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Re: anacron, VGA text mode

Alejandro Lopez wrote:
> 1. When anacron is started during boot up, it reports something like 
> "anacron: deferred while on battery power". The battery of this laptop was 
> [...]
> matter the power source but no joy. I've been suggested that this may be 
> controlled through some "power management software, APM or ACPI".

The 'on_ac_power' command is used by anacron to determine if you are
on batter or not.  The script checks for several things in /proc such
as the availability of APM or ACPI or other things.  But the script
needs to be installed or it will appear as if you are not on ac power.

  foo && echo command returned true || echo command returned false
  bash: foo: command not found
  command returned false

Not found so it returns false so it looks like you are not on ac power.

  apt-get install powermgmt-base

If that still does not work then check /proc/apm and make sure your
kernel is reporting the state correctly.

> 2. When the laptop is powered up, it starts in a nice text mode where the 
> 80x25 character matrix would take up the whole 800x600 LCD. If you boot any 
> OS that doesn't change the mode (like DOS or older versions of Debian I've 
> had in the past), it stays like that. Now that I've installed latest Debian 

It is a kernel feature, not a distro feature.

> stable (3.0r2 if I remember well), Lilo appears in the nice text mode, but 
> as soon as Linux starts to boot, it switches to a different text mode 
> sporting this nice penguin holding a beer. Is this a kernel "feature"? This 
> new crap mode takes only part of my screen, leaving a big border unused. 
> Also, the penguin thing confuses applications like less and man, which fail 
> to handle it properly when you use page up / down: They try to use the 
> upper text lines, normally unused. (This penguin problem is not too bad. 
> Since he / she seems to live in the first console only, I can just log in 
> the second console. The small screen is annoying, though.)

You don't like the penguin?  I *love* the penguin!  Some people swap
it out to different images.

What you are seeing is that a portion of the terminal is in scroll
lock mode.  But as soon as you switch to another virtual console this
is reset and flushed.  So this is hardly worth the effort to change.


Booting with the following on the kernel command line should also turn
off the framebuffer console.  I think 791 is the right mode to use.


But if you are seeing the penguin then I know you have not installed a
tuned kernel and are still using the bootstrapping kernel.  The
bootstrapping kernel has everything compiled in so that it can
bootstrap.  But it is a large kernel, very expandable, and usually
unknown by the package system so it does not get security updates.
You might do better by installing one of the kernels optimized for
your hardware.

  apt-get install kernel-image-2.4.18-1-686

Of course that is a modular kernel and to use it you will need to have
all of your modules listed in /etc/modules.  This is really much
easier in sarge/sid where this is mostly taken care of for you


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