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Old 13th December 2013
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Default console configuration

I typically access my OpenBSD server through ssh but sometimes I connect a monitor and a keyboard to work with the machine directly. I would like to get more text on the screen than the default BIOS resolution and font provides. In FreeBSD I would use something like this:

Code:
# vidcontrol -f 8x8 /usr/share/syscons/font/cp437-thin-8x8.fnt 80x50
(I just pulled that from memory. It might be a little off).

I haven't managed to do anything similar to this in OpenBSD yet. After a little poking around in some man pages this evening, something like this seemed like it might do the trick:

Code:
# wsfontload -N myname -h 8 -e ibm /usr/share/misc/pcvtfonts/vt220l.808
# wsconscfg -t 80x50 -e vt100 1
But it just returns the message:

Code:
wsconscfg: screen 1 is already configured.
Same response when trying screen 0. Any OpenBSD console cowboys willing to share your wscons configuration recipes will be mucho appreciated!
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Old 13th December 2013
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Default Doh! How did I miss this!

The answer to my question is in the FAQ: 7.5 - How do I use a console resolution of 80x50?

I don't know how I missed that. On the other hand, the example given doesn't seem to work in my environment. With this:

Code:
wsfontload -h 8 -e ibm /usr/share/misc/pcvtfonts/vt220l.808
wsconscfg -dF 5
wsconscfg -t 80x50 5
Everything seems to go well enough until I switch to screen 5 (ttyC5) with [CTRL]+[ALT]+[F6]. The resolution appears to still be 80x25 but now only the top half of the characters are displayed. This happens on a machine with a "ATI Rage XL" graphics device (dmesg). I tried this again on a machine with a "NVIDIA GeForce 6100 nForce 430" graphics device (dmesg) and it worked as expected.

The FAQ does say: "Note: this will not work on all video cards. Unfortunately, not all video cards support the uploaded fonts that wscons(4) requires to achieve the 80x50 text mode."

Hmm, I wonder if the FreeBSD syscons(4) fonts will work with OpenBSD wscons(4) and the ATI Rage XL video device?
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Old 13th December 2013
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Hi, and welcome to daemonforums!

I remember setting up the 80x50 mode in OpenBSD many years ago in one virtual console. At that time, if I recall correctly, it was done at boot time with configuration files (similar to the way it can still be done on NetBSD). I was looking for those files, but couldn't find them. But, based on your FAQ link, it seems that things may have changed as it doesn't reference any such config files.

Now, more helpful than the above hopefully: when I did use the 80x50 mode, I found that the text was very hard on the eyes. One couldn't work with it for very long. This is because of the poor resolution of the fonts at that screen geometry.

An alternative is possible with some hardware on very recent versions of OpenBSD. They have implemented a VESA framebuffer console, that is used automatically when possible. While I am not an expert on these changes, it appears that they work with certain Intel and radeon video hardware. If you have access to that hardware it will look much better than the fonts at 80x50.

Hope that may help a bit. I'll try to review the FAQ later when I have time.
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Old 13th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
...They have implemented a VESA framebuffer console, that is used automatically when possible. While I am not an expert on these changes, it appears that they work with certain Intel and radeon video hardware.
Super cool! I'm having a look at it now. The "What's New" page for The OpenBSD 5.4 Release says:

inteldrm says:
Code:
     Support is currently available for the following graphics cards:

           intel(4)      Intel integrated graphics chipsets
           radeon(4)     ATI RADEON video driver
Working with a framebuffer console would be very nifty but it doesn't seem like the radeon(4) video driver supports the ATI Rage XL chipset. No Joy. Looks like it's going to be 80x25 console for me.
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Old 13th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzer View Post
Working with a framebuffer console would be very nifty but it doesn't seem like the radeon(4) video driver supports the ATI Rage XL chipset.
Yes the rage would be r128(4). I have no idea how likely support will be for this. At one point I believe it was just the Intel, and later I was pleasantly surprised as heck when it came up with a framebuffer on my laptop's radeon, so maybe there is hope for additions to the support.
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Old 14th December 2013
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My impression is that the RADEON(4) driver and the R128(4) driver are two distinctly different drivers. DRM(4) doesn't mention support for r128.

I would be perfectly happy if the radeon driver worked for the ATI Rage XL chipset or if the r128 driver worked with the drm device - and a framebuffer console could be finagled - but I just don't see it in the documentation. Hmm, maybe I'm missing something? What do you think?

Actually, I'm not even sure the r128 driver supports the ATI Rage XL (it's an old low-cost pre-128 chip (basically a die-shrunk Rage Pro (are these nested parenthesis annoying? (whoa, I'm having Lisp flashbacks!)))).
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Old 14th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzer View Post
I would be perfectly happy if the radeon driver worked for the ATI Rage XL chipset or if the r128 driver worked with the drm device - and a framebuffer console could be finagled - but I just don't see it in the documentation. Hmm, maybe I'm missing something? What do you think?
Well, I'm fairly confident in guessing it won't work if the documentation doesn't say it will. My earlier comment was just musing about the possibility that support might be added in the future, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Quote:
Actually, I'm not even sure the r128 driver supports the ATI Rage XL (it's an old low-cost pre-128 chip (basically a die-shrunk Rage Pro).
Ahh, ok, thanks for the clarification. I do have a (true) rage in my main box,

Code:
aty128fb: Rage128 RF AGP [chip rev 0x2] 32M 128-bit SDR SGRAM (1:1)
I'll try it sometime and see if I can get 80x50 on it. (The trick will be remembering to do it!) Although I'm pretty sure the results won't apply to your somewhat different card.
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I did a few experiments; here's a summary of the results:

On desktop (i386 with Rage RF card)

First I tried to use 80x50 mode, as described in the FAQ, with OpenBSD (5.3). I got the same results as hanzer: only the top half of the characters showed up. I figured that maybe my card is not capable either, but this is wrong, because ...

I then tried it with NetBSD 6.1.2 on the same machine. The 80x50 mode showed up without any problem. Conclusion: the card is capable, and it seems like an OpenBSD bug.

On laptop (amd64 running i386 BSDs, with radeon HD 6310 graphics)

Here OpenBSD (5.4 snapshot) uses the framebuffer console. I don't know if this can be disabled, so I couldn't try 80x50 mode. As for the framebuffer, it seems to be using radeondrm(4). I have attached a dmesg to this post.

Tried NetBSD HEAD and 80x50 mode worked ok.

One other thought: Does your machine with the Rage XL also have graphics on the motherboard? If so can you get 80x50, or a framebuffer, with that (not using the Rage XL) ?
Attached Files
File Type: gz dmesg_5.4-snapshot.gz (2.9 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by IdOp; 14th December 2013 at 08:09 PM. Reason: tweaked final thought
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Old 14th December 2013
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hanzer has also posted his question on misc@. For those interested, discussion can be found at the following:

http://marc.info/?t=138699787600008&r=1&w=2

Last edited by ocicat; 14th December 2013 at 09:46 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 14th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
One other thought: Does your machine with the Rage XL also have graphics on the motherboard? If so can you get 80x50, or a framebuffer, with that (not using the Rage XL) ?
My HP ProLiant ML370 G4 (dmesg) has the ATI Rage XL on the mainboard. I don't think the graphics device in this machine was ever intended to be used for anything other than OS installations and brief system administration tasks. It just isn't the nature of the beast. I would never use this server as a workstation or desktop machine. In fact, it's so loud (six hot-swap fans, two hot-swap power supplies, and (soon) six hot-swap 15kRPM disks) I don't even like to have it in the same room as my workstation.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
hanzer has also posted his question on misc@. For those interested, discussion can be found at the following:

http://marc.info/?t=138699787600008&r=1&w=2
Cool, I have stalker. This really is a full service forum!
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Old 14th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
I remember setting up the 80x50 mode in OpenBSD many years ago in one virtual console. At that time, if I recall correctly, it was done at boot time with configuration files (similar to the way it can still be done on NetBSD). I was looking for those files, but couldn't find them. But, based on your FAQ link, it seems that things may have changed as it doesn't reference any such config files.
If one's machine is capable of 80x50, it might work out reasonably well if /etc/rc.local contained these commands:
Code:
wsfontload -h 8 -e ibm /usr/share/misc/pcvtfonts/vt220l.808
wsconscfg -dF 5
wsconscfg -t 80x50 5
Then [CTRL]+[ALT]+[F6] after boot to get the 80x50 login screen.
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Old 14th December 2013
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Default I keep missing things. I must be getting senile.

Answers to the framebuffer console question were here the whole time, I just didn't see them. Apparently, machines with OpenBSD 5.4-release and using the intel graphics driver will (by default) boot with the framebuffer console (assuming xdm_flags=NO) and have a nice high-resolution text login screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
They have implemented a VESA framebuffer console, that is used automatically when possible.
It seems that OpenBSD 5.4-current will (by default) also boot with the framebuffer console on machines using the radeon graphics driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
At one point I believe it was just the Intel, and later I was pleasantly surprised as heck when it came up with a framebuffer on my laptop's radeon...
I'm upgrading a 5.4-stable machine that has a radeon graphics device to 5.4-current. If all goes well, the framebuffer console will be available by default without any configuration and I can do away with my typical workstation user interface of X11+dwm+st+tmux and just run tmux on the console.
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Old 15th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzer View Post
If one's machine is capable of 80x50, it might work out reasonably well if /etc/rc.local contained these commands:
...
Yes, you can certainly do that, and I think it was mentioned in the FAQ. My reference to "config files" was not to /etc/rc.local though, but rather along the lines of how it is done in NetBSD, namely putting the proper entries into /etc/ttys and /etc/wscons.conf. My recollection was that at one time in the remote past it could be done this way on OpenBSD too, rather than using the wsfontload and wsconscfg programs. However, it's quite possible that my recollection on this detail is ... senile also.
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Old 15th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzer View Post
The resolution appears to still be 80x25 but now only the top half of the characters are displayed.
This "bug" can be easily fixed : your font file is missing, or you're not using the good one.

Please, be aware to use the good file : vt220l.808, as vt220 with a "L", not a "one".

Edit your rc.local with vt220l.808 (vt220L), not vt2201.808 (vt2201)




Edit : Well, sorry, but I was wrong.
I works perfectly with old P3 desktop with a Rage 128 Pro, but doesn't work on my laptop with a Rage 128 Mobility.
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Last edited by LeFrettchen; 15th December 2013 at 01:52 AM. Reason: I was wrong
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