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I have two computers, one with an i815 onboard video chip and the other with an i915. A console font that is perfectly readable on the former appears only half-size ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    What determines the visual size of a given console font?


    I have two computers, one with an i815 onboard video chip and the other with an i915. A console font that is perfectly readable on the former appears only half-size on the latter, requiring me to use a larger font size. Can anyone explain to me why that happens?
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  2. #2
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    Is this what you need?

    Changing font size in Console?

    It looks like maybe each computer is using a different screen resolution in the console.?

  3. #3
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacopag View Post
    Is this what you need?

    Changing font size in Console?

    It looks like maybe each computer is using a different screen resolution in the console.?
    The vga modes listed in that thread won't work with i815 video chips. I don't know if they'll work with i915.

    My experience with several ancient HP machines with i815 graphics is that they'll fail to recognize VGA mode numbers, but depending on the bootloader you may be given the option to manually choose one of its modes. In all cases, the VGA resolution is 640x480, but the font size varies so you can get anywhere from 80x25 to 80x50.

    I'm not sure about i915; maybe it recognizes VGA mode numbers fine. In that case, I'm pretty sure most vaguely modern linux installs will try to choose the best resolution that the detected monitor can accept. That might typically be be 1024x768 or 1600x1200. This means a particular font will appear much smaller than at a 640x480 resolution.
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  4. #4
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    I have partly solved this. The i915 has kernel mode switching and if you have this activated, you automatically get a framebuffer device built into the kernel. It's compulsory; you can't deselect it during the build. I remember playing about with optional framebuffer consoles last year and noticing that they shrink your fonts. I'd still like to know why, if someone can explain it to me in simple language.

    I have set "vga=ask" in LILO and I'm trying out different options each time I boot but so far without noticing any difference. Annoyingly Crux doesn't include a console font large enough to compensate so I copied over the one I use in AntiX (16x28) and I've set that as my default font from now on.
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  5. #5
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Hazel, there are stty settings that in your case should let you resize the fonts on the console. From the stty man page:
    Code:
       Control settings:
           [-]clocal
                  disable modem control signals
    
           [-]cread
                  allow input to be received
    
           * [-]crtscts
                  enable RTS/CTS handshaking
    
           * [-]cdtrdsr
                  enable DTR/DSR handshaking
    
           csN    set character size to N bits, N in [5..8]
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  6. #6
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    Hazel, there are stty settings that in your case should let you resize the fonts on the console. From the stty man page:
    Code:
          csN    set character size to N bits, N in [5..8]
    stty CsN doesn't work for me except with n=8 and that doesn't change anything. But it doesn't really matter; using a bigger font is a perfectly good workaround.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

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