[BL] BL with VESA 2.0 video cards
keesan at sdf.lonestar.org
Tue Mar 29 23:34:25 EST 2005
I finally came up with three VESA 2.0 natively framebuffer compatible
Matrox Millenium II with 2 MB RAM.
Stealth II 220 with Rendition Verite 2200 chip with 4MB RAM
3DFX Voodoo with 16MB RAM - gets burning hot despite heat sinks
I tested them all using some programs that could be replaced by
framebuffer equivalents and they really do need framebuffer support to be
1. Changing console text mode from 80x50 to more columns or rows.
Restoretextmode -w writes to a file, resizecons refers to this file and
sets a new text mode from it.
2. svgalib programs - the Delilinux links2 graphical, zgv and seejpeg
viewers, and bmv ps viewer (uses ghostscript)
The Matrox did okay on 1 and 2 but when you exit Xvesa there is no longer
any cursor. XFBDev driver will hopefully fix that. I tried it with
DamnSmallLinux and it worked there.
The Stealth Rendition crashes if you even try to use restoretextmode to
write settings to a file. If you run links2 in svgalib mode the colors
are all messed up on exit, but you can then run Xvesa properly and on exit
from Xvesa the colors are back to normal. Xvesa is the only one of the
three that works properly.
The Voodoo card works fine with all the console modes, but crashes badly
on exit from svgalib, giving a grey screen with white streaks that you can
reboot from but not get out of otherwise. On exit from Xvesa the screen
is so dim you can't read it, and I could not find a fix.
The SiS was VESA 1.2 and worked with svgalib and Xvesa, and you could boot
into various text modes but if you saved them and then tried to resize to
that mode, it looked like hieroglyphics. Not recommended for anyone
wanting other than 80x25.
S3 Trio64 and Virge share the same console mode settings and work
perfectly (except for one bad Virge card and one computer that crashed
with all Virge cards). So do Trident and Tseng. My Tseng is VESA 2.0.
I forget what Cirrus did wrong.
ATI Mach64 has a broken svgalib driver but works as plain VGA.
Tseng is the only card that does it all (assuming it works as framebuffer)
among all my PCI video cards.
The AGP cards may all be VESA 2.0. The AGP SiS that used board RAM as
video RAM did something wrong, maybe in DOS. The Matrox crashed Pictview
in DOS but only on one computer (a DFI that won't boot linux except from
DOS 7.10) and is the best card except for Xvesa.
The various video effects were very unpredictable. Some monitors worked
better with 132 columns (on others the text was scattered all across the
screen) or more than 25 rows (some monitors needed constant adjustment any
time you switched modes, or you had to resizecons three times in a row to
get it to fill the screen). Maybe the framebuffer method will work
better, apart from not being adjustable after booting.
I will attempt to use the framebuffer kernel with the S3 cards,
Matrox, Rendition, and Voodoo (with a potholder?), and report back.
These cards are not suitable for some programs in Basliclinux without
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