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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 10-14-2009, 08:47 PM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2005
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Is it possible to use a separate video card to have a console?

Hi all,

I have a spare card and a spare CRT. I was wondering if I could use both to have a dedicated console, without Xorg i mean. As when in Debian you use ctrl+alt+f1 and you are directed to a console, is it possible to have a dedicated one on a separate card? I've been trying to set it up (i guess I have too much free time) but when you start xorg it just grabs all the video cards or puts the one i am using as console well black.

Any pointers? Anybody has ever tried that?

Thanks for your reply,

Old 10-14-2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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I can say it should work. Not sure you have to.

There should be easier ways.

Any type of terminal in the gui would do the same tasks for the most part.

Why can't you setup the same sort of terminals in ctrl-alt-F1~ in your distro also.

See this also

Last edited by jefro; 10-14-2009 at 09:36 PM.
Old 10-15-2009, 02:52 AM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
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Expressing my ignorance here.
Have you considered trying editing the XWindows manager configuration file, removing the adapter that you want to use for a text only console, and then restarting the OS ?

Once configured XWindows manager only knows about the display adapters that are specified in it's config file. The unspecified monitor and display should display a login prompt I would have thought.

Just a thought.

Another approach would be to use a Distro's auto-login feature and use a script to open a terminal on an Xwindows destop and use that as your console. Perhaps making the terminal size fit the entire display and switching the attributes to white text on black background.
Though there are security issues with creating an auto-login account on a system that may or may not be relevant to your situation.

Hope that assists

Old 10-16-2009, 12:29 AM   #4
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Vancouver
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Well.. I have tried almost everything without success. Apparently when you start the X server it puts all your video cards, including those ones that are not on the xorg.conf file as part of the output. All your virtual consoles just go into the background. One option I have found is to create a separate server layout with gdm.conf on just that card, which it turns out to be a conflict. I'll keep on trying though...

Thanks for your help,


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