Question How to set 160×50, 160×55, or 160×60 text mode for tty consoles at boot?

Mar 29, 2021
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My tty1–tty6 consoles of Debian bullseye run currently 160×45 text mode (measured manually). I'd like to have a bit more vertical text lines, say, 50, 55, or 60 on the tty consoles. Is it possible? If so, how to set up such a text mode at start up? I tried, e.g., the vga=893 and vga=842 kernel line options (of course, only one option at a time), without any noticeable effect. My graphics card is NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660 Ti (supporting up to 7680×4320@120 Hz), my monitor is Philips 275B1H/00 (supporting up to 2560×1440@75 Hz), and both are connected via a Lindy DVI-D Dual Link cable (supporting up to 2560×1600@60 Hz).
 
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Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Just a couple of questions:

How or what was done to manually measure and determine that 160x45 text mode?

Do the tty consoles support the 50, 55, and 60 "spacing"?

It may be possible to enter a value but, if that value is not supported then the display would default back to 160x45.
 
Mar 29, 2021
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How or what was done to manually measure and determine that 160x45 text mode?
I filled the screen vertically and horizontally till the end and then manually counted the number of characters that fit.
Do the tty consoles support the 50, 55, and 60 "spacing"?
What is spacing? I don't get it. How do I test this?
It may be possible to enter a value but, if that value is not supported then the display would default back to 160x45.
Where do you suggest I enter which value?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Question 2 above - spacing:

Somewhere is code that establishes the 45 "spacing" or perhaps whatever metric you achieved using your fill and count method.

If you wish to increase from 45 to 50 or higher then your requirement is to have less space between lines of displayed text - correct?

The applicable terminology is Leading (said as lead the metal) and Kerning.

Reference links:

https://www.templatemonster.com/blog/leading-kerning-tracking-difference/

http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/difference-between-kerning-and-leading/

You can easily find similar links.


Question 3 above - where:

What software are you using to create the text? Math software by any chance?

Photoshop permits such configuration:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/line-character-spacing.html

You may or may not be able to configure the Leading depending on the software that you are using.

And if there is some way to configure the Leading then that would be a user configurable setting in the software and likely limited to some range or perhaps fixed increments such as 45, 50, 55, and 60.

The other aspect of it all is that your measurements could be hardware constrained by the console. There are only so many pixels and trying to change the spacing may be limited. You cannot get the lines closer together because there are no more "rows" of pixels that can be used for text and not Leading.

Debian Bullseye

Interestingly enough and coincidentally I came across the following link:

https://www.debian.org/releases/bullseye/mips64el/release-notes.en.pdf

I am not an "Open Source" person/follower per se so I truly (full disclosure) do not know if the .pdf will be of much help.

However, you may be able to note something that provides an applicable idea or hint.

Or someone else may be able to offer further ideas and suggestions. I have no problem with that.
 
Mar 29, 2021
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If you wish to increase from 45 to 50 or higher then your requirement is to have less space between lines of displayed text - correct?
Or each character should be „flatter“, i.e., vertically occupying a smaller number of pixels. I saw such level fonts a long time ago in MSDOS consoles.
What software are you using to create the text? Math software by any chance?
If bash counts as math software, then, yes, sort of. After logging into tty1, I typed in the following: 1[Enter]3[Enter]5[Enter]…43[Enter]45.
The output was

user@host:~$ 1
-bash: 1: Command not found
user@host:~$ 3
-bash: 3: Command not found

user@host:~$ 43
-bash: 43: Command not found
user@host:~$ 45


At this point, the line user@host:$ 1 was at the top and user@host:$ 45 was at the bottom of the screen. So, 45 lines fit in.

As for the horizontal resolution, I simply typed in

user@host:~$ 12345678901234567890…

till the physical end of the line and with my eyes counted the number of characters in this line, including the prompt and the space, arriving at 160.
The other aspect of it all is that your measurements could be hardware constrained by the console. There are only so many pixels and trying to change the spacing may be limited. You cannot get the lines closer together because there are no more "rows" of pixels that can be used for text and not Leading.
The vertical hardware resolution of the screen (1440) is hopefully more than sufficient for this purpose; it was even possible to get 80x50 in MSDOS for 800×600 SVGA screens. I have no idea about what software or firmware allow for (as opposed to hardware).
 
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