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Re: framebuffer console support for different video cards.

On Fri, Dec 26, 2008 at 03:27:06PM EST, Daniel Baumann wrote:
> Chris Jones wrote:
> > Hope I'm not double-posting .. I have a feeling the list was down over
> > the Xmas holiday..? 
> no downtime of lists.debian.org that i'm aware of (or any that was
> announced on debian-infrastructure-announce).

That's weird .. I even went to the lists.debian.org and when I tried to
follow the link to the live-debian page I timed out. This may have been
a more general issue .. because I tried the same with debian-user and
got the same result.

> > Since the generic framebuffer console vga driver does not support my
> > LCD's native 1400x1050 resolution, I was wondering if there was any way
> > I could add a custom kernel image with the relevant options enabled.
> no chance that the options you are looking for can be enabled with a
> boot parameter?

No. The only way I got this to work on my laptop was having support for
the mach64 chip built into the kernel .. and then I was able to specifiy
the following in my boot command:


The framebuffer console howto has pretty much all the details.

Since I want a live CD that would eventually handle other common video
chips I also will have to enable support for them in my custom kernel.

This probably sounds like a minor issue .. but I can assure you that if
you plan to be able to use the CD/DVD to work on the linux console for
extended periods of time when your LCD's native resolution is not
supported by the generic vga driver .. it makes an amazing difference.

> > How would I go about doing this with debian live?
> there are some information in the wiki or the manual about adding a
> custom kernel when you're *not* using .debs. if you use debs, which you
> really should (by either using the python foo that linux-2.6 packages
> use, or by using kernel-package), then you can just drop them into local
> packages (including the squashfs and aufs modules), and be done with it.

I always use .deb's for my custom kernels .. make-kpkg is just great!

One thing I'm unclear about is how I "drop them into local packages".

The manual indicates that it's just a matter of copying the .deb to the
But doesn't this beg the question: 

Say, I over copy the .deb for a custom version of gnu/screen and add
gnu/screen to my list of packages.

Now, which "screen" executable will eventually end up in the /usr/bin of
my live CD..? Does my custom version take precedence over the standard
lenny version automatically .. or do I need to add a touch of magic for
this to happen?

Where kernels are concerned, the issue is different .. provided they
have different names, I would imagine that my custom kernel(s) will be
installed alongside the standard kernel(s) .. But right now, on my
current live DVD I have two kernel images - one that's geared to older
processors .. dubbed something-486 .. and one that's optimized for
Pentium III & better hardware with a name that ends in -686.

I'm not sure why, but if I just hit enter at the boot prompt with my
current live DVD ..  it's the i-486 image that is booted (at least
that's what "uname -a" is telling me).

I'm more familiar with grub where you get a menu where you can select
which kernel you want to boot. I haven't had the time to look for a
way to direct the default (isolinux?) bootloader to boot the "-686"
kernel but it got me wondering whether I could replace it with grub.

Then, I would be able to select any of the available kernels and edit
the boot options on the fly .. not sure you can do that with the default

In any case, if you or anyone else can spare a few minutes to comment on
my interrogations.. I would greatly appreciated.



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