Provided by: svgatextmode_1.9-20_i386 bug


       TextConfig - Configuration file for SVGATextMode


       SVGATextMode uses a configuration file normally called `TextConfig’ for
       its initial setup. The default place for it is


       It has a similar syntax as the configuration file for  the  XFree86  X-
       Windows  server.  It  adheres  more or less to version 2 of the XFree86
       config file (called Xconfig), but the new Xfree86 syntax, adopted since
       version 3 (and now called XF86Config) is quite similar, just a lot more

   Config file syntax rules
       Basically, the TextConfig file is scanned  on  a  line-per-line  basis,
       with  no  specific ordering whatsoever forced upon the user. A line can
       appear anywhere in the config file, and will have the same effect.

       If the same definition (option, chipset, clockchips, mode  lines,  ...)
       appears  twice  in the config file, the LAST instance will be used, and
       all  others  ignored.  The  only  exceptions  to  that  rule  are   the
       definitions  that  can span more than one line. E.g. `clocks´ lines and
       `fontselect´ lines.  In those cases all lines  accumulate,  instead  of
       canceling each other out.

       In  the  entire  configuration file, character casing is not important,
       i.e.  `ChipSet´, `chipset´ , or any other  upper/lowercase  combination
       are considered the same label.

       Empty  lines  are  allowed.  The last line will always be ignored (make
       sure the last line is an empty one).

       Any text following a  #  (hash)  character  is  comment,  and  will  be

       You must enclose text strings in double quotes ("). E.g. modeline names
       (modeline "my_80x25"), option names  (Option  "LoadFont"),  DefaultMode
       names, ClockChip names, Chipset names, etc.

       Configuration lines start with a keyword, which tells SVGATextMode what
       this line is about. Mode lines can have the prefix "modeline", but this
       is not a requirement.

       Mode  description  lines  start with an optional `modeline´, and then a
       mode label, (any text enclosed in  quotes),  followed  by  at  least  9
       numbers  describing  the  mode timings. A description of the meaning of
       these mode timings should be in the MODE TIMINGS section. Note that the
       mode  label is just what the name says: a label. Even if the label says
       "100x37", it does NOT mean this will actually  produce  a  100x37  text
       mode. The mode timings determine that.

       Lines  not  complying with any of the above restrictions, or lines that
       use an undefined keyword will produce a parsing error. The most  common
       error is forgetting the double quotes around a string, causing an error
       similar to:

               ./stm: ERROR: Unknown token on line 853 of config file

       Also consider reading the comments in the distribution TextConfig  file
       as well. They explain some modes and options as they come along.

   Safety tip
       When  trying  to  create  a new mode of your own, consider "testing" it
       first non-destructively: use

              SVGATextMode -n <MyNewMode>

       (note the ’-n’ option) before doing the  real  thing  (=without  ’-n’).
       This  way  the  program will show you what the new mode will look like,
       WITHOUT really changing anything. This allows you to check if the H and
       V sync values will work with your monitor. And it avoids a blank screen
       because some number was wrong, and the mode line got screwed up.


       Several keywords are used by SVGATextMode to define what the line  will
       describe.  This  section only describes the syntax of the keywords, and
       some general  explanation.  The  complete  syntax,  with  all  possible
       entries for each label is described in separate chapters below.

   ChipSet <some_chip>
       This  keyword  tells  SVGATextMode  which  SVGA  chipset  needs  to  be
       programmed.  The syntax is straightforward:

              Chipset "S3"

       will make SVGATextMode treat your card as an S3 card. This can  be  any
       of the many types of S3 cards around.

       S3,  as well as many other chipsets, have a range of different subtypes
       around, but they basically are the same, and SVGATextMode only needs  a
       tiny  bit  of  its  full  array of features (imagine what amount of the
       chip’s full potential you were using in text mode _before_ SVGATextMode
       was around, if it’s still only a tiny part of it _with_ STM ;-)

       Roughly  speaking,  the pixel clock programming is all that is VGA chip
       dependent from SVGATextMode’s perspective.

       Some chipsets are subdivided into different chipset ID’s. This probably
       means  the subtypes _are_ different, and so they must be differentiated
       in the config file.

       See the ChipSet section for a detailed listing of supported chipsets.

   ClockChip <some_clockchip>
       Mostly for S3 chipsets, ET6000, Matrox, Cirrus, some ET4000’s and  some
       Trident  cards.  This  tells SVGATextMode that the pixel clock for this
       chipset does not come from the "default" clock generator with (e.g.) 16
       discrete clocks, but from a programmable clock chip. All the clock chip
       drivers from the XFree86 version 3.1.2 X-server are available, plus the
       ICS5301/5341  GenDAC  for some ET4000W32/W32p cards. VGA cards that did
       _not_ work with the "standard" XFree3.1.2 server  are  likely  to  fail
       with the current SVGATextMode as well.

              ClockChip "ICD2061a"

       Note  for  XFREE 3.1.X (or newer) users: You WILL get into trouble with
       the newer XFREE servers  that  have  some  clock  chips  built-in  (The
       ICD2061a  and  ICS9161).  When  using  on of those XFREE clock chips, X
       cannot restore the textmode clock correctly.

       If this is your problem, using a "ClockProg" for  XFREE  might  be  the
       only  (temporary)  solution,  until the XFREE86 server has a way around
       this problem.

   ClockProg <path/to/ClockProg> [textclock]
       This tells SVGATextMode that the clock is to  be  programmed  using  an
       external clock setting program, not the default or ClockChip method.

       This  is  especially  useful  for unsupported cards, or supported cards
       with unsupported clock chips, because the clock  programming  is  about
       the only thing that needs to know what chip we’re talking about.

       It’s also a useful stub for plugging in replacements for buggy or wrong
       SVGATextMode clock code.

       The syntax is roughly the same  as  the  syntax  for  the  XFree  clock
       program,  and  indeed any clock program written for XFree 3 should plug
       in without a glitch. In theory.

       Example (note the second argument is not necessary, and is  ignored  by

              ClockProg "/usr/sbin/pixclock_prg" 2

       The  Following  paragraph,  from the XFree docs, shows how this program
       must be used:

              "This  optional entry runs the  specified  command  to  set  the
              clock  on the graphics board instead of using the internal code.
              The command string must consist of the  full  pathname  (and  no
              flags).  When  using  this option, a Clocks entry is required to
              specify which clock values are  to  be  made  available  to  the
              server  (up  to  128  clocks  may  be  specified).  The optional
              textclock value is used to tell the server that command must  be
              run  to  restore  the  textmode clock at server exit (or when VT
              switching). textclock must match one of the values in the Clocks
              entry.  This  parameter is required when the clock used for text
              mode is a programmable clock."

       Note  for  SVGATextMode:  the  [textclock]  argument  is  not  used  in
       SVGATextMode,  since  we’re  already talking about text mode. The XFREE
       server WILL use  this,  so  the  SVGATextMode  mode  will  be  restored

       Note  for XFREE users: You MUST define the textclock in your XF86Config
       file when you are using a clock program. XFree86 will not  be  able  to
       restore  the  correct textmode clock, UNLESS you tell it what clock was

       When the ClockProg is run by SVGATextMode, two arguments are passed  to
       the  command.  The  first  is  the clock frequency in MHz as a floating
       point number and the second is the index of the  clock  in  the  Clocks
       entry.  When  setting  a  new text mode using a ClockProg, SVGATextMode
       will execute the following shell command:

              <path/to/clockprog> <frequency in Mhz> <clock index>

       The command should return an exit status  of  0  when  successful,  and
       something in the range 1-254 otherwise.

       NOTE:  as  mentioned  in  the  text above, you need to specify a clocks
       line, although the clock chip can (in most cases) make any clock within
       a  certain  range,  and  not  just  the  ones  in the clocks line. This
       requirement is necessary for external clock programs  that  program  an
       "old-style"  clock  chip  with  just a fixed set of (mostly 16) clocks,
       like most "cheaper" VGA cards use.  In  that  case,  the  program  will
       probably  ignore the frequency parameter passed to it, but will use the
       index number to select the appropriate clock. In the  other  case,  the
       index  will be ignored, and the specified frequency will be programmed.

       The clock program path must be  a  fully  specified  path  to  a  clock
       setting  program  that  is  SETUID  ROOT! If it is not correctly SETUID
       ROOT, you will get an error:

               ./SVGATextMode: ERROR: ’system’ returned error code 35584

       No environment variables will be used. If your clock selection  program
       uses another interface, use a script that calls that one.

   Option <option_string>
       Special  options  can  be  entered  with this keyword. Some options are
       general, and apply to any VGA card type. Other options are specific  to
       one  or  a few VGA cards. Any option enabled in the config file that is
       NOT allowed for the VGA card in the ChipSet line, will cause  an  error

              Option "ClockDiv2"

       See  the  separate  OPTIONS  section for a full list of all options and
       their meaning.

   Clocks <clock0> <clock1> [ <clock2> ... ]
       The most important section in the TextConfig file (at  least  for  some
       cards) is (are) the Clocks line(s). This entry in the config file tells
       SVGATextMode which clocks your card has, and what their ordering is.

       Some VGA cards do NOT need a clocks line, since  they  can  create  ANY
       possible  clock  within  certain limits, and not just one from a fixed,
       given list.  These are:

              - Cirrus Logic cards.

              - All cards for which a ClockChip must be defined.

       When using a ClockProg (an externally  called  program  to  select  the
       correct  pixel clock, see the appropriate section in this manual page),
       the clocks line MUST  be  specified,  even  if  the  clock  program  is
       programming  a fully programmable chip. By requiring a clocks line, the
       ClockProg option can support both programmable clocks, as  fixed  clock
       from  a  list  (i.e.  the Clocks line). See the Clockprog section for a
       full explanation of the use of the "ClockProg" keyword.

       All cases not mentioned above will need a "Clocks" line, or  a  set  of
       clocks lines.

       Any line in the TextConfig file that starts with "Clocks" will be used,
       and all clock values will be appended into one big  list  of  available
       clocks. In other words, multiple Clocks lines are allowed, and will all
       be used.

       The order of the clocks in the one or more  clocks  line(s)  will  also
       determine  their order: most VGA clocks generators are connected to the
       VGA chips with a series of wires, constituting a bus.  For  16  clocks,
       there  are 4 wires, which are driven from 4 pins on the VGA chip, which
       are then driven by a register in the VGA  chip.  If  your  clocks  line
       would  suggest  the 4th clock is a 45 Mhz clock, SVGATextMode will then
       put a "4" on that 4-bit bus in order to select that clock. If you  lied
       (=the actual 45 MHz is the 5th clock, selected by putting a "5" on that
       bus), then you will not be getting the expected clocks. Bad luck.

       Example Clocks line:
              Clocks   25.175  28.3  36  40  0  45  50

       Note that a 0 MHz clock MUST be entered in the Clock  line!  This  just
       means that there is no clock with that number (index). It must be there
       in order to get the correct indexes for  the  ones  following  them  (a
       "placeholder"). A 0 MHz clock will never be used by SVGATextMode.

       Determining  the  values  in  the clocks line is a problem. There is no
       "simple" tool around that can tell you the pixel  clocks  available  on
       your  card.  The  easiest solution that is available on most systems is
       the XFree86 X-Windows server.  Typing  X  -probeonly  should  give  you
       (amongst  others)  a list of clocks on your card. See the XFREE manuals
       for more information: XF86Config(5), XF86_SVGA(1), XF86_Accel(1).

       WARNING 1:
              The  XFree86  X-server  is  known  to   give   erroneous   clock
              measurements  on  unsupported  cards or on badly supported ones.
              The most notorious ones are  the  ET4000  cards.  If  the  hibit
              option  is not set correctly fior this card in the Xconfig file,
              XFree86 WILL give wrong results! You have been warned. See  also
              the  `doc´  directory  in the SVGATextMode distribution for more
              explanation about this.

       WARNING 2:
              Just to be on  the  sure  side,  another  warning:  SVGATextMode
              assumes the clock VALUES are correct. All timing parameters that
              you are given at the end of  the  program  are  based  on  those
              numbers!  Saying  that  clock  number  3  is  40  MHz  will make
              SVGATextMode behave as if that is the Absolute  Truth  (TM).  It
              will use that clock as if it were 40 MHz.

       WARNING 3:
              The  clocks  lines  in  the  distribution  TextConfig  are  just
              examples, and only work for some cards. Don’t  use  them  unless
              you know they’re OK.

   Terminals <term_dev0> [ <term_dev1>... ]
       The  `Terminals´ line tells SVGATextMode which terminal devices will be
       affected by a possible screen resize, and need to be resized.  It  will
       resize  all  mentioned  terminals after switching to another mode. This
       "resizing" consists of sending a ‘SIGWINCH’ to  all  specified  virtual

       The  usefulness  of this option depends on the Linux kernel version you
       are running (as reported  by  ‘uname  -r’).  SVGATextMode  detects  the
       kernel version, and acts accordingly, as described below.

       There are three distinct cases:

              Kernels  older  than  1.1.54:  run-time terminal resizing is not
              supported by the kernel at all, and SVGATextMode will only allow
              you  to  select  modes  that  have  the  same number of rows and
              columns as the one you booted with.

              Kernels  in  the  range  1.1.54  to  1.3.2  (inclusive):  If  no
              `Terminals´ line is defined, SVGATextMode will be able to detect
              which of the first 16 virtual terminals is  active,  and  resize
              all those. All VT’s with a number higher than 16 (/dev/tty16 and
              up) cannot be  detected,  and  so  they  would  not  be  resized
              automatically.  If  a `Terminals´ line is defined, all terminals
              specified in that line will be resized. So,  in  this  range  of
              kernel  versions,  the  `Terminals´ line is only useful when you
              have more that 16 active VT’s.

              Linux kernels  versions  1.3.3  and  up  do  all  this  resizing
              automatically, so this line is not needed in that case, and will
              be ignored.

       If you need the `Terminals´ line, enter the  terminal  devices  without
       the leading "/dev/":

              Terminals "tty6" "tty5" "tty4" "tty3" "tty2" "tty1"

       This  is  equivalent to typing stty rows <y> cols <x> at every of those
       terminals. With the added advantage that any  applications  running  in
       those  terminals  will  be  sent  a SIGWINCH signal by the kernel. Many
       full-screen terminal applications will redraw their screen into the new
       sizes upon receipt of that signal.

       But some programs will NOT know about the new screen size, and will not
       work correctly anymore after a screen resize. They need a more  drastic
       approach: the ResetProg.

       An  example of such a programs is gpm. SIGWINCH only gets sent to tasks
       running with a virtual terminal (/dev/ttyX) as a  controlling  terminal
       (the ps command shows in the TTY field what the controlling terminal of
       a task is). Gpm runs with a mouse device (e.g. a serial  line)  as  its
       controlling  terminal,  and  hence  it  doesn’t  get sent this SIGWINCH

   ResetProg </path/to/ResetProg>
       The "reset program" is called when SVGATextMode has  finished  its  job
       successfully, but only when a ResetProg is defined.

       The path must be a fully specified path, as in
              ResetProg "/etc/resize_gpm"

       The  reset  program  could  be  used to "reset" any application that is
       affected when the screen size changes due  to  using  SVGATextMode.  It
       could  for example be a script that kills selection and restarts it, or
       sends an explicit SIGWINCH to gpm, or sends some other  application  an
       appropriate signal to let it know the screen has changed.

       The  reset  program will be called with TWO arguments: the H and V size
       of the new text mode.

              SVGATextMode 100x37

       will first switch to a 100x37 mode (if the config line with that  label
       actually described such a size), and then call:

              </path/to/ResetProg> 100 37

   FontProg </path/to/Font_Loader>
   FontPath </path/to/textmode/fonts>
   FontSelect <FontFileName> <size_X>x<size_Y> [ ... ]
       These  keywords define the font loading program, the path where all the
       textmode fonts are stored, and the font selection table.

       SVGATextMode can be told to automatically load a new font when the text
       mode has changed, by putting the option line

              Option "LoadFont"

       in the TextConfig file.

       In order to load a new font, SVGATextMode needs to know a few things.

       First  of  all:  the font loading program. This is an external program,
       that will be called with the specified font as an argument. It can  for
       example specified as:

              FontProg "/usr/bin/setfont"

       Where  "/usr/bin/setfont"  is  of  course the full pathname of the font
       program.  If this line is NOT present, but  you  enabled  font  loading
       with  the  "LoadFont"  option,  SVGATextMode  will use the default path

       The path may contain an entire command line  within  the  quotes.  This
       allows you to say:

              FontProg "/usr/bin/setfont -u def.uni"

              This  would  be  required  if you load a raw font file without a
              unicode map in it. Without  that  extra  option,  setfont  would
              eradicate  the  original  unicode  mapping. If this sounds a bit
              cryptic: it means, amongst other things, that you will loose the
              "high-ascii"  characters (aka box-characters) used by many text-
              based menuing systems (e.g. minicom).

              Secondly, you can also tell the font program where the fonts are

              FontPath "/usr/lib/kbd/consolefonts"

       If  not  specified, the font path defaults to no path: this assumes the
       FontProg knows where to find its fonts.

       Last but not least: you must let SVGATextMode know which font you  want
       used  for which character cell size. This is accomplished by entering a
       font table, as shown in the example below:

              FontSelect "Cyr_a8x8"  8x8 9x8
              FontSelect "8x12alt.psf"  8x12 8x13
              FontSelect "Cyr_a8x16"  8x16 9x16

       For each possible character cell size you intend to use,  a  font  file
       must  be specified. You do not have to add a font file for ALL possible
       combinations of fonts from 1 to 32 pixels high and 8 to 9 pixels  wide.
       But if you select a text mode with a font size that has no entry in the
       font table, and font loading is enabled, SVGATextMode WILL put  you  in
       the  new  text  mode,  but won’t change the font (since it doesn’t know
       what font to load). It will issue  a  warning  that  font  loading  was
       enabled, but no font specified.

       When all things are configured as above, and you resize the screen to a
       100x37, which uses a 9x16 font cell size (this information  is  in  the
       mode config line for the 100x37 mode), then SVGATextMode will issue the
       following command after resizing the screen:

              /usr/bin/setfont /usr/lib/kbd/consolefonts/Cyr_a8x16

       One final note on font sizes. VGA fonts are ALWAYS 8 pixels  wide.  But
       those  that are designed to work within an 8-pixel wide character cell,
       will most probably not use the rightmost  pixel  column.  Or  in  other
       words:  they will only use 7 (or even 6) of the available pixels, since
       they are put back-to-back on the display in an 8-pixel wide font  mode.
       The  extra  space  must  be  left  open  so  the characters don’t stick
       together, making them a bit fuzzy to read.

       For 9-pixel wide character cells, the VGA font,  still  only  8  pixels
       wide, can now use all 8 pixels of its width to define the font. The VGA
       card will, when displaying it, add one extra (blank) pixel  to  get  to
       the 9-pixel width.

       All  this  means  that  some  VGA  fonts  are designed to be used in an
       8-pixel wide cell, and others are designed for 9-pixel wide cells. BOTH
       however DEFINE only 8 pixels.

       To  make  some  special  characters  connect  (like IBM box characters)
       without gaps, the VGA card can be made to copy the  8th  bit  into  the

   Cursor <start>-<end>
       Depending  on  personal  preference, and on the type of screen you work
       on, the standard underscore cursor might be unsatisfactory.  This  type
       of cursor for example is too small to be useful on laptop screens.

       This  keyword allows a fully programmable cursor size. To avoid needing
       a cursor definition on each and every text mode definition line,  there
       is  just  ONE  cursor  definition in the TextConfig file, which is then
       used for ALL text modes. Defining the cursor  style  for  _every_  text
       mode line would cause unnecessary clutter in those configuration lines.

       The parameters define the starting and ending line of the  cursor,  but
       this  is  not a 1:1 mapping! The size of the cursor depends on the size
       of the selected font. If you selected a 16-line  high  font,  and  then
       defining the cursor to show from line 7 to line 8, will put it smack in
       the middle of the line. defining the same numbers for  an  8-line  font
       would  put  the cursor on the bottom of the text line (= and underscore

       That’s why the cursor definition as shown above will ALWAYS be relative
       to  a  32-line  font (the largest possible font size). If the REAL font
       size is smaller, it will be scaled to fit that font size.  So  defining
       an  underscore cursor for 32-line fonts will also get you an underscore
       cursor for any other font size.

              cursor 28-31

       results in an underscore cursor for ALL text modes, while
              cursor 0-31

       will get you a block cursor.

       The first example, when used in a 16-line font, is scaled with a factor
       16/32, and thus will in reality be a cursor from line 14-15.

       NOTE: Disabling cursor blinking is only possible on SOME SVGA cards, or
       on  all  in  monochrome  mode.  This  feature  is  not  implemented  in
       SVGAtextMode (yet?).

       There  is  a kernel patch out that allows the cursor color and blink to
       be selected differently for each console  through  a  separate  program
       using  vt200 style escape codes. It’s (at least) on the
       and         its         mirrors         in         the          package

   HorizSync <from>[-<to>] [, ...]
   VertRefresh <from>[-<to>] [, ...]
       The  HorizSync  and VertRefresh lines allow you to protect your monitor
       from getting a mode from the VGA card it cannot handle. This is  useful
       for  both avoiding the problem of accidently getting into a non-syncing
       mode, and also avoids the (very small) possibility  of  monitor  damage
       due  to  extremely  out-of-range  sync  inputs  (a  monitor  that  gets
       destroyed by out-of-spec  input  frequencies  is  a  poor  design,  but
       knowing that when it’s broke doesn’t help a lot)

       The  <from>  and <to> are floating point numbers in kHz (for HorizSync)
       or Hz (for VertRefresh). When  a  single  number  (=  only  <from>)  is
       defined, a margin of +/- 0.3 (kHz or Hz) will be allowed:

              HorizSync 56

       will  allow a horizontal sync range of 55.7 to 56.3 kHz. This is useful
       for fixed-frequency monitors (mostly workstation displays), or some old
       standard VGA screens.

       A more complex line could look like this:
              HorizSync 30.5-32,48.2,56

       allows  horizontal  frequencies  from  30.5 to 32 kHz, 48.2 and 56 kHz.
       Some dual- or triple-scan monitors can use this method.

       A standard multisync screen could for example use the following line:

              HorizSync 30-64

       Not defining the HorizSync/VertRefresh variables  implies  the  default

              HorizSync 30-32          # 30 to 32 kHz
              VertRefresh 50-80        # 50 to 80 Hz

       Changing these values BEYOND what your monitor can handle, COULD result
       in damage to the monitor! See your monitor’s user’s manual for details.

   DacSpeed <Frequency>
       This  line  overrides  the  built-in maximum pixel clock speed for text
       mode for the specified chipset. Since most VGA card manufacturers don’t
       bother  mentioning  this  value in their data sheets, the defaults were
       "guessed"  from  reports  from  users.  The  values  are  by  no  means
       "absolute",  and they are no guarantee that staying below them will NOT
       cause trouble (although  it’s  pretty  sure),  and  also  they  are  no
       guarantee that anything ABOVE that frequency will NOT work...

       Depending  on  the quality of your card, and especially of the speed of
       the RAM chips used on it, the built-in limit can be either too high  or
       too low.  The built-in ones are mostly on the safe side.

       WARNING:  The  value  you  assign  to  DacSpeed is NOT the same that is
       commonly defined by the graphics card vendor! It is almost always  MUCH

       The default DacSpeed values are:

              45 MHz

       TVGA8900, WDC90C0X, WDC90C1X, WDC90C2X, WDC90C3X
              50 MHz

       Cirrus, ATI and ATIMACH32
              55 MHz

       ET6000, MATROX, OTI67, OTI77 and ATIMACH64
              60 MHz

       S3, ALI, OTI87
              70 MHz

       ET4000 90 MHz

              The following chipsets have been assigned a default maximum text
              mode clock that was  "guessed",  rather  than  tested.  This  is
              because  the  author  does  not  have access to such a card, and
              nobody has reported on how well it performs, and  how  high  the
              clock  speed  can  be before problems appear. If you have such a
              card, you are encouraged to report your findings to the  author,
              so he can adjust the default limits to a more realistic value.

       RealTek, NCR77C22E, GVGA, MX
              50 MHz

       ARK, SiS, AL2101, NCR77C32, ET3000
              60 MHz

       NOTE:    The  maximum  text  mode clock is increased by a factor of 9/8
              when a 9-pixel wide font is used. A 60 MHz maximum clock is thus
              increased  to  67.5  MHz for those modes. This is due to the way
              the VGA textmode hardware functions: the real limit for textmode
              is not the pixel clock, but the actual number of characters that
              must be fetched from the VGA memory per  second.  Since  9-pixel
              fonts take 9/8 times as much time to draw as 8 pixel fonts, they
              will allow an 9/8 times as high pixel clock as  well.  In  other
              words,  with  a  maximum pixel clock defined at 60 MHz, you will
              still be allowed to select modes with 9-pixel fonts and  67  MHz
              pixel clocks.


              Many  apparent  display  problems when using SVGAtextMode with a
              relatively high pixel clock are caused by the VGA card not being
              able  to  cope  with  the  high clock. TextMode clocks generally
              cannot be as  high  as  graphics  mode  clocks.  Read  the  file
              ‘doc/FAQ’  in  the SVGAtextMode distribution for a more in-depth
              discussion about this.

              The limits given above (and used as a  default)  are  empirical.
              This  means  they  resulted  from  experiments, and are thus not
              taken from the VGA chip  maker’s  specifications.  This  is  the
              correct  place  to  introduce  the  expression "your mileage may
              vary": your card may  be  better,  or  worse.  VGA  card  makers
              generally  don’t mention maximum text mode clocks (as opposed to
              max. graphics clocks, which are ALWAYS specified) in their  data

              If  you  see  unstable  characters, wrong characters (e.g. a "z"
              where you expect an "e"), character  crawling,  Mighty  Morphing
              Power  Characters  (TM),  columns of characters from the left of
              the  screen  repeated  towards  the  right,   drop-outs   (fixed
              positions   on   the  screen  where  characters  won’t  display)
              characters shifted down  by  one  pixel  line  relative  to  the
              others,  or something closer to noise than to text, you are most
              probably over the limit for your card.

   RefClk <Frequency>
       Only S3 cards using the IBM RGB RAMDACs  (as  a  clockchip)  need  this
       option.   It  tells the clockchip code what the reference frequency for
       the PLL frequency generator is.

       It  is  vitally  important  that  this  value  is  set  correctly,   or
       SVGAtextMode will not be able to program the pixel clock correctly.

       SVGATextMode  does  not provide a direct way to find out what to insert
       here.  The only way to find it out is to run the XFree86  3.1.2  server
       (or any newer version), and copy the value that the server reports when
       it starts up.

       The X-server startup messages should contain the line

              (**) S3: Using IBM RGB52x programmable clock

       And just below it (or with one more line in between stating the  memory

              (**) S3: with refclock %1.3f MHz (probed %1.3f & %1.3f)

       Where ‘%1.3f’ represents a floating point number.

       This value should then be inserted into the TextConfig file.

       If you do not have the X-server installed, you should probably not have
       bought such an expensive VGA card in the  first  place.  Send  me  that
       card,  and I will send you mine back: it’s a lot cheaper, it is just as
       good in text mode, and it doesn’t need any fiddling with RefClocks  and
       the  likes.  You’ll  have  a  better-supported  VGA card, and I’ll have
       something new to play with.

       But in the unlikely case you want to keep this card, but not run  X  on
       it,   you   could   just   insert   any  value  (e.g.  20.0),  and  use
       grabmode/clockprobe to find out by what ratio the clock  is  programmed
       wrong, and then scale the RefClk accordingly.

       E.g. if you just enter 20 MHz as the reference clock, and all text mode
       clocks turn out to be wrong by a factor 0.716,  then  the  REAL  RefClk
       value will probably be 20.0 * 0.716 = 14.32 MHz.

       This method will of course give you a non-syncing display for many text
       modes, but that is inevitable. Be prepared for it.


              When using SVGATextMode with an IBM RGB RAMDAC together with the
              XFree86   X-server,  you  must  define  the  RefClk  in  your  X
              configuration file (XF86Config) also.  The  XFree86  server  can
              probe  for  this  clock,  but  only  does so reliably when being
              started from a standard (80x25)  text  mode.  After  having  run
              SVGATextMode,  you’ll probably be in a non-standard mode (that’s
              what it’s made for after all),  and  then  the  X-server  cannot
              probe  the RefClk correctly anymore. Don’t let it guess; specify
              the RefClk.

   MClk <Frequency>
       Some ClockChips allow changing the memory clock as well  as  the  Pixel
       clock.   On  those  cards, the higher the memory clock, the faster that
       card will become. Both in TextMode, svgalib or XFree86.

       Specifying the MClk will instruct SVGATextMode  to  change  the  memory
       clock to the new value (in MHz).

       This  is  only possible on cards with a GenDAC (S3 GenDAC/SDAC, and the
       ICS5301/5341 used on some W32 boards).

       For text modes, this will in most cases allow you to  use  even  higher
       pixel  clocks  than  before,  and  in graphics modes, you might find an
       increase in speed of up to 30%. But...


              If you try fiddling with the memory clock without reading  this,
              you’re sure gonna get suckered.

              This  option was created for those who just _need_ to tune their
              machine until it just doesn’t melt, or beyond (like  me).  I  am
              not  saying  this  could damage your VGA card, but I am also not
              saying it won’t.

              Primo, make sure you know how the memory clock  was  set  BEFORE
              attempting  to  change it. On most systems, this is in the order
              of 50 (GenDAC) to 60 (SDAC) MHz. The  XFree86  X-server  reports
              the  MClk setting when it starts up.  Increasing the MClk by 10,
              maybe 15 MHz might still work. Setting it to 100 MHz will NOT.

              Secundo, don’t try to set it too high. If you  do,  your  system
              will  crash in a major way. Let me repeat this: your system will
              crash as it has never crashed before. It has done so many  times
              while  I  tried it (though I never got any damage). BE PREPARED.
              Sync your disks. Get an insurance.

              Also, don’t set it too low. It’ll give the same results...

              You have been warned. If  you  abhore  unstable  systems,  DON’T
              TOUCH THE MCLK!

   DefaultMode <Mode_label>
       Using  this  optional keyword, one can define which mode should be used
       when SVGAtextMode is started without any  mode  label  on  the  command

       The only argument is a mode label which should be defined in one of the
       mode definition lines  in  the  rest  of  the  config  file.  In  fact,
       SVGAtextMode will act as if the label in the DefaultMode line was typed
       on the command line as the required mode.

       This  option  could  be  especially  useful  when  experimenting   with
       SVGAtextMode,  and  something  goes wrong, causing the screen to become
       unreadable. To restore a good mode, you’d then have to  do  some  blind
       typing.  The  DefaultMode  would  then allow you to restore a good text
       mode without having to type too much.

       Example: if the line
              DefaultMode "80x25x9"

       is in the TextConfig file somewhere, then just typing

       at the shell prompt is exactly the same as typing
              SVGATextMode 80x25x9

   BorderColor <Color_Index>
       This option will set the screen border color to a different color  than
       the  default  (color  0, black). You can select one of the 256 possible
       colors from the current palette.

       If you set the border color to something different than black, a border
       will be visible around the active screen area, about one character wide
       left and right, and half a character wide on top and at the  bottom  of
       the screen.

       The border may be slightly (or entirely) distorted (warped, compressed,
       missing, ...) if your video mode is not centered correctly, or  if  the
       video  mode  does  not provide sufficient blanking on both sides, above
       and below the screen.

   UnderLine <Underline_position>
       Underlining is disabled by default,  unless  you  define  an  underline
       position with this option. The <Underline_position> must be a number in
       the  range  0..31,  and  it  defines  the  relative  position  of   the

       The  position given is always relative instead of absolute (as with the
       cursor position parameters). Position 31 is always at  the  bottom-most
       line, 0 is at the top-most line, 15 is in the middle, etc.

       The  normal  everyday-use  UnderLine  value is 31 (which means: put the
       line as low as possible).

       Using  this,  you  could  change  the  underline  to  a  strike-through
       ("UnderLine  15")  or  any  other  weird  and totally useless underline
       position (what about a line above the text when it is underlined?).

       The single real benefit of this option is if you want to use too  small
       a  font  for  the  current VGA parameters: suppose you have a text mode
       defined in its mode line to have an 18-pixel high font, but you load  a
       16-high  font  in  it  because you happen to like wide line spacing. In
       that case the "normal" underline position will be at the bottom of  the
       18-character  cell (as if you defined "Underline 31", which is the most
       common one). In this particular case, setting UnderLine to 28 would  be
       much  more  nice to look at. This way the underlining character is just
       below the character itself, and not at the bottom of the character cell
       (which  would  look  as if the line was actually ABOVE the next line of

       As  said  above,  not  defining   the   underline   position   disables
       underlining. Any characters that would be underlined, are not.

       This  doesn’t  work  for  32-pixel  high  character  modes,  since  "no
       underline" mode sets the underlining position  to  line  32,  which  is
       never  used in all other cases, but will still show underlining in 8x32
       and 9x32 fonts.

       Also note  that  many  VGA  cards  have  a  bug  (?)  that  causes  the
       underlining  to  be non-continuous on 9-pixel wide fonts. So you have a
       fair chance that 8-pixel wide modes have good (continuous) underlining,
       but 9-pixel modes not.

   Echo <Some_string>
       The  string  (enclosed  in  double  quotes)  is printed on the standard
       output.  This could be used for debugging  purposes,  or  to  add  some
       warning  to  the  TextConfig  file  that  is  printed each time you run

       It is used for example in the default TextConfig file to warn  the  new
       user  that  he  has  installed SVGATextMode in its "standard VGA" mode,
       which doesn’t use the full possible potential, and that  he/she  should
       edit the TextConfig file to enable support for his/her chipset.

Supported CHIPSETs

       Until now, the following VGA chipsets are supported:

       VGA    Generic  VGA  chips.  This  can also be used for unsupported VGA
              chips, but with very limited possibilities.  Most  portable  VGA
              computers  (Compaq  LTE,  ...)   should work with this also: VGA
              LCD’s can’t use higher dot-clocks anyway.

       ET4000 Probably any ET4000-based  card:  et4000,  et4000ax,  et4000w32,
              et4000w32i  and et4000w32p. Note that most ET4000 cards need the
              Option "hibit_high" or Option "hibit_low".


       ET6000 This can be used without "clockchip" line, in which case 8 pixel
              clocks  must be specified, or (and this is the preferred method)
              using a "clockchip ET6000" line.

       MATROX Only the Millennium and the Mystique are  supported  (the  older
              cards  aren’t).   Clockchip  "ti3026"  (for  the Millennium) and
              "mystique"  (for  the  Mystique)  are  the  clockchips  for  the
              respective cards.

       S3     any  S3-based  card,  including those from Diamond, Number 9 and
              SPEA/Video7.  S3-801, 805, 864, 964, 928, 924, 911, 732 and  764
              (S3-Trio), and S3 Virge _should_ all work.

       CIRRUS Cirrus Logic chipsets (clgd542x, clgd543x, clgd546x, clgd62x5 --
              with "x" representing any number).

              Older Trident cards using the TVGA9000 chipset (those  with  max
              512k RAM)

              All  other non-accelerated Trident cards (tvga8800cs, tvga8900b,
              tvga8900c, tvga8900cl). May also work with tvga92xx.

       TGUI   All accelerated Trident cards from TGUI9320LCD and up.

       PVGA1  Western Digital Paradise chips.

              Western digital. WDC 90C00.

              Western digital. WDC 90C10

              Western digital. WDC 90C20

              Western digital accelerated SVGA chip. Most common  is  the  WDC
              90C33, also 90C31.

       ATI    All ATI cards BEFORE the MACH32


              Only MACH64 with internal clockchips are supported.

       VIDEO7 Headland Technologies based Video 7 boards only. Older V7 boards
              use C&T or Cirrus chips. Newer V7/SPEA cards use S3.

       ALI, AL2101
              Avance Logic chipsets. It’s not sure whether this will  work  on
              ALL Avance Logic cards.

       OTI67, OTI77, OTI87
              Oak Technology chipsets.

       SIS    Sis chipsets.

              RealTek chipsets.

       ARK    ARK1000 and ARK2000 chipsets.

       NCR77C22E, NCR77C32
              NCR  chipsets.  The  NCR77C21  and NCR77C22 (without "E" suffix)
              will not benefit from this. They should work just as  well  with
              the generic VGA driver.

       GVGA   Genoa  6000  series cards. The 5000 and 7000 series are based on
              resp. ET3000 and ET4000 chips. Use the ET4000 driver for  those.

       MX     MX graphics chips. MX86000 and MX86010 chips should work.

              Those NeoMagic laptop controllers

              Should work on all RIVA128 derivatives (including ZX and TNT)


       This  section  contains  a list of all allowed special option flags, as
       entered on an

              Option "option_string"

       line. They change the default  behaviour  for  each  card  or  function
       programmed  into  SVGATextMode.  Currently  the  following  options are
       allowed (for the specified chip sets):

       If you are configuring SVGATextMode for the first time, it is  best  to
       leave  all  special  options at their default (i.e. no special "option"
       lines). If something doesn’t work OK, THEN is the time to start  trying
       option flags.

       If  you  know  your  card  needs the same option in XWindows, you could
       insert it from the first time on. Most options behave the same  way  as
       they do in the XConfig (XF86Config) file.

   hibit_high, hibit_low (ET4000 only)
       This  flag  inverts  the  meaning  of the 4th clock selection bit of an
       ET4000  card.  See  the  XFree86  documentation  or  the   SVGATextMode
       distribution  doc  directory  for  more  information.  It  has the same
       meaning and function as the flag with the same name in  the  XF86Config
       file  for  XFree86.  A simple guideline (which doesn’t always apply) is
       that ET4000W32 cards _all_ need the hibit_high flag.

              The importance of this "hibit" stuff cannot be stressed  enough.
              It  might  be  that your XFree86 X-server worked fine before you
              started using SVGATextMode without this option in the XF86Config
              file  (or  Xconfig).  But  unless  you  really specify it, using
              SVGATextMode in combination with one of the upper 8 pixel clocks
              from  the "Clocks" line(s) will SURELY throw the X-server into a
              non-syncing display when you start it up! Specify this option in
              BOTH  the XF86Config AND the TextConfig file, and you won’t have
              any trouble. You have been warned.

   swap_hibit (WDC90C1X, WDC90C2X, WDC90C3X)
       Some WDC cards need this flag. It inverts  the  meaning  of  the  third
       clock  selection  bit (bit #2). It has the same meaning as in the XFREE
       config file (XF86Config). If your clock ordering doesn’t seem  OK,  try
       this option.

   ET4000_AltClockSel (ET4000)
       This  selects  an alternative clock selection method for some very rare
       ET4000 based cards that don’t work  with  the  normal  clock  selection
       method.  These cards can only use their 8 lowest clocks under X-Windows
       (the X-server does NOT support the  alternate  clock  selection  method
       used here).

       Such  a  card  can be recognized by the fact that no clocks over 80 MHz
       are available in XFree86 (the X-server uses a  clock  selection  method
       that is only partly compatible with the one used on this type of card).

       This option should allow them to use all 16 clocks (i.e. those reported
       by  the  DOS  utility  "dmode.exe"  which is delivered with most ET4000
       boards. NOTE that XFree86 does NOT report the correct clocks!).

       If you think you  have  such  a  board,  you  should  really  read  the
       doc/README.ET4000.AltClockSel  file  in  the  SVGATextMode distribution
       directory for an in-depth explanation of this problem.

       UPDATE: Use XFree86 version 3.1.2C or later, and this problem  will  be
       gone.   You  will  get  32  clocks  from  its  new clock probe, and the
       standard SVGATextMode ET4000 clock selection mechanism will be able  to
       cope with those.

   Legend (ET4000, S3)
       ET4000  or  S3-based  Sigma  Legend boards need this option for correct
       clock selection.

       Most VGA cards can take higher pixel clocks (especially in  text  mode)
       when you increase the default DRAM speed. This may cause display memory
       corruption if set too fast.

              Some Cirrus cards crash your machine when DRAM speed is set  too
              high.  It  will  at least do all sorts of very funny stuff, like
              beeping forever. If you plan to tweak the DRAM  speed,  consider
              using  the "syncDisks" option described below until you are sure
              the increased DRAM speed is no danger to your machine.

       Use this option to tune the speed to your card. The higher you can  set
       the  DRAM  speed, the better. "XFAST_DRAM" is the fastest, and the most
       dangerous.  This particular option works on most CLGD-5428  cards,  and
       it causes a hang on most 5422 cards... Use caution. Faster pixel clocks
       usually need faster DRAM speed grades.

       On S3 cards, this option doesn’t actually set the DRAM  speed,  but  an
       internal  parameter  which  controls the DRAM FIFO balancing (sic). The
       result is the same: the faster you set this option, the higher you will
       be able to set the pixel clock without getting problems.

   SPEA_Mercury (S3)
       Only  S3-based SPEA Mercury P64 cards could need this. They seem to use
       the clockchip differently than the other S3 clockchip-based cards: they
       reprogram clock number 6 instead of the default, number 2.

   LoadFont (all cards)
       When  enabled,  this will tell SVGATextMode to load a new font from the
       specified FontPath (or the default one) using the specified font loader
       (or the default one). See the font loading section.

   ClockDiv2 (all cards)
       This  option  will  enable  a  standard VGA feature that can divide the
       pixel clock by 2. Almost all VGA  cards  support  this  (except  Cirrus
       Logic, for which it has been disabled).

       It  gives  you access to a wider range of clocks, especially in the low
       ranges, since now all given clocks are also available divided by 2.  It
       also gives you more clocks in the "mid-range".

       Enable  it  ONLY  when  you  are sure SVGATextMode works for your card.
       Since some cards might not work with this option set, it is disabled by
       default  in  the  default  TextConfig  file! Some modes (like the 50x15
       ones) will only be allowed when this option is  enabled,  because  most
       card’s lowest clock is 25 MHz, and some of the 50x15 modes need a lower

       A final warning: The division by two option is unknown  to  most  other
       programs,  and could cause (additional) cooperation problems with those
       programs. If you loose video  when  using  SVGATextMode  together  with
       other  VGA-related  programs, try disabling this option, and see if the
       problem persists.

   SyncDisks (all cards)
       When this option is enabled, SVGATextMode will sync all disks (=  flush
       all cache buffers) before doing anything to the VGA hardware.

       In  all  normal  cases,  this option is useless, but some cards seem to
       have problems with the way SVGATextMode talks  to  them,  and  cause  a
       complete system hang (hard reset needed).

       This  is  especially probable (but still very rare) when overriding the
       default maximum DacSpeed, and severely overdriving the VGA card’s  text
       mode capabilities. As mentioned above, Cirrus Logic cards are dangerous
       customers when you start tweaking the DRAM speed.

       So, just to be on the safe side, use this  option  when  tweaking  DRAM
       speed  or  RAMDAC  speed,  until  you  are confident that the system is
       stable enough.

       In this case, the SyncDisks option can at least avoid  data  loss  when
       the  system  hangs, although it cannot avoid the file system check that
       will result from the reset.

       The sync option is enabled by default in  the  configuration  file.  It
       will  cause  an extra 2 second delay when running SVGATextMode, because
       it waits for that long, allowing the sync to finish.

   S3_HSText (S3)
       S3 cards have a "high-speed text font fetch mode". This is a mode  that
       uses a different system to access the VGA font memory (fast page mode),
       so the access to the fonts is faster.  This  allows  for  higher  pixel
       clocks than could be attained in normal text mode.

       There  is one restriction to this: the font must be stored in memory in
       a different format than would normally be used (i.e.  the  normal  font
       loading programs won’t be able to do this). The S3 designers provided a
       special register for  that  purpose.  This  register,  when  set,  will
       automatically  change  the memory access so that the font can be loaded
       in a normal fashion.  This allows normal font loaders to do the job.

       Due to that special register, font loading will only work  when  it  is
       executed  from within SVGATextMode. This way, SVGATextMode can set this
       special register before running the font loader,  and  reset  it  again

       Some  older  S3 cards will benefit greatly from this option. Especially
       S3 911, 924 and 928 cards couldn’t even cope with 40 MHz in normal text
       mode.   They use high-speed text mode if they are switched to 132x25 or
       132x43 from the BIOS (e.g. through LILO).

       If this option is not enabled, SVGATextMode will always use normal text
       mode,  because  it  is  the  most compatible mode, and is less prone to
       problems (e.g. doing a "setfont" in high speed mode causes a  corrupted
       screen, unless you first let the VGA chip know about it).

       If  it is enabled, high-speed font mode will be used for all modes with
       pixel clocks above 36 MHz.

       NOTE:  Using the High Speed Font mode will cause text screen corruption
              on  the  screen where the output from SVGATextMode would appear:
              Random characters will appear  all  over  the  screen.  This  is
              caused  by  the  S3 card being in a different memory access mode
              while the font loader is running.  Any messages  from  the  font
              loader  will  not  be written on one line under the SVGATextMode
              messages, but its  characters  will  be  written  all  over  the
              screen.  After  the  font loader has finished, the normal memory
              access mode is restored, and all characters are written to their
              normal  places  again. This has been partially solved by storing
              the output of the font loader in memory until the normal  memory
              access  mode  is  restored,  but  the  output of the ‘-d’ option
              (debug) will still corrupt the screen.

              Since high-speed  text  mode  uses  a  different  internal  font
              format,  SVGATextMode  will  not allow you to switch between the
              two modes when font loading is not enabled.  In  practice,  it’s
              wise to always enable font loading when you also enable the high
              speed font mode. This way you will allow an easy escape (=re-run
              SVGATextMode)  when  ill-behaved  programs (or users...)  load a
              font without first telling the S3 chip about it, as SVGATextMode

   clockchip_X (S3 + ICD2061a or ICS9161)
       The  ICD2061a and ICS9161 clockchips don’t cooperate very well with the
       XFree86 X-server. When the X-server switches back to text mode  (either
       due  to a VT-switch or completely stopping the server), it restores the
       wrong textmode clock.

       This is because both X and SVGATextMode use (i.e. reprogram)  the  same
       clock  index  for  their  clock, and since the clock programming values
       cannot be read back from the chip, the X-server is  unable  to  restore
       the correct clock when it stops. This causes wrong refresh frequencies,
       or worse even, a non-syncing display.

       The option "clockchip_X" will change SVGATextMode’s behaviour  so  that
       it  uses  clock  index  #1 for the text mode clock instead of index #2.
       This will allow the X-server to switch back  to  the  correct  textmode
       pixel clock.

       There  is  a  catch however... Clock #1 is a standard VGA clock, and is
       supposed to be 28 MHz, and nothing else. Any  program  that  relies  on
       that,  will  subsequently  fail to set the correct video mode (svgalib,
       the XFree86 clock probe and the DOS BIOS  are  just  a  few  examples).
       Especially  when  you reboot to DOS, clock #1 does not get reset by the
       VGA card’s BIOS because it assumes it’s still at 28 MHz.

       The solution here is  to  do  an  "SVGATextMode  80x25x9"  just  before
       rebooting  the  machine.  This will reset clock #1 to 28 MHz. The ideal
       place for this is /etc/rc.d/rc.0, which is  a  script  file  that  gets
       called just before rebooting.

   sync_on_green (S3 + Ti302X ClockChip/RAMDAC)
       Enable the sync-on-green feature on these cards.

       Normal  VGA  signals  carry  the  H-  and  V-syncs  on a separate wire,
       requiring 5 signal wires (R, G, B, H, V) in total from VGA card to  the
       monitor.  Some  (mostly  high-end)  cards however allow connecting to a
       monitor with just 3 wires instead. In that case, both sync signals  are
       embedded onto the green channel. This requires a monitor that knows how
       to deal with this (in most cases, those monitors  can  only  deal  with
       such signals. If you have such a setup, this option is for you.

       Note:  Although  all Ti302X RAMDAC’s support sync-on-green, not all VGA
       cards will work with it because of the way they  were  designed  (dixit

   16color (all cards)
       The  default  Linux  text  console  behaviour  is to provide 8 possible
       colors plus hardware blinking. This means you can produce blinking text
       on the console.

       The  "16color" option changes that behaviour: all "blinking" attributes
       get translated into "highlighting": instead of blinking text,  you  get
       high-intensity  text,  which  effectively  translates  into 16 possible

       When this option is not specified, the standard 8-color + blinking mode
       is selected.

   iso_font9 (all cards)
       Even  when  using  9-bit  wide  fonts, the actual font data is always 8
       bits, defining only the first (leftmost) 8 pixels of the character. The
       9th  pixel  is  "made  up"  by  the  VGA chip depending on a few rules.
       Normally the 8th column is copied to the 9th column for character codes
       in  the  range  0xC0  to  0xDF. This looks very good on most VGA fonts,
       where characters in this range are line-graphic  characters  (aka  box-
       characters).  However,  this  makes some ISO-compatible fonts look very
       ugly: ISO does not have line graphics characters but  normal  fonts  in
       the  region  0xC0  -  0xDF.  This  option  disables the automatic pixel
       replication feature so that the 9th column will always be blank for all

   topleft (NeoMagic)
       Move  the  textmode  window  to  the top left of the screen. This is of
       course only useful if it is smaller than the total display size.


       This is a list of all allowed clock chips, per chipset.  They  are  the
       same  as in Xfree86-3.1.2. In addition, the ICS5301/5341 GenDAC used on
       some ET4000W32(p) cards is also included.


              dcs2834 (Untested!)
              sc11412 (Untested!)
              ti3025 (Untested)
              ch8391 (Untested!)
              stg1703 (Untested!)
              ti3026 (Untested!)
              ibm_rgb5xx (Needs ‘RefClk’ line in config file)

       Cirrus Logic

              Cirrus (If not specified, "Cirrus" is assumed)

              Laguna (for the CL-GD546x chips.  This  is  required  for  those
              chips,  otherwise  the  standard "Cirrus" is assumed, which will
              not work on these cards)

              ics5341 (For ET4000 cards with GenDAC. Also works for ICS5301)


              et6000 (obviously -- it has a built-in clock generator)

              tgui9320 (Trident TGUI9320LCD)
              tgui9440 (Trident accelerators with a number higher than or equal to TGUI9440)
              cyber938x (Trident CYBER938x)

       MACH64  mach64 (internal programmable clockchips)



       This section describes the  guts  of  the  TextConfig  file:  the  mode
       description lines. It’s long, and probably not long enough...

       First  of  all:  if you are not familiar with configuring the X-server,
       you’d better start off there, as it is  MUCH  more  stable,  MUCH  less
       buggy,  and  MUCH  better  documented.  You  will also learn how to use
       several tools (vgaset, SuperProbe, ConfigXF86, ...) which can  aid  you
       to  design  your  own custom X-Windows mode. The same tools can then be
       used here.

       For people less familiar with monitor timing stuff,  and  unwilling  or
       unable  to  consult  the  XFree86  documentation,  read  the   monitor-
       timings.howto in the doc directory of  the  SVGATextMode  distribution.
       It’s  a  small  (and incomplete) introduction on how monitors work, and
       what you need to send it to get some sort of a picture on it.

       You will probably need the X-server (e.g.  to  do  ’X  -probeonly’)  to
       determine your available pixel clocks, and maybe even to determine what
       chipset you have. The distribution contains a script that can help  you
       determine the pixel clocks in case there is no way to get by them.

       The  text mode lines are the real thing: they set up the video card for
       the  mode  you  request.  A  TextConfig  file  can  contain   LOTS   of
       configuration  lines.   It  would  be best that you leave the "default"
       config lines in the example TextConfig file as they are.

       Add your own configuration lines at the end. If you patch a line, first
       copy  it to the end of the file, and change it there. You don’t have to
       rename it, as SVGATextMode will take the LAST line with the same  label
       it  finds.  So if your custom line, with the same name as an "original"
       one is at the end, the customized line will be used.

       That way you will always have the original lines  as  a  reference,  in
       case you screw your own line up. You can then always copy it again.

       Now let’s analyse a new text mode:

              "100x37"  50  800 872 976 1040  600 632 638 670  -Hsync +Vsync  font 8x16

       For compatibility with XFree86 mode lines, the mode line can optionally
       be prepended with "modeline":

              modeline "100x37"  50  800 872 976 1040  600 632 638 670  -Hsync +Vsync  font 8x16

       The entire mode line should be on a single line.  Use  SVGATextMode  to
       get  a  screen  with  at  least a 100 chars on a line, and reformat the
       manual page.  This way it won’t look like a folder! Is this a  chicken-
       and-egg problem?

       Below  is  a  piece-by-piece  examination of the different parts in the
       mode line:

       This is the identification string for this text mode. If you the type

              SVGATextMode "100x37"

       the program will try to program the mode described on this line.

              This label means absolutely nothing to  SVGATextMode!  It’s  not
              because the label says "132x43" that you will get a 132x43 mode.
              You will get the resolution and size described in the parameters
              following  the  label.  If  those  parameters result in a 100x37
              mode, that’s what you will get. Just  changing  the  label  from
              100x37  to  132x43  will NOT do anything useful (except renaming
              the mode): it will still result in a 100x37 mode.

       Also, remember that when you change the font size,  this  also  affects
       the  number  of  text lines: if you were to change the font size in the
       100x37 mode line described here from 8x16  to  8x32,  you  will  get  a
       100x18 mode and NOT a 100x37 mode with a larger font.

       The  pixel  clock  frequency.  It  determines  the  clock frequency (in
       MegaHertz) at which the pixels will be pushed towards the  monitor.  It
       is entered as a floating point number.

       Unless  you  have a freely programmable clock chip (using the ClockChip
       line, or with a Cirrus Logic card) on your VGA card, SVGATextMode  will
       try  to  find  the  closest  available  pixel clock in the Clocks line,
       allowing a slight deviation of a few MegaHertz: asking for a  clock  of
       50  MHz,  and having only a 49 MHz clock will make SVGATextMode use the
       49 MHz clock. This shouldn’t be  a  problem,  because  monitors  always
       allow for a fairly large deviation of their input frequencies.

   800 872 976 1040
       Horizontal timing parameters: resp. active video size (number of active
       or visible pixels per video line),  start  and  stop  position  of  the
       Horizontal  sync  signal, and the full width of a video line, including
       active size and blanked (unused) size.

       See the XFree documentation for a thorough understanding of  these,  or
       try  the monitor timing tutorial in the distribution. See also below in
       the section on 9-pixel fonts for some  explanation  on  the  effect  of
       selecting an 9-pixel font on these timings!

       Your textmode will have one eighth the number of characters per line as
       in the active video size (the first number  of  the  horizontal  timing
       parameters) REGARDLESS of the font size specified. So in this case :

              800/8 = 100

       characters per line.

       Calculating  the  horizontal frequency (which your monitor must be able
       to cope with, if you want to use this particular mode)  is  easy:  just
       divide the pixel clock by the total amount of pixels on a single line:

              50000000 / 1040  =  48076 Hz, or 48 kHz

       This  calculation  is ONLY true for 8-pixel wide modes! If this were to
       be a 9-pixel wide mode, and the clock remained at  50  MHz,  then  we’d

              50000000 / 1040 * (8/9) = 42734 Hz, or 42.7 kHz

       If you want a general purpose formula: here’s one:

              Hor_freq = pixel_clock / total_hor_pix * (8 / font_width)

   600 632 638 670
       Vertical Timings. Equivalent to the horizontal ones. The number of text
       lines (rows) in your text mode will depend on the font size selected:

              number_of_textlines = number_of_active_lines / font_height

       Here we have 600 active lines, and  a  font  of  16  pixels  high  (see
       below), so there will be 600/16 = 37 text lines.

       Deriving the vertical refresh is even easier than horizontal: just do

              Vert_freq = Hor_freq / total_vert_lines

       In this case, we’d get 48076 / 670 = 71.75 Hz.

   Mode line attributes
       The following sections describe the possible attributes a mode line can
       have. They define the sync  polarities,  the  font  size  to  use,  and
       DoubleScan operation.

   -Hsync +Vsync
       Hsync  and  Vsync  polarity  (positive  (+Hsync) or negative (-Hsync)).
       Most modern monitors don’t care about sync  polarities,  BUT  most  USE

       Simple  fixed-frequency  or  dual frequency monitors (so non-multisync,
       e.g.  only 32 and 48 kHz, instead of the entire range from 32  to  48),
       and  some  non-digital-control  ones use the polarities to change their
       vertical screen size.

       Cheap monitors have the habit of not having a constant  vertical  image
       size,  independent  of  the vertical refresh frequency. So your monitor
       might use the entire screen at a normal 60 Hz frequency, but the  image
       is  larger  (higher) at lower frequencies, and smaller (more flattened)
       at higher ones.

       These VGA monitors use  the  sync  polarities  to  distinguish  between
       several vertical refresh frequencies, and to adapt their vertical size.
       A MAG PMV1448 for example is a fixed 32/48 kHz  dual-scan  monitor.  At
       800x600@70Hz,  the screen is either only half the vertical size, or the
       entire screen, depending on sync polarity. So some  experimenting  with
       polarities  might  give  you  a  full  screen, even with >70 Hz refresh
       rates. (The same applies to the XF86Config as well!)

       More expensive monitors, mostly with "digital control",  use  the  sync
       polarities   COMBINED   with   the  incoming  horizontal  and  vertical
       frequencies to determine whether they will take their screen parameters
       (amongst  which  the  vertical screen size) from a database of standard
       resolutions, or from the (scarce!) user-settable modes. If you  succeed
       in using one of those default modes, that saves you one more free user-
       settable mode. Taxan 875 monitors for example have only 4  programmable
       modes,  and  when  you’ve just tweaked X-windows into some weird modes,
       you might run out of user-settable modes.  It might be a good  idea  to
       try  to create standard SVGA timings for your text modes (including the
       correct sync polarities), so  your  monitor  recognises  them,  without
       needing an extra entry in its screen parameter database.

       The  sync  polarities are an option. They are not required: if none are
       given, SVGATextMode will assign sync polarities according  to  the  VGA
       standards, depending on the number of active video lines:

                0..399 lines: +Hsync -Vsync
              400..479 lines: -Hsync +Vsync
              480..767 lines: -Hsync -Vsync
              768 and up:     +Hsync +Vsync

   font 8x16
       Font size: "font HxV" selects the horizontal size (character width = H)
       and vertical size (character height = V) of the  text  mode  font.  The
       possible ranges are:

              H = 8 or 9
              V = 1 to 32

       These  are the hardware limits. Not all of them are as useful. Don’t be
       surprised if you cannot read text of only 1 pixel high!

       The VGA chip must know  these  values  in  order  to  render  the  font
       correctly.   The  font size together with the H- and V-timings from (2)
       and (3) determine the number of characters per line, and the number  of
       lines per screen.

       If the font size is not defined, 8x16 will be assumed.

       When  this  attribute is added to the mode line, DoubleScanning will be
       enabled. This means each video line will be drawn TWICE instead of just
       once. This is used on VGA cards to emulate CGA modes like 320x200.

       If  you would (and could) let a VGA monitor display just 200 real lines
       for a 320x200 mode, it would look awful: a VGA monitor was designed  to
       display  at  least 350 lines, and at only 200 lines you would see a lot
       of empty space between the lines. Most  good  monitors  (especially  17
       inch  and  up)  even  show  this phenomenon at the standard VGA 640x480

       The DoubleScan mode is used to overcome this problem:  for  a  200-line
       mode,  the  VGA card actually outputs 400 lines, displaying each actual
       line in the VGA memory twice.

       There is one "side effect" with this little trick: the vertical refresh
       frequency  drops to half the value you would think from the timings you
       enter in the modeline. Let’s look at such an example:

              "S50x15"  32.5  400 432 496 512  240 241 242 256  font 9x16  DoubleScan

       Calculating the refresh frequencies would give:

              horizontal refresh = 32500000 / 512 * (8/9) = 56423 Hz
              vertical refresh = 56423 / 256 = 220.4 Hz

       Only, Doublescanning is enabled, so the VGA will actually output  256*2
       =  512  lines  to  the  monitor  instead of 256. So the actual vertical
       refresh is not 220, but 110 Hz.

       This might be pretty useless, but the Doublescan option  together  with
       the maximum font height of 32 lines results in an _actual_ maximum font
       height of 64 lines...

Using 9-pixel wide font sizes

       The VGA hardware is a strange thing. And using 9-pixel fonts is amongst
       the stranger ones.

       The  timing  parameters are the same for both 8 and 9-pixel wide fonts,
       except for the clock. Horizontal timings  in  VGA  cards  are  _always_
       specified  in  8-bit  wide  CHARACTERS,  not  in  PIXELS,  although the
       TextConfig file format uses pixels.

       Hence the restriction that horizontal timings should be a multiple of 8
       (if they’re not, they will be rounded down).

       When setting the character width of an existing 8-pixel wide mode to 9,
       horizontal timings are still in 8-bit characters. So  both  modes  will
       result in the SAME amount of characters per line, but the VGA chip will
       count 8 pixels per character in the first case, and  9  in  the  second

       Take for example a standard 80x25 mode:

              "80x25x8" 25.175  640 680 776 800  400 412 414 449  font 8x16

       and its 9-pixel wide derivative:

              "80x25x9" 28.3    640 680 776 800  400 412 414 449  font 9x16

       Both modes produce the same screen size (80x25), using the same display
       refresh frequencies (31.5 kHz, 70 Hz).

       But in the first case, the total _actual_ pixel-count at the end of the
       video-line  is  (800/8)*8,  and  (800/8)*9  in  the  second case !!! To
       achieve the same horizontal frequency of  31.5  kHz,  the  second  mode
       needs a higher clock:

              (9/8)*25.175 MHz = 28.3 MHz

       and  that  happens  to  be  the  second  standard  VGA  clock, which is
       available on ALL VGA cards. Now you know why they added it in the first
       place ;-)

       This example should warn you about changing modes from 8-wide to 9-wide
       or vice-versa: if you don’t change the clock with the same  8/9  ratio,
       the  display refresh rates will change, and they might fall outside the
       allowable range for the monitor (i.e. it will not  synchronize  to  the
       new  frequency,  or  SVGATextMode  will  suddenly  not  allow  the mode

   HShift <shift_amount>
       This is an optional parameter that requests an additional shift of  the
       display  to the left. The <shift_amount> can be any value between 0 and
       3. It shifts the screen to the left with an equal amount  of  character
       cells (i.e.  "HShift 0" doesn’t do anything).

       This parameter is useful for mode lines where you can’t get the display
       to move to the left side enough by changing the sync position. Take for
       example this modeline:

              "40x15x9"  14.15  320 376 400 400  240 241 242 25 font 9x16  DoubleScan

       If  this  mode is still too much to the right of the monitor instead of
       nicely centered, there is not much you can do to fix this: the sync  is
       already moved the the extreme end, and making it shorter (by moving the
       second number (376) closer to the third (400) will probably  make  your
       monitor go out of sync.

       Enter  the  HShift parameter: with the same sync position, it moves the
       screen 0, 1, 2 or 3 characters to the left. This has the same effect as
       adding  0,  8,  16  or 24 to the HSYNC position numbers, except that it
       still works if that would place the sync BEYOND the end of the  maximum
       sync position.

       There  is  another reason to use this parameter. Some VGA chips seem to
       have problems  with  very-low-resolution  modes  (like  the  40x15  one
       above).  If you put the sync too much to the right (but still "legal"),
       you get lots of "snow" on the screen; almost the  same  stuff  you  get
       when using a clock that is too high.

       In  this  case,  putting  the sync close to the end of the active video
       instead of close to the other end solves that problem. You can then use
       the HShift parameter to get the display nicely centered again.

       The  S3 BIOS uses this exact method for their standard VGA low-res text


       A configuration file has no bugs, of course. Any problems with  it  are
       either  your  own,  SVGATextMode’s,  the man-file author’s, or Murphy’s

       There are a  few  limitations.  One  of  them  being  the  16K  (16384)
       characters-per-screen  limit.  This  is  a limit imposed by the way the
       kernel sets up VGA textmode memory, and can be doubled if required (see
       below).  You would need to define an awesome screen size before running
       into that limit: 160x100 or  180x80  characters  per  screen  is  still

       Increasing  the  number of characters on the screen reduces the size of
       the scroll-back buffer: since there are always (?)  16k  chars  on  one
       screen,  the  scroll-back  buffer will get the remainder of the 16k. If
       you have a screen size with 16k chars, there  will  be  no  scroll-back

       The  more  hacker-minded  among  you  might  want  to experiment with a
       special  #define   in   the   kernel   sources   (VGA_CAN_DO_64KB,   in
       /usr/src/linux/drivers/char/vga.c),  that  allows more (32K) characters
       per screen. This requires recompiling both the kernel and  SVGATextMode
       (and the latter needs the same define in the Makefile).

       Another  limit  is the maximum amount of clocks in all the clocks lines
       together: 64.


              The program which needs the TextConfig file

              The configuration file described here


       SVGATextMode was written by Koen Gadeyne <>, with
       help from a lot of local and remote Linux fans. See the CREDITS file in
       the distribution for a full list of all helping hands.

       The XFree86 configuration file (Xconfig, XF86Config) has been the  main
       guideline in creating the TextConfig format.


              Textmode manipulation/enhancement tool

              An XFree86/SVGATextMode VGA mode grabber

              Configuration file for XFree86

              Non-accelerated  SVGA  X  Window  System servers for UNIX on x86

              Accelerated X Window System servers for UNIX  on  x86  platforms
              with  an  S3,  Mach8,  Mach32, Mach64, P9000, AGX, ET4000/W32 or
              8514/A accelerator board

              A description of common problems related to SVGATextMode.

              Two files describing some ET4000 specific stuff

              A short tutorial on the Real Meaning of Monitor Timings