Restoring sc console look and feel with vt

Warren Block wblock at
Fri Sep 22 17:14:21 UTC 2017

On Sat, 16 Sep 2017, Polytropon wrote:

> On Sun, 17 Sep 2017 02:21:51 +1000 (EST), Ian Smith wrote:
>> Are you sure there's no way to use sc(4) with X on 10.3?
> The reason why I switched to vt was exactly that reason: with sc
> in place, X wouldn't start anymore. This happened at some point
> during the "updating trail" of 10.1 -> 10.3 with ports updated
> (via pkg). Something that worked for months suddenly stopped
> working, which always is a terrible experience. When I switched
> to vt in the loader, X worked again as it did before.

I'm fairly sure that is due to KMS video.  vt(4) supports it, sc(4) was 
out decades before anyone thought of it.

>From another channel, I've been told that persistently setting the gop 
command in the loader is either not implemented or must be done in one 
of the Forth loader files.  I tried some things with no success yet, and 
have inquiries to dteske at .

>> We saw lots
>> about getting proper console switching going (again) using vt and X on
>> the stable@ list on earlier 10.x, but I can't recall any details, since
>> sc still works fine on my 9.3 (amd64) system, where vt(4) first became
>> available, including proper suspend/resume support from ttyvN or from X.
> That is a different problem. Until you start X, sc works perfectly
> fine. Even in a setting where "sc + startx" is working, shutting
> down the X session or switching using e. g. Ctrl+Alt+F1 leaves you
> with a console that works, but without visible text ("blind console").
> With vt, at least this problem is gone, even though the console now
> is visible only with the tiniest letters.

I just tested this on a Haswell notebook with 11-stable.  The mode 
setting is either lost after leaving X, or it just keeps the resolution 
chosen in X.

However, vidfont and vidcontrol work to select a larger font.

   vidfont -p

to print available font names.  Then

   vidcontrol -f vgarom-16x32

to choose one of them.  This can be set in /etc/rc.conf with

   allscreens_flags="-f vgarom-16x13"

It does not take effect until late in the startup, so the boot messages 
are in the default or gop-set mode.

I'm not sure where this should be documented in the Handbook.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list