strange mc colors under console text mode
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  1. #1
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    strange mc colors under console text mode

    Hi all. When I run mc in console text mode without X11 running, the colors of mc's ncurses-based GUI are really strange. White shows as light-gray, so directories are the same color as ordinary files, instead of a bold white color. Yellow shows up as a rusty brown color. I really need to get this sorted, as I need directories to show up in bold white.

    The thing is, when I run mc in a KDE konsole, all the coloring work right.

    Anyone have any ideas what the problem is please?

  2. #2
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    Are you running in console text mode with framebuffer support? If so, that could be giving you a greater color depth than what KDE's konsole is using. I use the radeonfb framebuffer in console mode at 8-bit color depth, since I had some color issues with certain console apps when I used 24-bit depth. You're probably running X in 24-bit color depth, but I don't know if konsole uses that. I've seen some terminal emulators (like mrxvt) that can support 24-bit depth for the text, though it has to be compiled in as a special option.

    If you aren't using a framebuffer in console mode, then I'm not sure what would be causing your problem. Does this color difference happen with just mc, or are there other console apps that have this issue?

  3. #3
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    Here is a part of /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen0"
    Device "Videocard0"
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 24
    Virtual 640 1200
    EndSubSection
    EndSection

    So as you say, that is running in 24 bit mode. How do I check what color depth I'm using for the console please? This is on my laptop, and IIRC I did select frame buffering during the installation. So this could be the reason for my strange colors with mc.

    Under debian 3.1 I did not have this problem with mc's colors. But I cannot remember whether FB was in use there.
    Last edited by CD-RW; 13th December 2006 at 06:31 PM.

  4. #4
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    In console mode, run the 'fbset' command. Just running it with no options will display the current settings. See the fbset man page for more options. The color depth is a kernel parameter, which may be either specified in your /boot/grub/grub.conf file or in your /etc/modprobe.conf file. Depending on your video card, it will usually look something like this:

    video=radeonfb:1024x768-24@85

    The 1024x768 is the resolution, the 24 is the color depth, and the 85 is the vertical refresh rate (your framebuffer may be named something different from 'radeonfb').

  5. #5
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    Thankyou RP. I'll get back to you on this one, as I'm running KDE at the moment.

  6. #6
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    Strange things are happening here. When I boot my laptop and do 'fbset' I get the following error:
    open /dev/fb0: No such file or directory.

    If I look in /dev/ there are no fd0 .. fd7 device files created.

    /etc/fb.modes exists though.

    If I then run X11 as root with startx and shutdown the X11 server and go back into console mode, the device files now exist in /dev for fb0 .. fb7.

    So now doing fbset in console mode after running X11 I get the following error:

    ioctl FBIOGET_VSCREENINFO: Inappropriate ioctl for device



    Is there some way to set the color depth for the video card (onboard SiS) as a kernel parameter?

    my /boot/grub/grub.conf parameters for this kernel are:

    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-1.2849.fc6 ro /root=/dev/hda6 acpi=off noapic nolapic vga=0

    would the vga=0 make any difference to the colors? IIRC I used this on my debian 3.1r3 sarge installation without any mc color problems.

  7. #7
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    You need to find out how framebuffer support was enabled for your system: either built-in to the kernel or as a module. Also, you need to find out the name of the framebuffer (e.g. mine is radeonfb, yours will be different since you have a SiS chipset).

  8. #8
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    I've looked at openSuSE 10.1 on my main machine when in console mode. That does not seem to support framebuffers, but I still have proper colors for the mc display. I might even look for another rpm and see if that is the cause of the color problem.

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