Re: 2.6.8 Kernel: no console, but X working fine

From: Thomas Jahns (
Date: 11/18/04

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    Date: 18 Nov 2004 12:15:10 +0100

    "Frank O. Fackelmayer" <> writes:
    > Thomas Jahns wrote:
    > > Unfortunately support for PowerMac framebuffers has become less and
    > > less reliable after about 2.4.22.
    > is that a general problem of the newer kernels, or a Debian-specific
    > one? If it is Debian-specific, recompiling the kernel with tweaked
    > configs could help. Otherwise changes to the source code would be
    > necessary, for which I unfortunately have neither enough time nor
    > knowledge.

    No neither Debian- nor PPC-specific. The complete framebuffer driver
    architecture has changed from 2.4.x to 2.6.x and drivers for cards that
    are older and used rather infrequently today have not seen enough
    attention to either upgrade at all (that's the case for e.g. the
    Permedia 3 driver) or the changes made have not been checked thoroughly
    on other platforms, that bit me for the atyfb driver, which was modified
    around 2.4.23 in a way that only works on platforms similar to x86. If I
    read the archives correctly, Benjamin Herrenschmidt (who maintains a
    PPC-customized fork of the main kernel source) is currently trying to
    solve that or has even already done so.

    > > But newer kernels are only needed if you
    > > want to have newer features like XFS support.
    > >
    > I see. It is quite hard for someone new in the Linux field to see what
    > has changed between different kernels. Changelogs are ok to see the
    > details, but I yet have to find a nice overview. Not a list of
    > bugfixes, but real changes to functionality, new features etc.

    Yes, once you compile the new kernel regularly you become aware of the
    more important changes. But 2.4.x kernel should be fine for most
    purposes. ACPI, netfilter, device abstraction and driver consolidation
    and kernel internals saw a number of improvements in 2.6.x but unless
    you have a very recent piece of hardware or very high requirements for
    interactivity/throughput etc. none of the changes is strictly needed.

    > > Are you using the built-in framebuffer of the 7300 or a PCI graphics
    > > adapter?
    > >
    > I tried both, with identical negative result.


    Too bad. It seems to me it's not easy to get graphics (or rather
    graphics and console) to work on these machines. As I mentioned I have
    the same problems with internal framebuffer, an ATI Mach 64 and a Formac
    Proformance III on a 7500.

    Thomas Jahns

    "Computers are good at following instructions,
     but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

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