When booting NetBSD, the old Tecra 720CDT that I have, works quite nicely in 1024x768x15 mode with vesa fb.

I always have to activate VESA when booting the system:

> vesa on
> vesa 0x116
> boot netbsd

Now, I was able to somewhat automatize this process by editing /boot.cfg:

menu=Boot normally:rndseed /var/db/entropy-file;vesa on;vesa 0x116;boot netbsd

No idea if this is preferable. I'd actually like to set this kind of behavior in the kernel itself. on OpenBSD, I'd simply use config to change the kernel settings. That, however, does not work on NetBSD. I'd have to recompile the kernel (that's my understanding).

Now, when looking through the config file, I couldn't find things related to vesa or switching to framebuffer mode while booting. Is this even possible? If so, how do I do that?


AFAIK, editing /boot.cfg is the preferred method. You can even specify more human-readable modes; I am using (on -current, 7.99 in a VirtualBox VM)

menu=Boot normally:rndseed /var/db/entropy-file:;vesa 1024x768x32; boot netbsd

I think having this in the kernel somehow without it being compiled in would be bad - if you update your kernel you'd lose the setting. The /boot.cfg method is persistent and human-readable.

  • where is this /boot.cfg file located ? You mean /boot/grub2/boot.cfg or /boot/grub/boot.lst ?
    – drpaneas
    Jan 9 '15 at 18:46
  • 1
    No, /boot.cfg is only there if you're using the NetBSD bootloader. I don't offhand know how to set the mode using Grub. Dec 16 '15 at 9:36

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