Setting console resultion

@lbutlr kremels at
Tue Jan 30 04:07:59 UTC 2018

On 29 Jan 2018, at 07:44, Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:
> 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 dunno, that was what my console was set to and I could not change it.

>> 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.

I do not use X, I am only talking about the text console.

>> 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).

LCDs support many resolutions, and the VGA connector will not support the maximum number of pixels the screen can display (2564x1440).

Also, there will be a different display connected once the setup is done and the machine is actually installed in it's final location.

>> 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:

kldload i915kms <- screen goes black, never comes back.
hw.vga.textmode  <- already set


Not sure if I tried that specific number, as that's still a very limited sccreen size, but certainly the other numbers I tried did not work.

Reading that, other than UTF-8 support, vt appears to be extremely limited and its know issues list is nearly 4 years old, which certainly gives one pause.

"Pre-loading i915kms.ko/radeonkms.ko disables video output from the point of time these video drivers are attached until interrupt threads are enabled way later. This makes kernel panics during boot undebugable."

Anyway, I have set the console to use sc which is how I got a screensaver to load (not that I want/need a screensaver, but I was testing) and I've managed to set the screen size of a current session, but I still can't get it to change during boot (so I can actually read some of the output) and I have to apply it to each console manually after logging in.


> 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
> version...

This seems needlessly obtuse and complicated. Not that sc was much better, though things have gotten much worse that they were in, say, freebsd 9 in terms of plugging in a screen and having a reasonable hope you'd be able to set it to a mode where each characters isn't 24-30 points.

Bart, don't use the Touch of Death on your sister.

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