I've got very surprised today to find that NetBSD has a framebuffer device on the i386 platform (in fact any which uses the vga(4) driver). Well, certainly, I first saw it in NetBSD/mac68k (where there is no real text mode, so it must be emulated) some weeks ago, but was stranged to not seeing it in NetBSD/i386.

The "framebuffer" (or raster graphics device) can be enabled by adding options VGA_RASTERCONSOLE to your kernel config. According to CVS logs, this has been available since October 2002, commited by junyoung@.

However, note that this is not as featureful as Linux's framebuffer device. Ours is meant to be used to display multilingual text, but nothing more (i.e., no drawing). Anyway, it surely has room for improvements, and it could be interesting to see a complete framebuffer device support (for example to get X working easily, or to get graphical programs without X).

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