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SubjectThe new console scheme

Finally I have some real patches for the New Console Scheme that supports all
kinds of consoles you can imagine (VGA text, frame buffer based graphics,
TMS340x0 GSP, ...), and has provisions for multi-head! You can find more info
about it at

Please read those pages first (if you haven't already done so) before

The patches (relative to 2.1.72) are available from:

The patches are rather large because my tree is based on Dave's tree at As long as you don't enable CONFIG_ABSTRACT_CONSOLE, it
should behave like normal on all other architectures. Once you enable
CONFIG_ABSTRACT_CONSOLE, you'll experience the powers of a true device
independent console ;-)

The new console scheme is currently supported on the following architectures:

- m68k: frame buffer devices work since ages!

- ia32: VGA text console (80x25). This (drivers/video/vgacon.c) needs some
tweaking to increase the performance. I don't have a test machine at hand,
but it used to work. This is 100% backwards compatible with the old
console! E.g. svgalib and X will still work!

- PPC (CHRP): using an Open Firmware based frame buffer device. Should work
on PowerMac too. On PReP, it will use a VGA text console (cfr. ia32).

- Alpha: using a frame buffer device for TGA (no 24 bpp at the moment), or
VGA text console, cfr. ia32 (untested).

For MIPS and SPARC, just write a frame buffer device and it'll work :-)

PowerMac (and CHRP) people also may want to try the frame buffer device based X
server. A binary can be found at:

Source patches for XFree86 3.3.1:

Merry Xmas!



P.S. Sorry if this sounds a bit messy, I'm in a hurry for Xmas and I wanted to
send this out ASAP.
Geert Uytterhoeven
Wavelets, Linux/{m68k~Amiga,PPC~CHRP}
Department of Computer Science -- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven -- Belgium

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