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11. Using framebuffer devices on SPARC platforms

11.1 Which graphic cards can work with the framebuffer device?

This lists all the graphic cards available:

  • MG1/MG2 - SBus or integrated on Sun3 - max. 1600x1280 @ mono (BWtwo)
  • CGthree - Similar to MG1/MG2 but supports colour - max resolution ?
  • GX - SBus - max. 1152x900 @ 8bit (CGsix)
  • TurboGX - SBus - max. 1152x900 @ 8 bit (CGsix)
  • SX - SS10/SS20 only - max. 1280x1024 @ 24 bit - (CGfourteen)
  • ZX(TZX) - SBus - accelerated 24bit 3D card - max resolution ? (Leo)
  • TCX - AFX - for Sparc 4 only - max. 1280x1024 @ 8bit
  • TCX(S24) - AFX - for Sparc 5 only - max. 1152x900 @ 24bit
  • Creator - SBus - max. 1280x1024 @ 24bit (FFB)
  • Creator3D - SBus - max. 1920x1200 @ 24bit (FFB)
  • ATI Mach64 - accelerated 8/24bit for Sparc64 PCI only

There is the option to use the PROM to output characters to the display or to a serial console.

Also, have a look at the Sparc Frame Buffer FAQ at

http://c3-a.snvl1.sfba.home.com/Framebuffer.html

11.2 Configuring the framebuffer devices

During make config, you need to choose whether to compile promcon and/or fbcon. You can select both, but if you do this, you will need to set the kernel flags to select the device. fbcon always takes precedence if not set. If promcon is not selected in, on boot up, it defaults to dummycon. If promcon is selected, it will use this device. Once the buses are booted, and fbcon is compiled in, the kernel probes for the above framebuffers and will use fbcon. If there is no framebuffer devices, it will default to promcon.

Here are the kernel options

video=sbus:options
        where options is a comma separated list:
                nomargins       sets margins to 0,0
                margins=12x24   sets margins to 12,24 (default is computed
from resolution)
                off             don't probe for any SBus/UPA framebuffers
                font=SUN12x22   use a specific font

So for example, booting with

 video=sbus:nomargins,font=SUN12x22
gives you a nice fast text console with a text resolution of 96x40, looks similar to a Solaris console but with colours and virtual terminals just like on the Intel platform.

If you want to use the SUN12x22 font, you need to enable it during make config (disable the fontwidth != 8 option). The accelerated framebuffers can support any font width between 1 to 16 pixels, whilst dumb frame buffers only supports 4, 8, 12 and 16 pixel font widths.

It is recommended that you grab a recent consoletools packages.


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