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Old 10-18-2006, 07:24 AM   #1
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Odd behaviour of tty

I am new to linux so please be gentle.

I have installed Fedora Core 5.0 on a laptop. This is an old generic machine, it has a 1024x768 LCD and has Chips & Technology 65555 videocard. Yes it is old.

Initially I had problems, which I fixed: first X would only show in a 800x600 box in the centre of the screen (I added some modeline entries to /etc/X11/xorg.conf which gave me 1024x768 resolution), my machine also started up in a tty console, not graphics, so I always had to start X. (Note that this machine cannot go into standby mode, so I have to shut it down whenever I am finished with it). That was OK, and anyway I like to switch to tty to perform some things. However, tty only showed up as 80x40 chars (I guess, 640x480 in pixels) so I added vga=773 to the end of the kerenl line in grub.conf, which gives me more characters (and I guess 1024x768 pixels). So far so good.

Now I thought it would be nice to get the machine to start up in graphics mode. So I changed /etc/inittab so that I have id:5:initdefault: which I assume gives me runlevel 5 (it had 3 in there before). I rebooted and everything worked OK - it went into graphics mode immediately, and I could use CTRL_ATL-n to get to a tty. I was happy.

I rebooted again, this this when I go to a tty I get a very odd behaviour. The top half of the screen shows the tty, and the bottom half shows X (I am using KDM). In fact, there are two copies of the tty in the top half with very small text.

Is there a command line command to change the tty 'resolution'? Anyone got any clues why this is happening, and any clues how to get the tty working properly?

Old 10-20-2006, 07:20 AM   #2
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No need to be gentle (but I will be) -- you have a very strange problem (TMK)!

You did the right things for resolution and starting up in runlevel 5. Do I understand correctly that the first boot after changing the setting in inittab things worked correctly and with the second boot they did not? If so, try about 10 more reboots, checking the tty's, and see if you get the same result each time. Also, see if all of your tty's exhibit the same problem or just some.

To get more data, you could also try going back to runlevel 3 (I assume you have multiple tty's), manually start a GUI in one and while that is still running see if going to a different tty gives you trouble. If it does, try rebooting, starting up a GUI, shutting it down and seeing how the tty's behave.

You might also check the difference (if any) in results between a simple reboot and a complete powerdown.

I don't really have anything to suggest for a solution. I am just hoping that with enough data, maybe something will suggest itself. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.


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