Subject: Re: Console speed
To: Jeff Blaufuss , <>
From: Chris Tribo <>
List: port-macppc
Date: 06/07/2001 00:52:44
on 6/7/01 12:21 AM, Jeff Blaufuss at wrote:

> Is there any way to speed up the NetBSD console?  I'm using a Power Mac
> 4400 with NetBSD 1.5, and the console feels like it's being run over a
> 2400bps modem.

    Well unless you're using a serial console, that's because NetBSD uses
OpenFirmware to write text on the display. Which will make it only as fast
as the card makers OpenFirmware driver and card design is. Which is usually,
not very. My Voodoo 5 moves pretty snappy, but my ATI Mach 64 based cards
are dogs.

    Specifically, the problem isn't really writing things on the display,
but scrolling. None, if any OpenFirmware video card drivers enable much 2D
acceleration. If we had an accelerated raster console driver instead of
using OpenFirmware, things would probably be a lot faster. (as well as
allowing us to get rid of OFW once we've booted)

    Most of the code for a raster console driver could probably be
shamelessly acquired from Xwindows, LinuxPPC, or Darwin source, if one were
so inclined, but there are other hurdles to overcome. i.e. the sheer number
of different and often undocumented video chips Apple shipped on different
revisions of the same motherboard. However, If you hit Cirrus Logic, Mach 64
(Rage before 128), Rage 128, Radeon, GeForce II, TwinTurbo, Voodoo and
Imagine 128; you'd have nearly every Mac (non laptop) machine that macppc
presently supports covered.


    Disclaimer: the above information is probably wrong, but this is as best
                I know