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What is the generic VESA BIOS Extension (VBE) graphics driver?

(From SCO TA)

Release

SCO OpenServer Enterprise System Release 5.0.0, 5.0.2, 5.0.4
SCO OpenServer Desktop System Release 5.0.0, 5.0.2, 5.0.4
SCO OpenServer Host System Release 5.0.0, 5.0.2, 5.0.4
SCO OpenServer Internet FastStart Release 5.0.4

Hardware

VBE 2.0 Compliant Video Adapters
VBE 1.2 Compliant Video Adapters

Problem

What video driver can I use to obtain higher resolution and color support greater than standard IBM VGA 640x480 16 colors?

Note

The generic VESA BIOS Extension (VBE) graphics driver detailed below requires that these supplements be applied to the operating system as follows:

For SCO OpenServer 5.0.0 (in this order):

             Release Supplement 5.0.0d (rs500d)
             Networking Supplement 1.0.0 (net100)
             SCO Advanced Hardware Supplement (AHS) 5.2

For SCO OpenServer 5.0.2:

             SCO Advanced Hardware Supplement (AHS) 5.2
             (available on 5.0.2 CD media)

For SCO OpenServer 5.0.4:

             No additional supplements are necessary

Supplements are downloadable from ftp.sco.com.

You may install the 'Graphics' portion of SCO AHS 5.2 or just the Video Configuration Manager portion to obtain the minimal necessary graphics software to configure this driver.

Solution

Install the generic VESA BIOS Extension (VBE) graphics driver. This driver is available at the following URL:

                ftp://ftp.sco.com/pub/drivers

To install this driver, take the following steps:

1. Log in as root.

2. Install SCO AHS Release 5.2 if not already installed. This applies to SCO OpenServer 5.0.0 and 5.0.2 only.

3. Download the volume image(s) to your machine to a directory, for example, /tmp/vol.

4. Run 'custom' and select 'Install New'. Install from your host machine using 'Media Images'.

5. Give the directory name where the volume images have been downloaded, for example, /tmp/vol.

6. Install the hardware into your computer.

7. Run 'scoadmin video' and select the 'VESA' entry in the list of supported video adapters. If a VESA entry is not available, your system does not have a VBE compliant video adapter.

Notes

Device drivers for listed chip sets are certified to manufacturers' reference circuitry. However, SCO drivers are not tested on all hardware platforms and may not work for supported chip sets in some hardware implementations. If you experience problems with a particular chip set, contact SCO Support Services or your SCO Software Supplier for more information.

Additional VBE driver details:

VBE 2.0 Video Adapters

- Support of 256 and 64K colors at resolutions of 640x480 - 1600x1200 **

- A generic framebuffer XDriver is used to display graphics. Because of the generic nature, this driver works on virtually any modern graphics adapter. However, no chipset specific accelerations are provided. Therefore, using high resolutions or a high number of colors (that is, 64K) may cause a degradation in performance depending on machine and video adapter speeds.

VBE 1.2 Video Adapters

- Support of 256 colors (only) at resolutions of 640x480 - 1024x768 **

- A windowed framebuffer XDriver is used to display graphics. Color support is limited to 256 colors only. Resolutions are limited to 1024x768 maximum. The degradations mentioned above also apply here.

** The actual resolutions and number of colors available depends on the video adapter. Recommended mode to use is 1024x768 at 256 colors. Make sure your monitor supports this resolution prior to configuring it.


TA105894 created on 14 January 1998 , last updated on 14 January 1998
SSL #: 483624 IT #: os3624





Comments and suggestions always welcome - tom@tkrh.demon.co.uk