Changing the console mode to see more display lines


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I found a simple way to increase the number of visible lines at the console.  Add a parameter like 'vga=extended' to the 'append' line in syslinux.cfg in the root of your flash drive.


As an old DOS guy, I used to always change my screen to 80x50.  Even when I changed to Windows, I used to use it as a super DOS system, with 2 80x50 DOS windows for programming, so I was somewhat frustrated by the 80x25 console on my unRAID machine.


There are several possible values for the VGA parameter:  'vga=normal' is the default, 80x25; 'vga=extended' seems to be 80x50 or better; 'vga=ask' will stop and ask you which mode to use; and 'vga=#' where # is 0 to n, a VGA mode number.  I'm not sure but I think the mode numbers may be different with different video cards and monitors.


On my server, I use 'vga=6' which gives 80x60.  For the first time, I can see the entire 'top' command result, without using a Telnet session.


This can be easily tested at the unRAID startup screen.  I recommend trying the 'vga=ask' option.  When the unRAID and memtest menu pops up, press the Tab key quickly, and add a space and vga=ask and press Enter.  It will prompt you for a mode and press Enter again to see the available character modes.  Select the mode you want from the list by typing its number.  You can only change it on boot of unRAID.  When you find what you want, then make it automatic by editing syslinux.cfg, and adding it to the end of the append line.


Note on editing 'syslinux.cfg':  use Microsoft WordPad or an editor that can be configured to use Unix end-of-line's.  Do not use Notepad, Microsoft Word, or any editor that you can not adjust the end-of-line character.  In WordPad, when finished, use the Save command, or the Save As Text Document, not Save As MS-DOS Format.


unRAID seems to include framebuffer support, and you can set 'vga=791' for example and obtain a graphical screen, but it is completely blank, rather uninformative.  A graphical unRAID console seems pointless anyway.  Perhaps someone with more experience can get it working though.  And if Tom adds the SVGATextMode command, we could change the console mode on the fly, but that seems again an extremely low priority.


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