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console-client close to initial check in

From: Marcus Brinkmann
Subject: console-client close to initial check in
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 05:47:16 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i


I have uploaded a new console client tar file to 

The intention is to check this code in, or at least something that comes
very close to it, see below for the corresponding MAKEDEV changes I plan to
commit along with it.  The above code is thoroughly tested and should be
quite usable.  It has the following changes:

* Restoring VGA mode works.  If you start it, and terminate it with
  LeftCtrl+LeftAlt+Backspace, you should get your normal Mach console back,
  _exactly_ as it was (colors, font, cursor position and screen content!).
  So, you can run the client and terminate it later to detach and get back
  to the system console.

* RightAlt+c is fixed and produces the cent symbol now.

* Support for nine-pixel wide fonts, in the sense that the ninth column gets
  cut off and is replaced by an empty column or by the content of the eight
  column (for horizontal line graphic characters).  This is ok for many,
  many glyphs in Markus Kuhn's fonts [try the 9x15 one], because they are
  designed to be glued right next to each other, but not for all of them (in
  particular some boxes and circles used for combining etc use the 9th column).
  Check it out.  If it doesn't work for you because you use a strange character
  set, you have still the:
  Improved support for eight-pixel wide fonts, in the sense that they don't
  get the extra empty or repeated column.  Try that on the 8x13 font.

  The pixel width is detected automatically.  Other widths than 8 or 9 will
  be handled by adding space or cutting off the right end.

Those are all larger user visible changes I remember right now.  There were
probably more, but I spent a while fixing term and implementing some
interface support (scroll lock leds) that is not user visible yet (because
keyboard LEDs don't work).  I have still a long TODO list, but the things
that are left are mostly larger pieces of work that can be done later.
I would like to get some testing for this code, and thus I plan to check it
in and make it easier installable.  For this, I plan to add a new directory


to CVS, which contains the files in the tar file (except the font) and
produces a program "console" and plugins for it.  I also want to add the
"vcs" target to MAKEDEV and change the tty[0-9] targets in MAKEDEV to
point to /dev/vcs/NR/console as discussed before (we don't need to set
it into stone, eg defining it in a header file or such, but having it
in MAKEDEV is convenient).  I believe that the tty[0-9][0-9a-f] and
tty[0-9a-f] as they are defined right now, as Mach devices, have never been
used and can be safely removed.

It also makes sense to change the default ttys then so gettys are started
on the new consoles.  But that can be done later as well, after we have more
experience with this.  BTW, is there a way to get a getty on it even after
boot?  The problem with running just a shell on term is that the control
characters are not properly handled (^C, ^Z etc).

Please let me know if you don't want me to commit anything right now.


PS: Running aafire on the client and scrolling up a couple of lines with
    LeftAlt + ArrowUp, while the top of aafire's output keeps running in
    the bottom half of the screen, is quite a neat effect if you are used to
    the jumpy Linux console which doesn't like output while being scrolled

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' GNU      http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org
Marcus Brinkmann              The Hurd http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/

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