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Date:      Sat, 16 Sep 2017 15:06:47 -0400
From:      mfv <>
To:        Polytropon <>
Cc:        Ian Smith <>, Steve O'Hara-Smith <>,
Subject:   Re: Restoring sc console look and feel with vt
Message-ID:  <20170916150647.49ec8bc8@gecko4>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <>

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> On Sat, 2017-09-16 at 18:58 Polytropon <> wrote:
>On Sun, 17 Sep 2017 02:21:51 +1000 (EST), Ian Smith wrote:
>> Are you sure there's no way to use sc(4) with X on 10.3?  
>The reason why I switched to vt was exactly that reason: with sc
>in place, X wouldn't start anymore. This happened at some point
>during the "updating trail" of 10.1 -> 10.3 with ports updated
>(via pkg). Something that worked for months suddenly stopped
>working, which always is a terrible experience. When I switched
>to vt in the loader, X worked again as it did before.
>> We saw lots 
>> about getting proper console switching going (again) using vt and X
>> on the stable@ list on earlier 10.x, but I can't recall any details,
>> since sc still works fine on my 9.3 (amd64) system, where vt(4)
>> first became available, including proper suspend/resume support from
>> ttyvN or from X.  
>That is a different problem. Until you start X, sc works perfectly
>fine. Even in a setting where "sc + startx" is working, shutting
>down the X session or switching using e. g. Ctrl+Alt+F1 leaves you
>with a console that works, but without visible text ("blind console").
>With vt, at least this problem is gone, even though the console now
>is visible only with the tiniest letters.
>> But that's using a much older X (and everything else), so I wouldn't 
>> want to lend you any false hope at this stage ..  
>Never touch a running system. :-)

Hello Polytropon,

This may not be relevant, but I have a functioning SC console and X with
a system that is similar to yours.  X will exit cleanly and can be
restarted without issue.

The only video task that can not be performed is cleanly switching
between X and SC.  I can switch from X to SC but the system will freeze
when trying to switch back.  Consequently when I must work within a
console I exit X.  This is not much of an issue as I use xfce4 which, as
you probably know, is rather light weight.

The hardware is a multi-core amd64 CPU with a low-end Nvidia graphics

FreeBSD is 10.3-RELEASE-p21 with a custom kernel. The graphics
driver is nvidia-driver-384.59 installed using the pkg system.

The loader settings related to graphics:

The kernel settings:
# atkbdc0 controls both the keyboard and the PS/2 mouse
#device	atkbdc	# AT keyboard controller
#device	atkbd	# AT keyboard
#device	psm		# PS/2 mouse
#device	kbdmux	# keyboard multiplexer

device	vga		# VGA video card driver
options 	VESA	# Add support for VESA BIOS Extensions (VBE)

#device	splash	# Splash screen and screen saver support

# syscons is the default console driver, resembling an SCO console
device	sc
options 	SC_PIXEL_MODE # add support for the raster text mode

# vt is the new video console driver
#device	vt
#device	vt_vga
#device	vt_efifb

#device	agp		# support several AGP chipsets

As the system has a USB mouse and keyboard the AT and PS/2 settings
were commented out.  Some time ago I experimented with VT and decided
it was not ready for prime time; essentially for the same reasons you
previously described.  Thus vt and agp were also removed.

Vga and VESA were kept as I have an LCD monitor and the video mode can
be set with vidcontrol during user login.  The video mode for root is
not changed.

The rc.conf settings:
## Console

I prefer Swiss fonts as they have a clean uncluttered appearance.

And finally .cshrc in my home directory.
vidcontrol -g 100x37 VESA_800x600

X is started with startx.

xorg.conf is a fine tuning of the initial settings provided by
X -configure.

These settings may not be relevant to your situation, but I am passing
them on in case something does.  If I misunderstood your original
posting I apologise for this noise.

Cheers ...


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