stable vs releng

Polytropon freebsd at
Wed Aug 22 19:00:33 UTC 2018

On Wed, 22 Aug 2018 13:38:02 -0400 (EDT), doug wrote:
> On Wed, 22 Aug 2018, Steve O'Hara-Smith wrote:
> > On Wed, 22 Aug 2018 09:52:36 +0100
> > Matthew Seaman <matthew at> wrote:
> >
> >> So no removal of drivers, no
> >> changes to ABIs, compatibility for 3rd party kernel modules across all
> >> the kernels in the branch etc.  Some of that I think we're getting
> >> right, other bits we aren't doing so well with.
> >
> > <cough>nVidia</cough>
> >
> I do not understand. If the FreeBSD Desktop support model is a two story 
> outhouse, XORG has always been on the top floor. At least that was my 
> understanding. What am I missing?

I think the main problem here is the switch from the
normal text-oriented console subsystem sc to the
graphics-oriented vt, which of course means more
demands regarding "addressing the GPU". Additionally,
X currently requires (!) the use of vt. So while X
brings its own drivers, the OS now also needs to
include certain aspects of "programming toward

According to the vt page, there needs to be support
for different brands of graphics cards:

Sure, this is completely out of concern if you just
want to use the regular text mode - you switch back
to sc (as vt has become the default), and everything
works as it did for decades. But you cannot use X in
that configuration anymore. That's why development
on vt is ongoing, but not complete yet. But it is
already more than "good enough" to be included as
the default console subsystem, as it works in 99 %
of the typical use cases.

While you can switch screen sizes in vt (except to
the one you want), it lacks certain features that
did exist in sc reliably for many years. But when
you use X, those are typically not needed, and X
requires vt, so... those features won't come back.
"Just use X!" is what solves any problems. ;-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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