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VIDCONTROL(1)          DragonFly General Commands Manual         VIDCONTROL(1)


vidcontrol -- system console control and configuration utility


vidcontrol [-CdLPpx] [-b color] [-c appearance] [-f [size] file] [-g geometry] [-h size] [-i adapter | mode] [-l screen_map] [-M char] [-m on | off] [-r foreground background] [-S on | off] [-s number] [-t N | off] [mode] [foreground [background]] [show]


The vidcontrol command is used to set various options for the syscons(4) console driver, such as video mode, colors, cursor shape, screen output map, font and screen saver timeout. The following command line options are supported: mode Select a new video mode. The modes currently recognized are: 80x25, 80x30, 80x43, 80x50, 80x60, 132x25, 132x30, 132x43, 132x50, 132x60, VGA_40x25, VGA_80x25, VGA_80x30, VGA_80x50, VGA_80x60, VGA_90x25, VGA_90x30, VGA_90x43, VGA_90x50, VGA_90x60, EGA_80x25, EGA_80x43. Alternatively, a mode can be specified with its number by using a mode name of the form MODE_<NUMBER>. A list of valid mode numbers can be obtained with the -i mode option. See Video Mode Support below. foreground [background] Change colors when displaying text. Specify the foreground color (e.g. ``vidcontrol white''), or both a foreground and background colors (e.g. ``vidcontrol yellow blue''). Use the show command below to see available colors. show See the supported colors on a given platform. -b color Set border color to color. This option may not be always supported by the video driver. -C Clear the history buffer. -c normal | blink | destructive Change the cursor appearance. The cursor is either an inverting block (normal) that can optionally blink, or it can be like the old hardware cursor (destructive). The latter is actually a simulation. -d Print out current output screen map. -f [size] file Load font file for size (currently, only 8x8, 8x14 or 8x16). The font file can be either uuencoded or in raw binary format. You can also use the menu-driven vidfont(1) command to load the font of your choice. Size may be omitted, in this case vidcontrol will try to guess it from the size of font file. See also Video Mode Support and EXAMPLES below and the man page for syscons(4). -g geometry Set the geometry of the text mode for the modes with selectable geometry. Currently only raster modes support this option. See also Video Mode Support and EXAMPLES below. -h size Set the size of the history (scrollback) buffer to size lines. -i adapter Shows info about the current video adapter. -i mode Shows the possible video modes with the current video hardware. -l screen_map Install screen output map file from screen_map. See also syscons(4). -L Install default screen output map. -M char Sets the base character used to render the mouse pointer to char. -m on | off Switch the mouse pointer on or off. Used together with the moused(8) daemon for text mode cut & paste functionality. -p Capture the current contents of the video buffer corresponding to the terminal device referred to by standard input. The vidcontrol utility writes contents of the video buffer to the standard output in a raw binary format. For details about that format see Format of Video Buffer Dump below. -P Same as -p, but dump contents of the video buffer in a plain text format ignoring nonprintable characters and information about text attributes. -r foreground background Change reverse mode colors to foreground and background. -S on | off Turn vty switching on or off. When vty switching is off, attempts to switch to a different virtual terminal will fail. (The default is to permit vty switching.) -s number Set the current vty to number. -t N | off Set the screensaver timeout to N seconds, or turns it off. -x Use hexadecimal digits for output. Video Mode Support Note that not all modes listed above may be supported by the video hardware. You can verify which mode is supported by the video hardware, using the -i mode option. You need to compile your kernel with the VGA_WIDTH90 option if you wish to use VGA 90 column modes (see vga(4)). Video modes other than 25 and 30 line modes may require specific size of font. Use -f option above to load a font file to the kernel. If the required size of font has not been loaded to the kernel, vidcontrol will fail if the user attempts to set a new video mode. Modes Font size 25 line modes 8x16 (VGA), 8x14 (EGA) 30 line modes 8x16 43 line modes 8x8 50 line modes 8x8 60 line modes 8x8 It is better to always load all three sizes (8x8, 8x14 and 8x16) of the same font. You may set variables in /etc/rc.conf or /etc/rc.conf.local so that desired font files will be automatically loaded when the system starts up. See below. If you want to use any of the raster text modes you need to recompile your kernel with the SC_PIXEL_MODE option. See syscons(4) for more details on this kernel option. Format of Video Buffer Dump The vidcontrol utility uses the syscons(4) CONS_SCRSHOT ioctl(2) to capture the current contents of the video buffer. The vidcontrol utility writes version and additional information to the standard output, followed by the contents of the terminal device. PC video memory is typically arranged in two byte tuples, one per character position. In each tuple, the first byte will be the character code, and the second byte is the character's color attribute. The color attribute byte is further broken down into the low nibble, which specifies which of 16 different foreground colors is active, and the high nibble, which specifies which of 16 different background colors is active. 0 Black 1 Blue 2 Green 3 Cyan 4 Red 5 Magenta 6 Brown 7 White 8 Grey 9 Light Blue 10 Light Green 11 Light Cyan 12 Light Red 13 Light Magenta 14 Yellow 15 White It can be seen that the last 8 colors are brighter versions of the first 8. For example, the two bytes 65 158 specify an uppercase A (character code 65), in yellow (low nibble 15) on a light blue background (high nibble 9). The vidcontrol output contains a small header which includes additional information which may be useful to utilities processing the output. The first 10 bytes are always arranged as follows: Byte Range Contents 1 thru 8 Literal text ``SCRSHOT_'' 9 File format version number 10 Remaining number of bytes in the header Subsequent bytes depend on the version number. Version Byte Meaning 1 11 Terminal width, in characters 12 Terminal depth, in characters 13 and up The snapshot data So a dump of an 80x25 screen would start (in hex) 53 43 52 53 48 4f 54 5f 01 02 50 19 ----------------------- -- -- -- -- | | | | ` 25 decimal | | | `--- 80 decimal | | `------ 2 remaining bytes of header data | `--------- File format version 1 `------------------------ Literal "SCRSHOT_"


Boot Time Configuration You may set the following variables in /etc/rc.conf or /etc/rc.conf.local in order to configure the video output at boot time. blanktime Sets the timeout value for the -t option. font8x16, font8x14, font8x8 Specifies font files for the -f option. scrnmap Specifies a screen output map file for the -l option. See rc.conf(5) for more details. Driver Configuration The video card driver may let you change default configuration options, such as the default font, so that you do not need to set up the options at boot time. See video card driver manuals, (e.g. vga(4)) for details.


/usr/share/syscons/fonts/* font files. /usr/share/syscons/scrnmaps/* screen output map files.


If you want to load /usr/share/syscons/fonts/iso-8x16.fnt to the kernel, run vidcontrol as: vidcontrol -f 8x16 /usr/share/syscons/fonts/iso-8x16.fnt So long as the font file is in /usr/share/syscons/fonts, you may abbreviate the file name as iso-8x16: vidcontrol -f 8x16 iso-8x16 Furthermore, you can also omit font size ``8x16'': vidcontrol -f iso-8x16 Moreover, the suffix specifying the font size can be also omitted; in this case, vidcontrol will use the size of the currently displayed font to construct the suffix: vidcontrol -f iso Likewise, you can also abbreviate the screen output map file name for the -l option if the file is found in /usr/share/syscons/scrnmaps. vidcontrol -l iso-8859-1_to_cp437 The above command will load /usr/share/syscons/scrnmaps/iso-8859-1_to_cp437.scm. The following command will capture the contents of the first virtual terminal, and redirect the output to the shot.scr file: vidcontrol -p < /dev/ttyv0 > shot.scr The following command will dump contents of the fourth virtual terminal to the standard output in the human readable format: vidcontrol -P < /dev/ttyv3


kbdcontrol(1), vidfont(1), keyboard(4), screen(4), syscons(4), vga(4), rc.conf(5), kldload(8), moused(8), watch(8) The various scr2* utilities in the graphics and textproc categories of the Ports Collection.


Soren Schmidt <sos@FreeBSD.org> Sascha Wildner DragonFly 4.1 August 14, 2015 DragonFly 4.1

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