Your First Date With Vbespy
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 12 August 2007. Page 2 of 2. 1 Comment

Once you're logged in and have root privileges, run ./vbetest 2> /dev/null. What this command does is print to the screen the resolution and the corresponding mode number. When looking at these results, write down the mode number (the number between the brackets) for 800x600 (8:8:8), 1024x768 (8:8:8), 1280x1024 (8:8:8), and any other native resolutions. After recording the mode number for each resolution, hit q to quit.

For each resolution to test run the following command with the syntax provided: ./vbetest -m THE_MODE_NUMBER 2> GRAPHICS_CARD_IDENTIFIER-RESOLUTION. This command will provide a VBE mode-setting dump for the specified resolution and will dump that information into a file.

When running the vbetest -m command, the screen should briefly look like the image below.

The syntax of the file looks like:

INREG(0x2014)
==0100C000
INREG(0x2000)
==00000000
INREG(0x2014)
==0100C000
outl 2000, 00005054
INREG(0x2004)
==00000000
INREG(0x2014)
==0100C000
outl 2000, 00000000
VBE Version 3.0
ATI ATOMBIOS
INREG(0x2014)
==0100C000
...

It's as easy as that. If you are submitting these BIOS dumps to the open-source R500 driver developers, send them to Jerome Glisse (the lead Avivo developer) or upload them and post a link to them in this Phoronix Forums thread. These dumps will help the developers with graphics cards where they do not have access. If you would like to examine these dumps yourself, you can use the converter utility included with vbespy to parse the dump in a more human-friendly format.

If you have any questions or concerns about vbespy or vbetest, ask them in the Phoronix Forums.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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