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Setting Up Frame Buffer Device X Server

The Frame Buffer Device that comes with the kernel version 2.2.x is a blessing for those who have cards not currently supported by X. The only constraint is that the card should support VESA version 2. You need to prepare some settings for the frame buffer device X server to work:

  • Kernel Preparation—You do not have to recompile the kernel to prepare it for the frame buffer device X server unless you are using a kernel you recompiled previously. The kernel that comes precompiled with SuSE Linux is equipped with frame buffer support. If you want to recompile the kernel by yourself, you should include the following three options in the kernel:

    • Console drivers

    • Video mode selection support

    • Support for frame buffer devices

You also might want to include support for your card if it's found in the Kernel support list under the frame buffer devices. If you can't find your card, use the VESA VGA graphics console option.

  • LILO Preparation—To start your system in frame buffer mode, you must pass some parameters to the kernel using LILO on system startup. You can do so by passing the parameter VGA=mode. You can set the mode to VGA=ask if you want to be asked which mode you want to use each time you start the system. The modes for the VESA frame buffer are listed in Table 3.1.

You can set up LILO using YaST. Start YaST using the --mask lilo parameter as follows:

bash#yast --mask lilo

In the Append-line for hardware parameter, add the following text to start your system in 32k-color depth and 1024x768 resolution:

vga=0x116

Table 3.1  VESA Mode Numbers

Colors

640x480

800x600

1024x768

1280x1024

256

0x301

0x303

0x305

0x307

32k

0x310

0x313

0x316

0x319

64k

0x311

0x314

0x317

0x31A

16M

0x312

0x315

0x318

0x31B

The frame buffer device X server easily can be configured using SaX. Follow the same procedures described in the previous section "SaX" until you reach the Card configuration. In the Card configuration tab, select the Vendor Generic Server Selection. From the Name list, select the Framebuffer server. Continue with the steps in setting up your X server.

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