Subject: modular-xorg trouble with wscons vtys
To: None <>
From: Alan Barrett <>
List: pkgsrc-users
Date: 08/20/2007 17:37:41
I run NetBSD-current/i386.  I recently switched to modular-xorg from
whatever version of XFree86 is built from src/x11.  I now have several
problems relating to the interaction between X and wscons vtys.

I previously used to invoke /usr/X11R6/bin/X with the "vt05" option to
force it to display on the virtual console that's sometimes called
/dev/ttyE4 and that's usually accessibly by pressing alt-control-F5 on
the keyboard.  Now, the Xorg(1) man page says that the "vtXX" option
should still work, but in reality it's not accepted.

A possibly-related problem is that switching between wscons virtual consoles
is broken while X is running (but still works fine to switch between text
consoles, provided you never use X at all).  I have seen several
manifestations of what I suspect is a single underlying problem:

* Sometimes, just after starting the X server, keyboard input just
doesn't work at all, although the mouse works.  Pressing alt-control-F1
usually makes the keyboard start working.  It's as if the X server
decided to display itself on ttyE0 (instead of the ttyE4 that I would
have preferred, since I have getty running on ttyE{0,1,2,3}), but failed
to switch the keyboard focus to ttyE1, instead leaving it on whatever
other tty was previously in use (usually ttyE1 in my tests).

* Sometimes, when the X server dies or gets killed, the display switches
to text mode as expected, but the keyboard is in a weird state, with
keys sending what I assume are binary key codes, as if the mapping from
keystrokes to characters has been disabled.  Before long, the system
locks up completely, and needs to be power cycled.

* I haven't yet managed to get xdm to do anything useful.  I forget
exactly what the errors were, but it didn't get as far as displaying
a login prompt.

* I still haven't found a way of getting kdm to work.  It displays a login
prompt, and I can click stuff and start typing, but after I type a
few characters of my password, keyboard input stops working, and even
alt-control-backslash doesn't work.  alt-control{F1,F2,...} certainly
don't work.  When this happens, the system needs to be power cycled to

* I can get things to more or less work by logging in in a text console
and running startx.  However, pressing alt-control-F{1,2,3,...} does not
switch virtual consoles.

Is there special stuff I should put in xorg.conf to make
alt-control-F{1,2,3...} switch between wscons virtual ttys?

What's the new way of getting the functionality that was previously
provided by passing "vt05" as an argument to the X server?

--apb (Alan Barrett)