David Herrmann has provided an update on his ambitious initiative to kill of the Linux kernel console. Herrmann has long been working on making the Linux kernel CONFIG_VT option unnecessary for providing a Linux console by punting it off to user-space. The Linux kernel VT console hasn’t been changed much in the past two decades and Herrmann is hoping to see it replaced with a user-space solution he’s been developing that would allow for multi-seat support, a hardware-accelerated console, full internalization, and other features.
CONFIG_VT has been part of the Linux kernel going back to the early 90’s but hasn’t really advanced much in that time. David Herrmann, a developer that got going on this new initiative as a student part of Google Summer of Code, wants a new solution that’s built with multi-seat and multiple monitors in mind, incorporates Unicode font rendering, XKB-like keyboard handling, graphics hardware acceleration, VT220-VT510 compatibility, and other features.
Among his principal complaints about the current terminal is that it’s a user-interface in kernel-space, the code is poorly maintained, handles keyboards badly, produces bad font rendering, misses out on mode-setting and multi-head support, contains no multi-seat awareness, and only has limited hot-plugging handling, limited to VT102 compliance.