switching between X and the console

Larry Hartman larryhartman50 at vzavenue.net
Thu Feb 14 14:00:49 UTC 2008

I read your other posts (Corrected) on this issue.  I too have the dreaded ATI 
X200 Mobility version.  This issue may not be ATI at all.  There is a known 
bug that has existed for the past two buntu version concerning not being able 
to switch to a usable console (ALT+F#).  There is also a fix posted for this 
bug.  The bug exists in NVidia video cards as well.  

The synopsis on the launchpad appears to be that buntu intentionally broke a 
working part of the OS to sort out an issue with power mgt.  I am skeptical 
of this, as I can not conceive of any sane developer doing this type of fix.

Here is the bug# and subject line:

[Bug 129910] Re: Blank ttys when using vesafb (vga=xxx)

The following is a slightly modified sample of one of the most recent posts 
for correcting this problem.  I fixed my issue by following the same basic 
steps.  Hope this helps.


<quote from launchpad>

I changed around the display settings in /etc/usplash.conf to be:
Then installed the proprietary fglrx drivers (in the process of this I had 
need of a terminal when X would not start, only to find that those would not 
work either! Only booting recovery console would  get a working terminal 

Fixed it with the following steps:
sudo apt-get install hwinfo
sudo hwinfo --framebuffer
looked through supported vga modes and found one I liked:
Mode 0x0323: 1024x768 (+4096), 32 bits

sudo vim /boot/grub/menu.lst
found my kernel line and added vga=0x0323
sudo grub-update

sudo vim /etc/initramfs-tools/modules

sudo vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer
un-blacklist the module by commenting out line:
#blacklist radeonfb
update the initramfs:
sudo update-initramfs -u -k all -v

Fixed with acceptable resolution and working usplash :D.

</quote from launchpad>

On Wednesday 13 February 2008 09:01:33 pm Constantinos Maltezos wrote:
> Okay, I wrote previously asking for advice on getting a black screen when I
> try to switch to the console.  I also get a corrupted screen and I don't
> know if I mentioned it.  I learned a little more and thought I'd share it.
> Well, it turns out the problem is the accelerated ATI driver.  On my Compaq
> Presario V5000 laptop, I have an ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics chip.  I
> found the following page with release notes:
> http://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/linux_8.8.25.html
> According to this page, the updated driver they're talking about changes
> the following, among other things:
> "Display corruption is no longer seen when switching between X-Windows and
> the Linux text console, and back to X-Windows"
> Now, the ATI driver that adept downloads when you specify to download
> restricted stuff is version 8.37.6.  So I downloaded the installer from
> ATI's web site.  Unfortunately, the file it gave me had version 8.455.2
> and, as you can tell from the URL mentioned above, the issue is fixed in
> the mysteriously elusive 8.8.25.
> Now if I can figure out a way to write to ATI via email (their web site
> really isn't helping in this regard), I'll post here again with their
> answer.  In the meantime, I'm going to their support forum and posting
> there, though I don't really expect anything out of that.
> Cheers

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