use 24, *but* the prior tests also used either the config file generated with the -configure flag, or no config file at all, and I'm not sure at the moment what depths those set.

Thanks also for your diff in the next post! I'll have to experiment with that and other things more to see what happens. (I'm also having some other issues with 5.0, so it could take a while.)
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Old 9th May 2009
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Quick update: I applied the above patch, but it didn't compile. Turns out one more structure element was needed from the 4th link above, in vgavar.h:

Code:
 uint8_t vc_palette[256 * 3];
Not sure if it's in the right area, but with this it compiles GENERIC. Time to reboot and try things out.
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Old 10th May 2009
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The GENERIC kernel with the modified patch (as above) works beautifully, text is restored on leaving X. Thank you again BSDfan666, you really identified exactly the right information!

After that, I compiled a generic kernel with frame-buffer console video enabled plus the above patch. This one continues to exhibit the problem (same as without patch). This case probably won't be so easy, without an existing fix to copy over. Oh well, enough progress for one day.

[Note to moderators: feel free to move the last few posts to a similarly named thread in the NetBSD sub-forum if appropriate.]
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Old 10th May 2009
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I did include that variable definition in my patch, but it might have been in the wrong place.. I'm glad it worked out for you, it might be a good idea to submit this upstream so they can fix it in a later release.

Take care.
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Old 12th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
... it might be a good idea to submit this upstream so they can fix it in a later release.
Good suggestion ... it has been done. The slightly modified, possibly non-optimal (and reversed) patch is attached.
Attached Files
File Type: gz vga-patch.gz (1.7 KB, 5 views)
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