Subject: RE: Console speed
To: None <>
From: Hayden, Bill <>
List: port-macppc
Date: 06/07/2001 09:59:01
> 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)

Getting rid of OFW has other huge advantages as well, namely, it would allow
certain members of Apple's Darwin project to allow BootX to boot NetBSD.
Needless to say, this would be a huge step in making NetBSD easier to use on
ppc.  No more OFW hackery...  I know that this was _my_ biggest hurdle to
getting NetBSD to installed and working.

If you are interested in this, you can review the Darwin Development mailing
list logs at  The messages of interested appeared on 4/23
and 4/24 with the title "Of Quietsce and Kernel entry".

Bill Hayden