FreeBSD-12.1 on laptop

Kurt Hackenberg kh at
Thu Nov 28 00:04:35 UTC 2019

On 2019-11-27 13:33, vm finance wrote:

> I had to comment out this exact line to get my system to boot successfully.
> I actually have "Pro-level NVIDIA® Quadro® P500 graphics" on my P52S
> Thinkpad.
> Not sure if 12.1 has native support for this, or do I need to
> download/build this.
> Per the discussions on this topic, I think I should stay away from pkg
> ..drm-kmod
>> kld_list="/boot/modules/i915kms.ko"
>>> However startx is still failing - same framebuffer error.

All right, a few things are going on.

It's true that to use any drm-kmod on 12.1, you have to compile it, so 
it matches the kernel. (Those packages are compiled for 12.0, and 
something changed in the kernel.)

The framebuffer thing might be this: both versions of the AMD drm-kmod 
(modules amdgpu and radeon) interfere with the EFI framebuffer. This bug 
has not yet been tracked down. You can work around it by shutting off 
the system console during boot, by adding this to /boot/loader.conf:
There will be a system console after the drm-kmod driver is loaded and 
takes over. However, this is only a problem with UEFI boot; 
old-fashioned boot doesn't use that EFI framebuffer (I think it uses a 
VGA framebuffer instead). And it's never a problem with the Intel 
drm-kmod (i915kms), no matter how you boot.

But neither of those drivers, Intel or AMD, applies to your Nvidia 
graphics processor. Nvidia writes drivers for their GPUs, but apparently 
does not give out source code, only binaries. I don't know whether 
FreeBSD distributes those binaries.

But it's possible that your laptop computer has two graphics processors. 
Some do, apparently. That happens when the computer uses a main 
processor that has a graphics processor included in the package, and 
also has a separate graphics processor. I don't know why manufacturers 
do that.

But maybe you can get by without any GPU driver, which means not using 
the graphics processor. Instead, graphics is done by software on the 
main processor, which is slower. That may or may not be fast enough. If 
your computer works, runs X and everything, without loading any graphics 
driver, maybe that's OK.

Some documentation:

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