console graphics libraries (was Re: libre kernel)

LM lmemsm at
Tue May 22 04:37:31 PDT 2012

On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 2:00 AM,  Mike Hollis wrote:
>  I was looking at the code for svgalib, a program I love because I can
> play quake on the console and watch movies with mplayer without
> Xorg plus it pretty easy to learn and to write console graphics.

I've had mixed luck with svgalib.  It worked fine on an old Sony
laptop, but my main desktop with ATI All-In-Wonder (PCI-Express) card
just can't seem to work with it.  I tried several settings changes
with svgalib and just couldn't find a way to use it on that system.  I
have been looking into using directfb with various libraries in order
to get progarms to work outside of X.  That solution works for my
desktop, but unfortunately, probably won't work for the laptop which
has an older video card (neomagic).  SDL works with directfb.
WxWidgets is working on a directfb port.  I also found an older
version of fltk that's meant to be used with directfb.  Pdcurses also
works with SDL and directfb, although ncurses works fine directly in
console mode.  Keep thinking that with the right libraries one could
make a pretty nice distribution that doesn't need to use X, but could
still be used for basic desktop functionality like word processing,
audio and basic graphics and video editing/viewing.  If anyone runs
across other GUI libraries that work fine in console mode or outside
of X, would be very interested in hearing about them.


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