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Full Version: Font / Text Mode Oddities On Boot
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Ok, let me start by saying I'm being kind of anal here, but I was hoping to gain some understanding in the process.

I have RedHat 9 and am trying to figure out what is causing font changes during boot. I have narrowed it down significantly, but am having trouble with a couple of issues and was hoping someone could offer assistance.

I have identified four places during the boot process where the terminal font / text mode is changed. Listed in order they occur during boot, they are:

1. /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit
2. /etc/rc.d/init.d/keytable
3. /etc/rc.d/init.d/kudzu
4. /etc/rc.d/init.d/portmap

I had identified (1) & (2) above long ago, and by commenting out the fairly obviously appropriate sections of these two files, resolved these issues. These were the only problems when using RedHat 7.2, and I was happy I finally got it working the way I wanted. RedHat 9, on the other hand, added some stuff to (3) & (4) which also caused this font issue.

Both kudzu and portmap appear to be running a couple of programs, either of which could be the culprit:


My money is on the latter, but I'm not sure. Is anyone familiar with this behavior? I know I could turn off kudzu and portmap and the problem would go away, but I don't really want to do that, especially for portmap. Does anyone know a better way to make portmap and kudzu not screw with the font?

Here are some screenshots that might help (note the hostname line was intentionally "censored" in the second and third picture).

1. This is the typical default 80x25 text mode. This is what displays until LILO runs.
2. In /etc/lilo.conf, I have set a line to read "vga=0xA", which sets the high-res text mode of 132x60. I want it to stay like this.
3. When kudzu and portmap run, the screen flashes quickly, and it changes to this other text mode that I'm not as intimately familiar with. The change only occurs when the first one runs of course, which happens to be kudzu presuming I'm not running interactive mode startup. I don't want this to happen.
This doesn't answer your question as to the font changes ... but it might give you a good readable font in console mode.

Instead of using vga=0xA, try a value from the following chart:

    | 640x480  800x600  1024x768 1280x1024
256 |  0x301    0x303    0x305    0x307 
32k |  0x310    0x313    0x316    0x319 
64k |  0x311    0x314    0x317    0x31A 
16M |  0x312    0x315    0x318    0x31B

I use 0x305 and find it quite good.
My font only changes to the default once (in rc.sysinit to $SYSFONT as defined in the kernel compile) if I don't comment out that section of rc.sysinit ... if I do comment it out in rc.sysinit I see the font try to change where you have pointed out. But using 0x305 is very readable with the default font specified by RedHat in rc.sysinit.

Make sure you copy the LILO entry you are currently booting from and make another entry with vga=normal in it (then run lilo to activate the changes), just in case your screen is not readable in one of the framebuffer modes that you try.

Not that it is any of my business, but why are you using LILO instead of grub?
Sweet, that's good stuff. smile.gif Like you said, it didn't exactly answer my question, but it did solve my problem which in my book is just as good. When I use those modes, the screen doesn't flash and the font doesn't change at all at any of those points during boot.

I wasn't familiar with those modes. I'm using 0x307 now and like it a lot. I can't help but wonder - what's the point of 16 M colors in text mode? While I didn't really try it, it seems like it would be slower if nothing else, and I can't imagine the need for it.

Anyway, as for why I use LILO, it's not a very good reason really... My first Linux install was RedHat 7.1, and I believe GRUB wasn't included yet. I got LILO configured the way I wanted it, and being a novice at the time, it took me a while to do so, so I was just sticking with what I knew. What benefits does GRUB offer?
The main benefit is that you don't have to remember to run any command after updates ... you change the config file and it's done.

The negative is that you have to learn a new drive numbering scheme.

(hda is hd0 .... hda1 is hd0,1 ... etc.)

Lilo works, but most new distros (but not Mandrake and Slackware) now use grub.
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