Framebuffer Device for Linux on SGI Visual Workstations
Jeffrey Newquist, March
Updated: April 20, 1999
Installing Linux on a Visual Workstation
For information on installing linux and getting started, please refer
to "Linux kernel for SGI Visual Workstations".
The information there is sufficient to getting you going.
Framebuffer Device (fbdev)
SGIVWFB is a framebuffer kernel device to get graphics going on the Cobalt
chipset. This provides a set of /dev/fb* devices which are used by fbcon
(framebuffer console) and XF86_FBDEV (framebuffer X server). Keep in mind
that no rendering features of the Cobalt chip are utilized, so X is not
zippy, but it works.
If you're interested in reading more about the fbcon/fbdev architecture
(at least in its current incarnation), check out "A
New Console Driver for Linux," by Geert Uytterhoeven.
Getting the Driver
The driver is now a standard part of the Linux kernel (as of 2.2.5).
See "Linux kernel for SGI Visual Workstations",
for kernel config options.
Continue reading here to set up X Windows.
Setting up X
This section assumes you have Red Hat 5.x, or some distribution which can
use RPM files. Grab the following files:
XFB.tgz (XFree86 188.8.131.52 fbdev X server)
When you start X it comes up in 1024x768, 16-bit color mode.
Resolutions higher than that will work, but keep in mind this is an unaccelerated
To reduce confusion, please uninstall whatever X server(s) you have installed
(possibly SVGA, VGA16, etc):
rpm -e XFree86-XSERVER
Install XFree86 (we'll actually just "upgrade" it, does the same thing):
rpm -Uvh XFree86*.rpm
Install the XF86_FBDev server:
tar zxvf XFB.tgz
ln -s ../../usr/X11R6/bin/XF86_FBDev X
cp XF86Config .
Install fbset (framebuffer config tool):
tar zxf fbset-19990118.tar.gz
cp fb.modes /etc
put "/usr/sbin/fbset 1024x768x16-85" at end of /etc/rc.d/rc.local
Keyboard and Mouse via USB
To use the USB keyboard and mouse with X you need to do the following:
- mknod /dev/hidbp-mse-0 c 10 32
You can invent a shorter name, but it must match the name used in
the Pointer section of XF86Config.
(This name is the one straight out of the linux-usb INSTALL)
- USB keycodes
Grab this and ADD it
- /etc/X11/XF86Config changes
Make sure the Pointer and Keyboard sections of the XF86Config file
read as follows:
Keyboard and Mouse via NDS
To get keyboard and mouse access to the Visual Workstation when running
X, another machine (linux or IRIX) can be used as the master display in
a dual-head configuration, as long as both machines are on the network.
If you have an IRIX 6.5 machine, skip the installation step.
At this point moving the mouse off the left side of the master display
should make it appear on the VisWS monitor.
tar xvf nds.i386.tgz
Run 'xhost +' or 'xhost +mastername'
/usr/nds/ndsd -master :0 -slave <visws hostname>:0
(add -slaveright to have the VisWS be the monitor on the right)