Unicode-based FreeBSD

Peter Wemm peter at wemm.org
Fri Aug 29 18:34:32 UTC 2008

On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 6:36 AM, Alexander Churanov
<alexanderchuranov at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2) Non-X console in graphical mode (like Linux). This is not present in
> FreeBSD.
> Probably, all three solutions should be implemented in ideal. And (1)
> plain-text console would be used only if running (2) is not possible.
> However, implementing (2) is a very expensive task.

syscons does operate in graphics mode.  The problem is how to get into
graphics mode in the first place.  On i386, it is done with vesa bios
calls.  We don't have a way to do this on amd64 systems.  It can be
done but is Very Difficult in kernel mode like on i386.

What I think would be a far better option would be to port XF86/Xorg's
'int10' module for mode setting.  It runs the video card bios in an
interpreter, even on non-x86 systems.  We could then have a userland
'modeset' utility that interprets the bios calls and then hand over
the results to the syscons driver.  That would clear the way for doing
syscons in graphics mode for all platforms that can have vga cards
shoved in, but can't run the bios code natively.

Another option is to have loader do the mode switch before handing
over to the kernel.  It might be able to pass through the register
settings to enable syscons to change modes on the fly.

Anyway, there are options for non-i386 systems....

Peter Wemm - peter at wemm.org; peter at FreeBSD.org; peter at yahoo-inc.com; KI6FJV
"All of this is for nothing if we don't go to the stars" - JMS/B5
"If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete
themselves upon execution." -- Robert Sewell

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