vga16fb display size problems (Re: Live CD X autoconfiguration)

Daniel Stone daniel at
Wed Jan 19 06:42:00 CST 2005

On Wed, Jan 19, 2005 at 12:18:38PM +0000, Paul Sladen wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Jan 2005, Marcus Bauer wrote:
> > On Wed, 2005-01-19 at 11:04 +0000, Colin Watson wrote:
> > > > Well, we /know/ that on some hardware vga16fb looks like rubbish while
> > > > vesafb works (hurrah for the craptop).
> In what particular way is either vesafb/vga16fb ''looking rubbish''?
> Certainly, PC99 mandates 256-colour Vesa-modes, so it should work on
> anything made in the last 7 years.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Unfortunately no-one cares about VESA or VGA much.  As long as two things work:
	a) BIOS
	b) Windows
then the vendor will be happy.  A lot of people implement VESA or VGA very
poorly (mainly so on laptops, because programming LVDS panels properly is a
great deal harder than just programming a standard CRT, which is much more of a
known quantity anyway), and you don't even have to go to absolute horror shows
of chipsets like Via to see that.  Some i810 chips have incredibly poor video
BIOSes that will deadlock given certain (not uncommon) VBE requests[0].  And
anything that says 'Via' just screams 'will not work, please set me on fire'.

Sadly, unless you actually get a proper chipset, people don't care about
anything other than the BIOS working, and Windows working fine.  And with
preinstalls, this means you don't have to mess with this bothersome VESA crap.

[0]: So, in the spirit of i8xx, someone wrote a utility that patches the shadow
     video BIOS to make this function a no-op.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
Url :

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list