I'm running a Ubuntu 12.04 LTS as a home NAS server, without X. Recently I got into tuning it to serve as a video playing media device too. It might've been easier at this point to install X, but I decided to try mplayer with framebuffer playback. It worked, and everything was fine and good.
However, for curiosity and maybe for practical consequences too, I can't stop thinking about framebuffers. There seems to be only one framebuffer device,
/dev/fb0. (Btw. I'm using vesafs driver) If I run multiple programs that use framebuffers, chaos ensues. For example, running mplayer from fbterm just crashes it. Curiously, fbi image viewer manages to view images somehow. Obviously the programs can't share the device, there's no windowing system after all.
So, is the number of (vesa) fb devices limited to hardware display devices? Or could there be more in principle, like there are multiple ttys? Would adding some more help running simultaneously software that uses them? How could I add more?
Also the logic how the framebuffers are connected to ttys isn't quite clear to me... for example, mplayer shows it's video frame on every tty, but fbi doesn't. Furthermore, Ubuntu default console (fbcon?) shows behind the video overlay, which srikes me odd. What is this all about?