cannot get screen out of black/black mode...

Randy Pratt bsd-unix at
Sun Nov 4 15:50:45 PST 2007

On Sun, 4 Nov 2007 14:18:19 -0800
Gary Kline <kline at> wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 04, 2007 at 07:22:07AM -0500, Randy Pratt wrote:
> > On Sat, 3 Nov 2007 22:14:18 -0800
> > Gary Kline <kline at> wrote:
> > 
> > > 
> > > 	Where do I set up the screen to never go blan? both in console
> > > 	(white on black) mode and in X?  Every so often my video card
> > > 	driver (mga) remains blank after 10 to 15 minutes.  And gets
> > > 	stuck in this mode.  --FWIW, this did not happen in xorg-6.9--
> > > 	only in  the 7.x versions.  My hunch is to never let the screen
> > > 	blank.  The screensaver does seem to work, tho.
> > 
> > Blanking in console mode is controlled by /etc/defaults/rc.conf:
> >  
> >   blanktime="300"    # blank time (in seconds) or "NO" to turn it off.
> > 
> > Put your override in /etc/rc.conf .
> > 
> > Xorg blanking can be set via "xset".  To see your settings run
> > "xset q".  If you run "xset" without arguments, you can get hints
> > on settings:
> > 
> >     For screen-saver control:
> >          s [timeout [cycle]]  s default    s on
> >          s blank              s noblank    s off
> >          s expose             s noexpose
> >          s activate           s reset
> > 
> > For more detail, see "man xset".
> 	Ty, ty, ty!  For unknown reasons (I don't know how I screwed up
> 	and set this:-), I also set the screen to require my passwd to
> 	bring it back to life.  But that's another issue; it'll be awhile
> 	before I figure out the widgets and gimmicks of Gnome/KDE.  
> 	You've givenme a jump.

Setting of a password does sound like a Gnome/KDE thing.  I can't
comment on that since its been at least 7 or 8 years since I swore off
the mega-managers and use Fluxbox to select which xterm to use ;-)

> 	Will Gnome choke if I put the ``xset [foobar]'' string  in ~/.gnome2?
> 	I want to add some initiation commands for the window manager and
> 	the gnome-[stuff] seems to choke if I make the slightest fumble.

When I'm in Xorg, I just issue the commands from an xterm.  Xset should
keep track of your settings for you without having to add it to
~/.gnome2 .

> > You may also have some window manager screensaver mode to contend
> > with.
> 	Hm...  Well, I'll experiment.  One at a time; blanktime=NO 
> 	or xset s off.  
> > 
> > Also as a side, since you're using the xf86-video-mga driver, see
> > 
> >
> > 
> 	Wow, that is very close to my problems:: with my G450 and 
> 	the mga-1.9.100, my screen was only bright at 800x600.  My
> 	workaround,, suggested by a gent in OZ was to use xgamma.
> 	xgamma -gamma 0.100 only works up to 1280x1024; but I've got 
> 	32megs on this video card, which is plenty.  I haven't written a
> 	dev driver in years.  The patch code looks interesting.  

I'm of the opinion that these drivers should work out-of-the-box for
a given card with the configuration file generated thru Xorg.  If
they don't then new users will have a less than happy experience
when they install FreeBSD.  Understandably, special features of a
card may require additional hand configurations.

What the patch does is to revert to the mga-1.4.7 with some bug fixes
making it 1.4.7,1 .  If you had no problems with the previous 1.4.7
driver then it should work fine.  Keep in mind, its still a PR and
subject to further modification/approaches.

If you're comfortable with doing local patches and being able to deal
with them during subsequent port updates then it might be worth

If you want to read further you could look at last week's archive
for freebsd-x11:

and this weeks current mailings:

Look for postings regarding the 'mga' driver.

> 	I didn't understand that I could file a PR thru FBSD for an
> 	xorg driver fault... .  

Xorg is another third-party software like other ports and can have
a PR filed for a problem.  Of course, its preferable that changes
go upstream so it minimizes patches for FreeBSD since this adds
extra work for the maintainers.


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