Subject: wscons versus X servers
To: None <>
From: Ken Hornstein <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/03/1998 09:58:02
(This probably only applies to the i386, but since it involves wscons,
I think that it probably belongs on current-users).

I've run into a rather annoying problem with wscons.  It appears
that wscons still writes to the text display memory even if the
the display is in graphics mode.  This is contrary to pccons and
pcvt, which specifically do _not_ write to the display in graphics
mode (actually, it appears that what pcvt does is doesn't update
the vga control registers in graphics mode, but that's probably
the root cause of my problems).

It turns out this makes some X servers rather unhappy.  Specifically,
the Neomagic X server is very unhappy when using wscons and something
outputs data to ttyE0 (or whatever).

It seems to me that the logical things to do is to not write to
the display when in graphics mode.  I'm just wondering what's the
right way to do that.  I see two possibilities:

- Change the wscons generic layer so no text characters are output
  in "emulation" mode.
- Change the backend layers so they don't do any writing if the display
  is in graphics mode.

The latter feels like the right solution, but from what I see this would
involve a new function for wscons (to set the current graphics mode),
so I wanted to check with other people first.