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A Problem with Linux

Or at least SOME distros of Linux : Help needed to solve this!


Previous to some point that we may be able to place in time, Linux has always been Real Computing Reborn, a resurgence of proper computing in the modern age. This is in contrast to the naffness and wimpiness of Microsoft-in-the-head types of ways of pseudocomputing.

But somehow, in Linux, something seems to have gone wrong. Some of the companies behind Linux have gone astray and started to ape Microsoft, producing systems that rely heavily on a disturbingly windowy GUI way of going on.

As Linux is supposed to be all things to all people, it's surely possible to put aside the naff GUI stuff and have proper command line? Well it should be, except there is a problem. This was found on "upgrading" Fedora Core 8 to Fedora Core 13, when it was found that the terminal text was ludicrously small. I am referring, of course, to the proper terminals, the ones on ctrl-alt-f1, ctrl-alt-f2, etc up to ctrl-alt-f6. No need for KDE or Gnome, and no Xwindows involved, and yet, somehow, the terminal text is absurdly small, something like 240 across the screen.

If it were a BBC Micro, you could change the MODE by typing in "MODE 7" or something, but as it's Linux... well surely there must be some way of getting it back to 80x25 ?!

Various helpful experts have said there should be a way to do this, and the best suggestion is to put a kernel parameter on the end of the line in grub which has vmlinuz in it, for example, vga=ask. The trouble is, that changes the mode to 80x25 for about one second, after which it reverts to ridiculously small text!

In some instances, it's possible to get the text to go into sensible 80x25, but then (presumably because there's no longer any "framebuffer"), it's no longer possible to do startx and have an optional temporary GUI. I would suppose that somehow Fedora have been so fanatically keen to have a snazzy startup flashy graphics screen that they've instituted "Plymouth" or something, and ignored the fact that some people actually want to use the computer... for COMPUTING!

Well let's abandon Fedora if they can't get their act together! There must be other distributions of Linux. I've started a List of Linux Distros to see if there's any way we can get a decent multi-terminal text terminal system up and running. Suggestions are welcome!

Please note that the question is "Can I have real 80x25 text mode?", and NOT "Can I have huge high-res characters?" which would be slow. I don't want messy graphics simulating text. I want text! Actual text, a simple 80x25 fast display. I would rather go back to having a real terminal with green/amber text and an RS232 plug and a cable than have some faked up slow awkward system. There is no need for such naffness. It should be relatively simple to have basic text. Windowishness is an affectation which has inflicted the world, and we should be able to avoid it.

Shame on Fedora, and some of the other Linuxes which have a compulsory GUI and/or ludicrously small text. Having to have a GUI running to install things? Stupid, really. Are they trying to ape the bad ways of Microsoft and Apple?

I feel there must be blind people who also have a dislike of computers being heavily visually-dependent. Yet, curiously there seems to be an absence of a huge blind pressure group campaigning against naff Graphic User Interface on computers.

Thinking about it logically, blind people would have something definite to grumble about in consideration of the awkward way windowy operating systems are set up. It's not that it's visual, it's that it's gratuitously visually-dependent. There is no need for it.

Partially-sighted people also have reason to complain about needlessly tiny text on websites as well as on confusing GUI screens.

I have reason to grumble about wasteful visual systems. I can see, but seeing takes time and is wasteful of internal resources. I could tell you that the reality isn't real and that I'm having to translate things from visual interpretation and that wastes times and resources, or I could tell you that I have a mind circuit diagram that's different to normal. One way or another there is something wrong with having to use a GUI for things that don't need a GUI.

Anyway, here's what I need a computer with a Linux Distro to have:

* Default runlevel=3

* Proper command line terminals, the real thing, as per ctrl-alt-f2 etc. At least six of these, preferably more.

* The text should be 80x25 or thereabouts.

* Programming, gcc (ansi C) etc, is essential.

* There can be an OPTIONAL graphical system, initiatable by startx. Also, stoppable by some easy means.

* Upgrades to packages should be possible relatively easily. (Otherwise I'd stick with an OLD version of Linux).

If you know of any Linux Distro that can provide this, please write in. Surely what I'm asking for is reasonable and should be relatively easy to achieve.

If you're creating a new Linux Distribution, please make sure it works with sensible text size and doesn't make the mistakes which are causing me to abandon Fedora Core 13.


It may seem gratuitous, but I feel it is indicative: Another fault with Fedora Core 13 is that when you start it up first of all, in the sensible runlevel=3, things such as mpg123 that require the sound driver don't work. Then, if you start the GUI and then stop it, they work. In other words, Fedora have assumed everyone is so Microsoft-in-the-head that they WILL run the GUI and so they've not even bothered to initialise the sound-drivers in runlevel=3. Shame!

Also, the Service Config Tool doesn't even have proper run levels.