Subject: Re: Amiga UNIX
To: None <amiga@NetBSD.ORG>
From: (Jerry Heyman, SysAdmin - Applied Research Labs, UT) <>
List: amiga
Date: 01/16/1996 16:50:02
In your message <Pine.LNX.3.91.960116163314.605J-100000@lille-kanutten.nvg.unit
.no>, you wrote:

>I tried the tiny almost completely new little "unix" feelalike OS called 
>mapux, on my brothers stock 1200 and found to my suprice that ... 
>"Wow virtual consoles!"   Now wouldn't that be nice on NetBSD ? 
>The typical answer: 
>"what you need it for, run X, besides you've got "screen" havent you ?" 

Seen this on other commercial implementations of Unix also

>Well.. I've just seen the game "Abuse" on linux(PC), a lisp game, quite 
>cool, runs both in consolemodus and in a tiny window on X. The X version is 
>actually too small, so I prefer the console version. Do I have to shut 
>down the X server to that ? No, "ctrl+alt+Fx" there, a console to run the 
>game. Not that such games are very common in unix envirement yet, but in 
>the future ? As amiga-owners we _should_ know what use there is in 
>virtual consoles, and I dont understand those who dont.

If you've never seen it, you don't know what you're missing (a la multi 

>I would really prefer consoles on netbsd since the AGA support for X is 
>so limited when it comes to size and resolution. (If I want X I use amiwin)
>Why isn't virtual consoles implemented ?

My understanding is that it's not trivial

>How difficult would it be to implement it ?

I know that when I worked on AIX development (IBM's implementation of Unix),
we provided the virtual console via HFT (High Function Terminal).  The
difficulty involved re-writing X screen device drivers that could understand
the HFT.  It is not a trivial task, and eventually it was one of the reasons
that IBM gave up on them (AIX 4.1.x no longer supports HFT)

>Why do some people seem to prefer "screen" instead of virtual consoles ?

Screen was originally written back in the days of REAL tty's and VT100's as
the only interface to Unix.  This obviously gives you multiple sessions/shells
per log in.  One thing about HFTs, they weren't supported on dumb ASCII
(vt100-like) terminals - screen gives you that support.

While I still haven't installed NetBSD on my A3000, I await the IOmega Jaz
drive to do so, I cannot speak for the why (or why nots) of NetBSD.

Jerry Heyman                   |
Tactical Simulation Division   |
Applied Research Laboratories of UT Austin | "Software is the difference
P.O. Box 8029, Austin, TX 78713-8029       |     between hardware and reality"