This is not about what you should do if you run the console, but what I have experience with Squeeze on my Inspiron 4100 laptop.
I tested the Radeon Framebuffer (“radeonfb”). While it does work, it’s not quite right. There are some odd changes in the default behavior of anything which actually calls on the
fbdev to display. It also slowed down a few things. So I’m staying with the default VESA/VGA driver. I also found out Splashy does some odd things, so I had to uninstall. For example, if you set “splash” in your boot options, it will grab the console and wait for X — which never comes, so the splash just sits there blocking all console use. I suppose there are ways to fix that, but I don’t care to dig into obscure configuration parameters, or having to rebuild it from source. It’s not worth it to me.
There are some default keystroke combinations missing from the keyboard config for the console. I can’t combine, say CTRL+RIGHT. I know enough to find out where that’s turned off, but the instructions are a bit too techy, so I’m having to proceed slowly before I’ll understand how to change that. I’m sure there are good reasons for crippling keystrokes which are standard with X, but I’m struggling to fix it to suit me. Once I succeed, I will probably write a very simplified HOWTO for others.
For example, I never realized most framebuffer apps would be broken for the user account until I fixed the permissions. You see, Links2 with the graphical display, along with
fbgs require full console permissions, and those are denied by default. So I had to find out where the permissions files were located and modify them. In this case, it’s:
/lib/udev/rules.d/91-permissions.rules. That file had to be modified at line 59:
KERNEL=="tty[0-9]*", MODE="0666" GROUP="root"
After reboot, my user account had normal access to the framebuffer.
The most important thing is simply getting used to all the favorite websites viewed another way. Mostly I use Elinks because of the JScript and mouse handling. On the other hand, I have to remember that and MC both require holding down the SHIFT key to copy and paste. Getting past that is simple, but the one thing which still surprises me is how much time I save not having to deal with a graphical display. While some actions do take a few extra steps, I end up getting through with most of my standard Net doings much quicker this way.
I’m still exploring what I’ve gotten myself into, but so far, there’s no turning back.