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#1 Skydiver   User is offline

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Why 43 lines?

Posted 30 June 2020 - 01:28 PM

(No this isn't a question regarding 88 lines about 44 women.)

I'm just curious about the origin of the standard Linux console windows height of 43 lines. Does anybody know the real origin, or if not the real origin, at least the legends as to why it is 43 lines. Was is based on Xterm?

I can sort of understand the 132 (and 80) characters widths. They used to be standard character widths for teletypes.

VT52 and VT100 had 80x24, while the IBM DOS machines had 80x25.

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Replies To: Why 43 lines?

#2 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Why 43 lines?

Posted 30 June 2020 - 01:33 PM

You forgot to account for line 0, so it's really 42.. and then bob's your uncle.

:D

Probably some archaic call back to punch card widths.
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#3 jimblumberg   User is offline

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Re: Why 43 lines?

Posted 30 June 2020 - 02:08 PM

I believe that Linux was developed using VGA resolution instead of EGA resolution which has a default of 43 or 50 lines versus the 25 lines for EGA.

Jim
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#4 Radius Nightly   User is offline

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Re: Why 43 lines?

Posted 30 June 2020 - 05:53 PM

Quote

-8025 character display, rendered with a 916 pixel font, with an effective resolution of 720400 in either 16 colors or monochrome, the latter being compatible with legacy MDA-based applications.
-4025, using the same font grid, for an effective resolution of 360400
-8043 or 8050 (88 font grid) in 16-colors, with an effective resolution of 640344 (EGA-compatible) or 640400 pixels.

As with the pixel-based graphics modes, additional text modes are technically possible (as VGA resolution settings are notionally calculated from character-grid dimensions) with an overall maximum of about 10080 cells and an active area spanning about 8864 cells, but these are rarely used as it usually makes much more sense to just use a graphics mode with a small, perhaps proportional font if a larger text display is required. One variant that is sometimes seen is 8030 or 8060, using an 816 or 88 font and an effective 640480 pixel display, which trades use of the more flickery 60 Hz mode for an additional 5 or 10 lines of text and square character blocks (or, at 8030, square half-blocks).

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#5 Skydiver   User is offline

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Re: Why 43 lines?

Posted 01 July 2020 - 12:16 PM

I sort of vaguely recall the EGA and VGA modes. So presumably, the choice of 43 lines was because it gave square blocks as opposed to the 50 lines which would not?
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#6 jimblumberg   User is offline

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Re: Why 43 lines?

Posted 01 July 2020 - 06:18 PM

I'm not really too sure why 43 was chosen to be the "default" number of lines, but I would guess that it has to do with the actual hardware. Remember that the graphics system is initialized in BIOS.

One thing to remember that today's Linux systems use framebuffer devices by default, which are different animals.


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VT52 and VT100 had 80x24, while the IBM DOS machines had 80x25.

Yes and if I remember correctly the difference is because of how DOS and VT systems handled the last line ending.


Jim
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#7 Skydiver   User is offline

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Re: Why 43 lines?

Posted 01 July 2020 - 07:38 PM

I recall my old VGA card would POST in 25 line mode. So did the BIOS setup screen. I would have loved it if the BIOS setup screen shifted over to 43 or 50 line mode when it was doing the deep memory scan tests, but no. It stayed in 25 line mode.

Any which way, I think you are on the right track regarding EGA/VGA having a 43 line mode being the influencer for Linux GUI distros as picking that as one of their console window sizes.
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