CoreBoot Gains Native VGA Text Mode
Written by Michael Larabel in Coreboot on 23 July 2009 at 08:36 AM EDT. 8 Comments
While Luc Verhaegen (one of the original RadeonHD driver developers) has been out of work since right after FOSDEM when he was laid off by Novell due to cutbacks, he hasn't quit coding. While Luc hasn't been working on the RadeonHD driver, or any ATI driver for that matter, one of the projects that he has gotten involved with is CoreBoot, the project formerly known as LinuxBIOS.

As part of this work over the past few months, Luc is announcing today that he has been successful in implementing a native VGA text-mode within CoreBoot. Previously CoreBoot was limited to using the PCI option ROM of the graphics card, but now with Luc's latest work, under select hardware, you can now have a native VGA text-mode, but it's just an 80x25 text mode. For now this code just works with select VIA motherboards that use an AMD CPU and provide a VIA Chrome 9 IGP. This code though is broken down into a generic VGA part and then another patch that consists of the VIA / Chrome 9 specific chunks. With the VIA IGP being so simple, this amounts to just a few hundred lines of code to provide full VGA mode-setting.

This code is being committed to the CoreBoot repository and Luc is expected to blog about this accomplishment shortly.
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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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