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At the moment, I run a FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE installation, and everything is absolutely swimming. Generally speaking, any developing I do on it is done on my Windows machine through Putty. This works pretty well; I run two monitors and my Windows installation is connected to both of them. The larger of the two monitors has a resolution of 1920x1080, and is also connected to the FreeBSD box. On the occasions where I've accidentally killed a network connection while mucking about, this lets me log in directly and do everything I need to. Generally, it's the only way I'll ever use the root account as well; good practices and all (No, you can't ssh as root; you have to login then su).

The problem is that very occasionally, my main computer has either been moved temporarily, or is out of action. I've been known to let friends borrow it if they need something done and don't have a computer themselves. The FreeBSD installation is a "minimalist" install. No graphical user interface; only the base of what I need to run my Apache installation, my Samba daemon, my git repository, JDK, ruby, perl - all the good stuff. I made the mistake of compiling KDE from scratch once. Never again.

My question is, then, in a very loquacious manner, how do I increase the resolution of the main terminals (ttyv0, ttyv1, etc) that come across to the monitor to 1920x1080? By default, and at the moment, it's what looks like VGA, stretched out across the screen. Apart from being ugly, it's difficult to code on. Lines get wrapped around and all of that. Is there a way to do this without installing X11 or some such overkill?

EDIT: There are instances where I've had to develop directly on the box. It doesn't happen that often, but it happens often enough that I'd like a solution. My developing is generally done in vim, although I'd like to become at least proficient in emacs one day. Using the default 25x80 terminal is a little painful when it comes to Java. I don't particularly want a full desktop environment, but a way to increase the terminal size (If such a thing exists).

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I just posted an answer in this question:… – Coroos Jun 17 '13 at 9:15
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I don't see a problem here. If all you do on the BSD box is login, start some daemons and exit then you don't need X - or a "pretty" text interface.

On the other hand, if you want to do lots of text editing then you should probably install X and some window manager. The window manager doesn't have to be KDE.

Gnome is a stable alternative "heavyweight" window manager but it installs with lots of baggage you may not need (just like KDE does).

If you truly want to go minimalist with X-11, twm (tab window manager) is in the package archives (twm-1.0.4 is the latest). Only issue with twm is that you might need to start with a non-gui editor like emacs or vi or .... I still use it now and then on vintage systems with 4 MB video cards.

WindowMaker is an alternative I like that's somewhere between those two extremes and I'm sure there are others.

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I'm sorry, I don't think I explained well enough. I've edited my question to be a bit more informative. – JBirch Aug 15 '10 at 16:26
@JBirch: You could also try to use a different font on the text side, but that's still going to look funky and will only give you one screen at a time (probably 80x43) instead of (80x25) Or you could use twm but you will need X. twm will let you put multiple xterm windows up and let you pick arbitrary width, height for the xterm as well as multiple font sizes. It's not pretty but it's lightweight and functional. – hotei Aug 15 '10 at 19:38
I've tried recompiling my kernel with VESA and SC_PIXEL_MODE to try and enable some higher resolutions, but I've had my own troubles there. I don't care about pretty, but I'm a fan of lightweight. I think I'll give twm a look. Cheers for your input. – JBirch Aug 15 '10 at 22:40

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