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Re: Graphical install idea

Hartmut Koptein <koptein@et-inf.fho-emden.de> writes:

   > Kernel 2.2 supports VESA framebuffer devices, where the mode is set by
   > the bootloader using a BIOS call before the kernel is given control.
   > Using this same method, a 640x480x16 framebuffer device driver could
   > be written, and it could probably be made to work on 99+% of the PC
   > graphics hardware out there; after all, the VGA16 X server does.

   Kernel 2.2 ? <hehe> Ok this is true for Vesa, but framebuffer stuff is
   more the 3 years old.

It wasn't in the mainstream kernel for i386 before 2.2.

   I don't like to say it, but your sentences are to i386-centric. 

Well, I have only i386 boxes, but the ideas are just as applicable to
any architecture.

   The great idea for fbdev is to have graphic drivers in the kernel; in the
   same way as for ethernet, mice, seriall, scsi or the sucking ide. 
   It is no difference between console and/or x11. 

There is a big difference: an X server is too big to fit on a boot
disk.  fbdev is not.

   Please: don't see it with the vesa eyes. You start the kernel and you
   have only graphics on all machines! not only on i386. 


   > With this technique, I'm thinking about writing some experimental
   > graphical boot disks, either from a new code base or as a plug-in
   > replacement for boxes.c.  I'll also have to obtain a VGA16 kernel
   > driver, or write one, of course, but I think I can do it without
   > excessive pain.

   VGA16 ... hmmm   a big  NO! For what? To have 16 bpp? Why not 2, 4, 8,
   15, 16, 24 and 32 bit!? 

VGA16 meaning like the VGA16 X server, i.e. 16 colors == 4 bits, not
16 bits.  The reason I say 16 colors is because this is the same on
all VGA-compatible video cards from the stupidest 256K card all the
way up the line to a Matrox Millenium II.  You do not need different
code bases for different cards.

   Ok, let me explain a little bit:

   The intention for fbdev is to have

Yes, I understand that.

   BTW: VESA is only a 'workaround'; we need more video drivers into the kernel.

We can't fit them all on a boot disk, and we don't want to.
"To the engineer, the world is a toy box full of sub-optimized and
 feature-poor toys." --Scott Adams

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