Problem installing the "nouveau" driver

Neal Murphy neal.p.murphy at
Wed Jun 30 20:29:00 PDT 2010

On Wednesday 30 June 2010 21:46:02 alupu at wrote:
> Simon, Trent, Mike:
> Thank you very much for the rich, detailed, interesting
> theories and explanations about video drivers, booting,
> X, fonts, pixels, my boot-up component steps, etc.
> All this knowledge and experience is obviously worth a
> thread of its own, something I'd be following keenly.
> BUT here, as I said very clearly (hopefully) in my last
> post, ALL I'm interested in - for the moment - is someone
> who HAS "nouveau" active on the machine and has a boot-up
> experience different than mine (or even identical -
> the point is to compare notes and for me to "steal" a few
> ideas :):


I've no experience with the nouveau driver. What you see (80x25 at start, 
blank, then small font starting partway down) is exactly what I see when my 
Debian system boots. I have an nVidia 7600 card; it took me a while to get it 
to do that reliably. Think I can find what I did several years ago? Fat 
chance! I haven't a clue as to what I did! I expect LFS to be quite similar.

From consolechars(8) man page:
       As currently there is no mode switching support in  the  Linux  kernel,
       consolechars  has  nothing  to  do  with the current EGA/VGA mode. It’s
       totally user’s responsibility to choose a  font  matching  the  current
       video mode.

It would appear there is no way to change the console framebuffer's video mode 
once the system has booted. If you are brave, you may be able to force the 
kernel to unload the framebuffer module and reload it with your desired 
parameter(s), if the nouveau driver accepts them (look for 'module_param' in 
the driver source). I would suggest doing this via script, using nohup, 
unless you are handy with the reset button, or having an SSH session ready to 
restart the system if needed.

Thus, if you want large chars again, you'll either need to find or make a huge 
font and install it using consolechars, rmmod/insmod the fb driver, patch the 
running kernel, or read the driver source to find the correct parameters to 
pass to the driver at boot (via grub or lilo) to select a different mode.

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