Setting console resultion

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon Jan 29 14:44:11 UTC 2018

On Mon, 29 Jan 2018 02:37:05 -0700, @lbutlr wrote:
> I'm not sure why this is so hard, but I've read dozens of pages
> and threads on setting up the console to boot into something
> other than VGA 80x24 and I can't get anything to change the
> resolution.

I think with vt, it's the exact opposite problem: You cannot
set it to 80x25 anymore. ;-)

> I have an old Core 2 duo machine with a 27" screen. Once I
> change by boot.conf to use sc instead of vt, I can see the
> mode that I want (1920x1440x32) but I cannot get the screen
> to change.
> vidcontrol mode 
> This is a fresh install of 11.1.
> If I try to load the intel driver, the screen goes blank.

If you are using X, you cannot use sc anymore. X requires
the use of vt now.

> The onboard video connector not he machine is VGA, so even
> though the monitor supports higher resolutions, I don't think
> those would work.
> I've also tried 1024x600, just to see if I can get *something*
> to work.

If you can, use the exact size of your monitor (in pixels);
I assume you're talking about a LCD monitor, which is common
today, as hardly anyone still uses CRTs like I do (which can
have more than one mode, while LCDs only have one physical
mode, determined by the amount of pixels).

> Every attempt requires changing /boot/loader.conf and then
> rebooting, so it gets very aggravating very quickly, and I
> can't find consistent information since most of the pages
> i've found refer to FreeBSD 9.x or 10.x (or sometimes
> earlier) and it appears a lot has changed in 11.x.

The vt documentation isn't fully complete yet, but here is a
good starting point:

Maybe this is helpful too:

> I did manage to get a screensaver to load, which switches
> resolutions, but I can't get the console to show anything
> but 80x24 text which it overscan on the screen so the first
> and last character positions are clipped.

In all settings I've tested, vt has always changed the
"text mode" resolution from 80x25 to something much bigger
(and therefore unreadable tiny ugly characters). The key
is that you now cannot set a screen size (in columns x lines),
instead you have to deal with fonts, the screen's size in
pixels (if it has any), and this also depends on the OS

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

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