XF86_VGA16(1) manual page

Table of Contents


XF86_VGA16 - 4 bit non-accelerated X Window System server for UNIX on x86 platforms


XF86_VGA16 [:displaynumber] [ option ] ...


XF86_VGA16 is a 4-bit color server for VGA cards. The default root visual for this server is StaticColor. It also includes support for the non-VGA monochrome cards described in the XF86_Mono(1) manual page. It may be run in a dual-headed configuration.


The XF86_VGA16 server supports the following popular SVGA chipsets in 16-colour mode.

18800, 18800-1, 28800-2, 28800-4, 28800-5, 28800-6, 68800-3, 68800-6, 68800AX, 68800LX, 88800CX, 88800GX


TVGA8800CS, TVGA8900B, TVGA8900C, TVGA8900CL, TVGA9000

CL6410, CL6412, CL6420, CL6440

OTI067, OTI077, OTI087

Additionally it supports generic VGA cards.

XF86_VGA16 does not support the accelerated functions of the supported chipsets.


In addition to the normal server options described in the Xserver(1) manual page, XF86_VGA16 accepts some more command line switches, as described in the XFree86(1) manpage.


XFree86 uses a configuration file called XF86Config for its initial setup. See the XF86Config(4/5) manpage for general details. Here only the XF86_VGA16 specific parts are explained.

The Driver entry in the Screen section of the XF86Config file should be set to vga16. To run in dual-headed configuration, there should also be a Screen section with the Driver entry set to mono.

Entries for the Device section in the XF86Config file include:

chipset "name"
specifies a chipset so the correct driver can be used. Possible chipsets are:


et4000, et4000w32, et4000w32i, et4000w32p

tvga8800cs, tvga8900b, tvga8900c, tvga8900cl, tvga9000

cl6410, cl6412, cl6420, cl6440

oti067, oti077, oti087

Generic VGA:

Option "optionstring"
allows the user to select certain options provided by the drivers. Currently the following strings are recognized:

legend - for Sigma Legend ET4000-based boards. This option enables a special clock-selection algorithm used on Legend boards, and MUST be specified for these boards to function correctly.

hibit_low, hibit_high - for Tseng ET4000 chipsets. With some ET4000 cards, the server has difficulty getting the state of the high-order clocks select bit right when started from a high-resolution text mode. These options allow the correct initial state of that bit to be specified. To find out what the correct initial state is, start the server from an 80x25 text mode. This option is only needed if the clocks reported by the server when started from a high-resolution text mode differ from those reported when it is started from an 80x25 text mode.

power_saver - This option enables the server to use the power saving features of VESA DPMS compatible monitors. The suspend level is currently not supported. Refer to the XF86Config(4/5) manual page for details of how to set the timeouts for the different levels of operation. This option is experimental.

Note that XFree86 has some internal capabilities to determine what hardware it is running on. Thus normally the keywords chipset, clocks, and videoram don't have to be specified. But there may be occasions when this autodetection mechanism fails, (for example, too high of load on the machine when you start the server). For cases like this, one should first run XF86_VGA16 on an unloaded machine, look at the results of the autodetection (that are printed out during server startup) and then explicitly specify these parameters in the configuration file. It is recommended that all parameters, especially Clock values, be specified in the XF86Config file.


The 16 colour X server

Server configuration file

Server configuration file

Note: <XRoot> refers to the root of the X11 install tree.


X(1), Xserver(1), XFree86(1), XF86Config(4/5), XF86_Mono(1), xf86config(1), xvidtune(1), xdm(1), xinit(1)


XFree86 source is available from the FTP server ftp.XFree86.org. Send email to XFree86@XFree86.org for details.


The primary developer of this server is

Gertjan Akkerman, akkerman@dutiba.twi.tudelft.nl

See also the XFree86(1) manual page.

Table of Contents