Multihead Consoles in FreeBSD?

Dr. Sichendra Bista drbista at
Sun Sep 19 20:01:43 PDT 2004

On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 12:08:02 +0930, Greg 'groggy' Lehey
<grog at> wrote:
> On Sunday, 19 September 2004 at 20:20:08 +0545, Dr. Sichendra Bista wrote:
> > I would love to explore if there are some people around who are
> > working on or created multihead consoles in FreeBSD as stated at
> > or (Please
> > visit the links before
> Well, it would be good to say what people might find there.  They
> might be reading mail offline.
> > I have successfully created one with FC1 Linux, but would love to
> > know if there are someone in the BSD world. (I am thinking of
> > migrating to BSD)!
> I'm writing this from in front of seven displays.  See
> for an older photo with only
> five monitors, also with a description of how I did it.  I have these
> displays spread across four machines, one of them a laptop, while the
> one at is on a single machine.
> That's not an issue, though: if that's what you want to do, it would
> work equally well on one machine.
> Note also that you don't need four video cards for this configuration.
> The cards they're using come in dual-head versions, so two would be
> enough.
> One big difference between the configuration you describe and mine is
> that mine only needs one keyboard and mouse.  I consider this a great
> advantage.  If you really want separate keyboards, I suppose it would
> be possible, though I haven't investigated.

Thank you Greg, and I enjoyed visitng your site. Actually, I am
thinking of a low-cost but stable FreeBSD MULTIHEAD CONSOLES, not just
multihead which is already supported by XFree86 4.3.x as well as And such consoles are peculiarly important in the
resouce-constraint developing world! And dual-head VGA's are very
expensive in my part of the world and also not readily available. Most
importantly, I am using nVIDIA GeForce MX 4000 with old S3 Virge/DX (I
am interested to explore if there is any possibility that they want to
discard their old machines in which such old PCI cards reside)

I am searching for any knowhow how one can hack the BSD kernel? I know
the configuration of XFree86. Actually, while creating such a
multihead in Linux, we need to hack the kernel with a patch and then
reconfigure some other devices like X server, sound and DMs!

Actually, I tried to install FreeBSD 5.2.1 with bootable CD (iso
image), I was amazed that it could not detect my hard drives though
the BIOS settings and all other settings are intact. It reaches upto
the HDD selection option and what happens is it just says that no HDD
could be detected, though I have got two HDDs (Maxtor 40GB and Seagate
80GB. I want to install FreeBSD in 80GB partition.)

 I have already created 16 partitions at par with the linux partition
scheme. In which I would love to allocate /dev/hdb1 as /boot,
/dev/hdb7 as /, /dev/hdb10 as /var and /dev/hdb13 as /usr. I want to
explore if I could share /dev/hdb5 (swap), /dev/hdb6 (/tmp) and
/dev/hdb16 (/home) with my FC1 and other linux distros?

> If you want to follow up on the technical aspects of this sort of
> thing, FreeBSD-questions at might be a better mailing list.

I shall als 

> Greg
> --
> See complete headers for address and phone numbers.

Thanking you for your invaluable time and irreparable cooperation. 
May you, your team and your family be successful in your mission,
prosperous, healthy, happy, free from sufferings and in peace, always!

Webocratically yours,
Dr. Sichendra Bista, Chief Architect and Founding Secretary-General The Pioneering OPERATIONAL Model of Webocracy
Address for correspondence: C/o GIIS, GPO Box 10422, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977 (1) 478 1160/478 2321    Web:
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