icaros desktop – playing with graphical modes inside IcAROS (VESA/native nouveau.hidd)

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VESA is perfect for compatibility with ALL the gfx cards. For more informations about VESA : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VESA But it is slow, and Warp 3D is badly supported. Also, you can have problems changing graphical modes (need to restart the comp’), or even finding a mode that fits your needs and your screen (for me, I had issues with my wide 22′ monitor) To know the list of VESA modes supported by the graphic card, on the grub screen type “c” to get into the “grub command line”, then type : vbeinfo http://aros-exec.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=8720&forum=24&post_id=87933#forumpost87933


  Native is good for speed and 3D support. You can change the graphical mode without having to reboot the machine. If your card is recognized and handled by AROS, it is the best choice. But it is also more complex for the system to handle, so, it is also more unstable. You can get some weird behaviors (icons that disapear…), if you have your graphic card recognized but not in the compatibility list. I personnally get more “memory access violation” errors with native mode.

to change the graphical mode :

  To switch from native to vesa / vesa to native, use the prefs/boot interface. You can specify there the VESA mode. reboot. you can also directly change the file sys:boot/grub/grub.cfg Here is mine. If you are in Native mode, just simply use Prefs / Screenmode :


The description of the devices, allowing IcAROS to handle them are in sys:Devs/Monitors There shoudln’t be nothing to change there, unless you have a GMA chip onboard, and then you can add some graphical memory with the tooltype GMA_MEM. You can go up to 256 Mb. Be aware that this is a shared memory (so it won’t be available anymore for the system, It also can get to some “memory access violations” errors. If you have too much of them, just leave that option blank.

gfx cards tested :

  nVidia N11071 P231 (Quadro 280) : problem with the display refreshing. after some time (5 minutes about…) while using OWB, the icons and texts begins to disapear. impossible to get back. Quadro N11071 is not in the list of the supported Gfx cards. – ATI RADEON X1300 D33a27 : display problems. The screen get completely weird when lauching OWB. – onboard Intel GMA945 : the best choice here. full Warp 3D support. fast and stable. I finally got back to it.

Usefull ressources :

  AROS Compatibility list : http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Aros/Platforms/x86_support an aros-exec thread regarding to old graphic hardware : http://aros-exec.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=4227&forum=2&post_id=36876#forumpost36876

Author: jess

for a long time amiga, aros & demos lover and musician (linux musician, drummer, modules in protracker and octamed, recording and mastering in ardour)