Are textmode consoles/terminals still supported?

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Are textmode consoles/terminals still supported?

Chris H-2
I'm attempting to get a video card that DTRT on FreeBSD.
I started with the graphics provided by an AMD A6-7470K,
only to discover it's not yet supported. So I forked out
for a recent nvidia card, and build/installed a new
world/kernel.
Everything seemed to be as one would expect, except there
was an issue with loader.efi. So I had to move mine aside,
and use the one off the install media (tho I understand
the (u)efi has since been fixed). Now, I'm attempting to
obtain textmode. The text stripped from a tty, and pasted
to a new file in a textmode editor -- ee(1) for example;
pads the line with spaces to EOL, and prefaces each line
following the first line with rubbish (about 1 to 2
characters worth).
So "graphics mode" or vt(4) isn't going to get it, for me.
Textmode, and syscons(4) has always worked as expected, and
I thought I'd try to re-enable it, or get textmode via vt(4).
But all attempts fail.
excerpt from my KERNCONF

device vga
options VESA

device sc
options SC_PIXEL_MODE

device vt
device vt_vga
device vt_efifb

However, following the advice on the freebsd wiki, querying
the value in sysctl(8) returns:
# sysctl hw.vga.textmode
sysctl: unknown oid 'hw.vga.textmode'

OK how bout vidcontrol(1)
# vidcontrol -i adapter
vidcontrol: obtaining adapter information: Inappropriate ioctl for device

So, it appears from my standpoint that textmode is no longer
supported?

FWIW:
FreeBSD trump.whitehouse.gov.test 12.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #0 r314700:
Sun Mar 5 09:01:30 PST 2017
[hidden email]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/TESTKERN amd6

Thank you for anything that might help me obtain textmode again.

--Chris


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Re: Are textmode consoles/terminals still supported?

Steven Hartland
Add the following to /boot/loader.conf

Its a tunable but not a sysctl so you can't query it, you just need to
set it by adding it to /boot/loader.conf:
hw.vga.textmode="1"

On 20/03/2017 21:58, Chris H wrote:

> I'm attempting to get a video card that DTRT on FreeBSD.
> I started with the graphics provided by an AMD A6-7470K,
> only to discover it's not yet supported. So I forked out
> for a recent nvidia card, and build/installed a new
> world/kernel.
> Everything seemed to be as one would expect, except there
> was an issue with loader.efi. So I had to move mine aside,
> and use the one off the install media (tho I understand
> the (u)efi has since been fixed). Now, I'm attempting to
> obtain textmode. The text stripped from a tty, and pasted
> to a new file in a textmode editor -- ee(1) for example;
> pads the line with spaces to EOL, and prefaces each line
> following the first line with rubbish (about 1 to 2
> characters worth).
> So "graphics mode" or vt(4) isn't going to get it, for me.
> Textmode, and syscons(4) has always worked as expected, and
> I thought I'd try to re-enable it, or get textmode via vt(4).
> But all attempts fail.
> excerpt from my KERNCONF
>
> device vga
> options VESA
>
> device sc
> options SC_PIXEL_MODE
>
> device vt
> device vt_vga
> device vt_efifb
>
> However, following the advice on the freebsd wiki, querying
> the value in sysctl(8) returns:
> # sysctl hw.vga.textmode
> sysctl: unknown oid 'hw.vga.textmode'
>
> OK how bout vidcontrol(1)
> # vidcontrol -i adapter
> vidcontrol: obtaining adapter information: Inappropriate ioctl for device
>
> So, it appears from my standpoint that textmode is no longer
> supported?
>
> FWIW:
> FreeBSD trump.whitehouse.gov.test 12.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #0 r314700:
> Sun Mar 5 09:01:30 PST 2017
> [hidden email]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/TESTKERN amd6
>
> Thank you for anything that might help me obtain textmode again.
>
> --Chris
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"

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Re: Are textmode consoles/terminals still supported?

Toomas Soome
In reply to this post by Chris H-2

> On 20. märts 2017, at 23:58, Chris H <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'm attempting to get a video card that DTRT on FreeBSD.
> I started with the graphics provided by an AMD A6-7470K,
> only to discover it's not yet supported. So I forked out
> for a recent nvidia card, and build/installed a new
> world/kernel.
> Everything seemed to be as one would expect, except there
> was an issue with loader.efi. So I had to move mine aside,
> and use the one off the install media (tho I understand
> the (u)efi has since been fixed). Now, I'm attempting to
> obtain textmode. The text stripped from a tty, and pasted
> to a new file in a textmode editor -- ee(1) for example;
> pads the line with spaces to EOL, and prefaces each line
> following the first line with rubbish (about 1 to 2
> characters worth).
> So "graphics mode" or vt(4) isn't going to get it, for me.
> Textmode, and syscons(4) has always worked as expected, and
> I thought I'd try to re-enable it, or get textmode via vt(4).
> But all attempts fail.
> excerpt from my KERNCONF
>
> device vga
> options VESA
>
> device sc
> options SC_PIXEL_MODE
>
> device vt
> device vt_vga
> device vt_efifb
>
> However, following the advice on the freebsd wiki, querying
> the value in sysctl(8) returns:
> # sysctl hw.vga.textmode
> sysctl: unknown oid 'hw.vga.textmode'
>
> OK how bout vidcontrol(1)
> # vidcontrol -i adapter
> vidcontrol: obtaining adapter information: Inappropriate ioctl for device
>
> So, it appears from my standpoint that textmode is no longer
> supported?
>
> FWIW:
> FreeBSD trump.whitehouse.gov.test 12.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #0 r314700:
> Sun Mar 5 09:01:30 PST 2017
> [hidden email]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/TESTKERN amd6
>
> Thank you for anything that might help me obtain textmode again.
>
> -

The problem with UEFI is that the fact if you can only get “text” aka VGA text mode if your card happens to have the proper firmware and you can set up the card… UEFI as such does only provide framebuffer based console, and that framebuffer is either linear memory mapped or pure software - in last case only KMS console framebuffer will do any good.

rgds,
toomas

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Re: Are textmode consoles/terminals still supported?

Chris H-2
In reply to this post by Steven Hartland
On Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:02:06 +0000 Steven Hartland <[hidden email]>
wrote

> Add the following to /boot/loader.conf
>
> Its a tunable but not a sysctl so you can't query it, you just need to
> set it by adding it to /boot/loader.conf:
> hw.vga.textmode="1"
>
WOW. Thanks for the fast reply!

I gave your suggestion a try. But it was ignored. :-(
All my other boxes run the nvidia blob, and provide textmode,
and support sc/syscons(4). But I'm not using (u)efi on them.
Maybe that's the trouble?

Thanks again, Steven!

--Chris

> On 20/03/2017 21:58, Chris H wrote:
> > I'm attempting to get a video card that DTRT on FreeBSD.
> > I started with the graphics provided by an AMD A6-7470K,
> > only to discover it's not yet supported. So I forked out
> > for a recent nvidia card, and build/installed a new
> > world/kernel.
> > Everything seemed to be as one would expect, except there
> > was an issue with loader.efi. So I had to move mine aside,
> > and use the one off the install media (tho I understand
> > the (u)efi has since been fixed). Now, I'm attempting to
> > obtain textmode. The text stripped from a tty, and pasted
> > to a new file in a textmode editor -- ee(1) for example;
> > pads the line with spaces to EOL, and prefaces each line
> > following the first line with rubbish (about 1 to 2
> > characters worth).
> > So "graphics mode" or vt(4) isn't going to get it, for me.
> > Textmode, and syscons(4) has always worked as expected, and
> > I thought I'd try to re-enable it, or get textmode via vt(4).
> > But all attempts fail.
> > excerpt from my KERNCONF
> >
> > device        vga
> > options     VESA
> >
> > device        sc
> > options     SC_PIXEL_MODE
> >
> > device        vt
> > device        vt_vga
> > device        vt_efifb
> >
> > However, following the advice on the freebsd wiki, querying
> > the value in sysctl(8) returns:
> > # sysctl hw.vga.textmode
> > sysctl: unknown oid 'hw.vga.textmode'
> >
> > OK how bout vidcontrol(1)
> > # vidcontrol -i adapter
> > vidcontrol: obtaining adapter information: Inappropriate ioctl for device
> >
> > So, it appears from my standpoint that textmode is no longer
> > supported?
> >
> > FWIW:
> > FreeBSD trump.whitehouse.gov.test 12.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #0
> > r314700: Sun Mar 5 09:01:30 PST 2017
> > [hidden email]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/TESTKERN amd6
> >
> > Thank you for anything that might help me obtain textmode again.
> >
> > --Chris
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> > To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"
>
> _______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"


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Re: Are textmode consoles/terminals still supported?

Chris H-2
In reply to this post by Toomas Soome
On Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:09:06 +0200 Toomas Soome <[hidden email]> wrote

> > On 20. märts 2017, at 23:58, Chris H <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > I'm attempting to get a video card that DTRT on FreeBSD.
> > I started with the graphics provided by an AMD A6-7470K,
> > only to discover it's not yet supported. So I forked out
> > for a recent nvidia card, and build/installed a new
> > world/kernel.
> > Everything seemed to be as one would expect, except there
> > was an issue with loader.efi. So I had to move mine aside,
> > and use the one off the install media (tho I understand
> > the (u)efi has since been fixed). Now, I'm attempting to
> > obtain textmode. The text stripped from a tty, and pasted
> > to a new file in a textmode editor -- ee(1) for example;
> > pads the line with spaces to EOL, and prefaces each line
> > following the first line with rubbish (about 1 to 2
> > characters worth).
> > So "graphics mode" or vt(4) isn't going to get it, for me.
> > Textmode, and syscons(4) has always worked as expected, and
> > I thought I'd try to re-enable it, or get textmode via vt(4).
> > But all attempts fail.
> > excerpt from my KERNCONF
> >
> > device        vga
> > options     VESA
> >
> > device        sc
> > options     SC_PIXEL_MODE
> >
> > device        vt
> > device        vt_vga
> > device        vt_efifb
> >
> > However, following the advice on the freebsd wiki, querying
> > the value in sysctl(8) returns:
> > # sysctl hw.vga.textmode
> > sysctl: unknown oid 'hw.vga.textmode'
> >
> > OK how bout vidcontrol(1)
> > # vidcontrol -i adapter
> > vidcontrol: obtaining adapter information: Inappropriate ioctl for device
> >
> > So, it appears from my standpoint that textmode is no longer
> > supported?
> >
> > FWIW:
> > FreeBSD trump.whitehouse.gov.test 12.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #0
> > r314700: Sun Mar 5 09:01:30 PST 2017
> > [hidden email]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/TESTKERN amd6
> >
> > Thank you for anything that might help me obtain textmode again.
> >
> > -
>
> The problem with UEFI is that the fact if you can only get “text” aka VGA
> text mode if your card happens to have the proper firmware and you can set up
> the card… UEFI as such does only provide framebuffer based console, and
> that framebuffer is either linear memory mapped or pure software - in last
> case only KMS console framebuffer will do any good.
Thanks for the reply, Toomas.
I'm running the nvidia blob from the ports tree, version 375.26_1.
Am I to understand it doesn't support textmode through (u)efi?
All my other boxes also use the nvidia blob, and provide textmode,
along with sc/syscons(4) support. But I'm not booting (u)efi on them
either. So I guess (u)efi / vt(4) are to blame? My card is pretty
recent. I'd think that it would support all the bells, and whistles.
But then again... ;-)
Oh well, I guess I don't have to use (u)efi.

Thanks again, Toomas!

--Chris
>
> rgds,
> toomas
>
> _______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"


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Re: Are textmode consoles/terminals still supported?

O. Hartmann-5
In reply to this post by Chris H-2
Am Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:06:43 -0700
"Chris H" <[hidden email]> schrieb:

> On Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:02:06 +0000 Steven Hartland <[hidden email]>
> wrote
>
> > Add the following to /boot/loader.conf
> >
> > Its a tunable but not a sysctl so you can't query it, you just need to
> > set it by adding it to /boot/loader.conf:
> > hw.vga.textmode="1"
> >  
> WOW. Thanks for the fast reply!
>
> I gave your suggestion a try. But it was ignored. :-(
> All my other boxes run the nvidia blob, and provide textmode,
> and support sc/syscons(4). But I'm not using (u)efi on them.
> Maybe that's the trouble?
>
> Thanks again, Steven!
>
> --Chris
>
> > On 20/03/2017 21:58, Chris H wrote:  
> > > I'm attempting to get a video card that DTRT on FreeBSD.
> > > I started with the graphics provided by an AMD A6-7470K,
> > > only to discover it's not yet supported. So I forked out
> > > for a recent nvidia card, and build/installed a new
> > > world/kernel.
> > > Everything seemed to be as one would expect, except there
> > > was an issue with loader.efi. So I had to move mine aside,
> > > and use the one off the install media (tho I understand
> > > the (u)efi has since been fixed). Now, I'm attempting to
> > > obtain textmode. The text stripped from a tty, and pasted
> > > to a new file in a textmode editor -- ee(1) for example;
> > > pads the line with spaces to EOL, and prefaces each line
> > > following the first line with rubbish (about 1 to 2
> > > characters worth).
> > > So "graphics mode" or vt(4) isn't going to get it, for me.
> > > Textmode, and syscons(4) has always worked as expected, and
> > > I thought I'd try to re-enable it, or get textmode via vt(4).
> > > But all attempts fail.
> > > excerpt from my KERNCONF
> > >
> > > device        vga
> > > options     VESA
> > >
> > > device        sc
> > > options     SC_PIXEL_MODE
> > >
> > > device        vt
> > > device        vt_vga
> > > device        vt_efifb
> > >
> > > However, following the advice on the freebsd wiki, querying
> > > the value in sysctl(8) returns:
> > > # sysctl hw.vga.textmode
> > > sysctl: unknown oid 'hw.vga.textmode'
> > >
> > > OK how bout vidcontrol(1)
> > > # vidcontrol -i adapter
> > > vidcontrol: obtaining adapter information: Inappropriate ioctl for device
> > >
> > > So, it appears from my standpoint that textmode is no longer
> > > supported?
> > >
> > > FWIW:
> > > FreeBSD trump.whitehouse.gov.test 12.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #0
> > > r314700: Sun Mar 5 09:01:30 PST 2017
> > > [hidden email]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/TESTKERN amd6
> > >
> > > Thank you for anything that might help me obtain textmode again.
> > >
> > > --Chris
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > [hidden email] mailing list
> > > https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> > > To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"  
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> > To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"  
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"
I use non-UEFI booting machines with vt()-only and the nVidia BLOB (regular one from
ports and even the latest 378.13). The console is not working anymore and provides
garbage as long as vt() is in charge. On UEFI only systems, vt() is required, sc/syscons
doesn't work anymore (I don't care, I'd like to move on). So, with nVidia, you are
lost.

The problem with vt() and nVidia is well known and it is well known more than a year by
now if I recall correctly. Nothing has been done by nVidia so far and as far as I know,
the maintainer hasn't solved the problem. I do not know whether nVidia is willing to
solve the issue. I left an question in their forum, but it seems FreeBSD is more
handled like a "unpleasant necessity". On the other hand, GPU and such related stuff
(GPGPU for instance) is a wasteland in FreeBSD and it seems their world is still made up
from blocky ASCII terminals. Not that I dislike serial terminals, they save your ass
sometimes and for server management, one doesn't really need the additional,
non-fault-free complexity graphical UI introduce, but with the capabilities of handling
graphics the proper way much more is usually related to.

nVidia is, at the moment, the only GPU provider which supports FreeBSD. If you'd like to
have a workstation with high performance graphical capabilities on FreeBSD, there is no
way around nVidia. With most recent modern hardware, UEFI is standard and there the
console is gone as long the nVidia kernel module is loaded - you have no chance to get
to the console anymore, except you're capable of unloading (remotely?) the kernel
module. As a matter of fact, the system is broken!

Regards,

Oliver

--
O. Hartmann

Ich widerspreche der Nutzung oder Übermittlung meiner Daten für
Werbezwecke oder für die Markt- oder Meinungsforschung (§ 28 Abs. 4 BDSG).

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Re: Are textmode consoles/terminals still supported?

Chris H-2
On Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:36:45 +0100 "O. Hartmann" <[hidden email]> wrote

> Am Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:06:43 -0700
> "Chris H" <[hidden email]> schrieb:
>
> > On Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:02:06 +0000 Steven Hartland
> > <[hidden email]> wrote
> >
> > > Add the following to /boot/loader.conf
> > >
> > > Its a tunable but not a sysctl so you can't query it, you just need to
> > > set it by adding it to /boot/loader.conf:
> > > hw.vga.textmode="1"
> > >  
> > WOW. Thanks for the fast reply!
> >
> > I gave your suggestion a try. But it was ignored. :-(
> > All my other boxes run the nvidia blob, and provide textmode,
> > and support sc/syscons(4). But I'm not using (u)efi on them.
> > Maybe that's the trouble?
> >
> > Thanks again, Steven!
> >
> > --Chris
> >
> > > On 20/03/2017 21:58, Chris H wrote:  
> > > > I'm attempting to get a video card that DTRT on FreeBSD.
> > > > I started with the graphics provided by an AMD A6-7470K,
> > > > only to discover it's not yet supported. So I forked out
> > > > for a recent nvidia card, and build/installed a new
> > > > world/kernel.
> > > > Everything seemed to be as one would expect, except there
> > > > was an issue with loader.efi. So I had to move mine aside,
> > > > and use the one off the install media (tho I understand
> > > > the (u)efi has since been fixed). Now, I'm attempting to
> > > > obtain textmode. The text stripped from a tty, and pasted
> > > > to a new file in a textmode editor -- ee(1) for example;
> > > > pads the line with spaces to EOL, and prefaces each line
> > > > following the first line with rubbish (about 1 to 2
> > > > characters worth).
> > > > So "graphics mode" or vt(4) isn't going to get it, for me.
> > > > Textmode, and syscons(4) has always worked as expected, and
> > > > I thought I'd try to re-enable it, or get textmode via vt(4).
> > > > But all attempts fail.
> > > > excerpt from my KERNCONF
> > > >
> > > > device        vga
> > > > options     VESA
> > > >
> > > > device        sc
> > > > options     SC_PIXEL_MODE
> > > >
> > > > device        vt
> > > > device        vt_vga
> > > > device        vt_efifb
> > > >
> > > > However, following the advice on the freebsd wiki, querying
> > > > the value in sysctl(8) returns:
> > > > # sysctl hw.vga.textmode
> > > > sysctl: unknown oid 'hw.vga.textmode'
> > > >
> > > > OK how bout vidcontrol(1)
> > > > # vidcontrol -i adapter
> > > > vidcontrol: obtaining adapter information: Inappropriate ioctl for
> > > device >
> > > > So, it appears from my standpoint that textmode is no longer
> > > > supported?
> > > >
> > > > FWIW:
> > > > FreeBSD trump.whitehouse.gov.test 12.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #0
> > > > r314700: Sun Mar 5 09:01:30 PST 2017
> > > > [hidden email]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/TESTKERN amd6
> > > >
> > > > Thank you for anything that might help me obtain textmode again.
> > > >
> > > > --Chris
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > [hidden email] mailing list
> > > > https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> > > > To unsubscribe, send any mail to
> > > "[hidden email]"  
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > [hidden email] mailing list
> > > https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> > > To unsubscribe, send any mail to
> > > "[hidden email]"   >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current
> > To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"
>
> I use non-UEFI booting machines with vt()-only and the nVidia BLOB (regular
> one from ports and even the latest 378.13). The console is not working
> anymore and provides garbage as long as vt() is in charge. On UEFI only
> systems, vt() is required, sc/syscons doesn't work anymore (I don't care, I'd
> like to move on). So, with nVidia, you are lost.
>
> The problem with vt() and nVidia is well known and it is well known more than
> a year by now if I recall correctly. Nothing has been done by nVidia so far
> and as far as I know, the maintainer hasn't solved the problem. I do not know
> whether nVidia is willing to solve the issue. I left an question in their
> forum, but it seems FreeBSD is more handled like a "unpleasant necessity". On
> the other hand, GPU and such related stuff (GPGPU for instance) is a
> wasteland in FreeBSD and it seems their world is still made up from blocky
> ASCII terminals. Not that I dislike serial terminals, they save your ass
> sometimes and for server management, one doesn't really need the additional,
> non-fault-free complexity graphical UI introduce, but with the capabilities
> of handling graphics the proper way much more is usually related to.
>
> nVidia is, at the moment, the only GPU provider which supports FreeBSD. If
> you'd like to have a workstation with high performance graphical capabilities
> on FreeBSD, there is no way around nVidia. With most recent modern hardware,
> UEFI is standard and there the console is gone as long the nVidia kernel
> module is loaded - you have no chance to get to the console anymore, except
> you're capable of unloading (remotely?) the kernel module. As a matter of
> fact, the system is broken!  
>
> Regards,
>
> Oliver
A *huge* thanks, Oliver, for taking the time to describe the
situation so well -- even if I don't like the answer. ;-)

OK that pretty much explains what I'm experiencing. Looks
like the only I can get a decent text-based console/terminal;
will be to write syscons(4) back into FreeBSD, myself.
I thought things were intended to get better, as time goes on.
But IMHO it seems like things are simply being removed, which
only makes things worse. I know "whiney/trollish" but damnit,
I'm frustrated, and judging by the mailing lists, and bugzuilla;
others are too.

Thanks again, Oliver. I greatly appreciate your taking the time
you did!

--Chris
>
> --
> O. Hartmann
>
> Ich widerspreche der Nutzung oder Übermittlung meiner Daten für
> Werbezwecke oder für die Markt- oder Meinungsforschung (§ 28 Abs. 4 BDSG).


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