To get it emerge svgalib this is a library to run graphics without requiring x. However it can also run in an x console, but it will to turn to full screen.

To use svgalib a kernel module must be loaded with modprobe svgalib_helper. This should create /dev/svga if not, check for things as /dev/svga0 as with ls -l /dev/ | grep svga and edit /etc/vga/libvga.config to access the right dev file. Also add a mouse:

Helper /dev/svga0
mouse none
chipset VESA 

Test programs come with svga so run /usr/lib/svgalib/demos/vgatest. If running x configuring chip set VESA for VESA BIOS or FBDEV are good options. Test the modes that work and try to match them with your application.


On old modes the number of colors was restricted to something as 16. Now you have millions and when inserting 0 or 16 both will be interpreted as nearly black. So use numbers at least as 255 for foreground and 0 for background.

The library svga can be used without X to create graphics, however it runs well in X console windows. Since it creates a mess with the terminal settings, it is worth to make tests in X console windows, so if a console is messed up, just close the console window. Maybe Alt+F7 needs to be pressed to see X. Alternatively there are two programs savetextmode to save the console settings, then run svgalib application and if the console is messed up try to run textmode (you might type this in without seeing any thing).

An other problem is svga due to /dev/svga might be restricted to regular users. However there is access to the video group.

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