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[Lcdproc] Fwd: lcdproc on FreeBSD with lis driver

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  • From: wyatt at (Daryl F)
  • Subject: [Lcdproc] Fwd: lcdproc on FreeBSD with lis driver
  • Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 16:34:58 -0600 (CST)


The lis driver must have thread support to work. It will only work with a
very specific VLSys VFD. At power on the display must say it is a L.I.S.
MCE 2005 or it is likely this driver will not work and will indeed hang

Markus was right. The thread will never return until shutdown. It is
specifically a loop to keep a read up on the FTDI chip at all times. The
main thread uses a semaphore to break the loop and end the thread at

VLSys includes firmware between the FTDI chip and the HD44780 chip on the
LIS MCE 2005. The initialization code in the lis driver works only with
that firmware.

Conversely, I never could get the lis2 HD44780 variant to work with the
MCE 2005. It lacked that specific initialization sequence which I
discovered by snooping the USB stream on a Windows machine using VLSys
supplied driver. VLSys gave approval for this reverse-engineering to be
included in the lis driver and distributed with ldcproc

So it may not be a bug in BSD pthread but rather the wrong display for the
lis driver. I couldn't find any information at the link you have for the
nMedia 1000 case that clearly said which VLSys lis the display actually

I don't have acess to the MCE 2005 for testing on my BSD machine. It is in
production under Linux and I don't have another to test with.


On Sun, 5 Dec 2010, Tom Pusateri wrote:

> Thanks for the reply.
> The code looks fine to me too. But the call to pthread_create never returns
> so maybe its an issue with FreeBSD 8.1. I just did a binary update to p2
> and that acts the same. I saw a Freebsd bug in 7.2 for a similar problem to
> pthread_create() not returning because of a malloc issue.
> I read elsewhere that others on linux are using the hd44780 Driver with
> connection type lis2. So I tried that with device /dev/cuaU0. It seems to
> run ok but it never updates the display. Its not clear which driver I
> should be using.
> I don't think I mentioned it before but I have a Pro-LCD in a nMedia 1000
> case which is a VLSys LIS MCE.
> Thanks for the help.
> Tom
> On Dec 5, 2010, at 2:42 AM, Markus Dolze wrote:
>> Hello,
>> yes, the LIS driver is the only driver that uses threads. At first
>> glance I can't see any problem with the code.
>> Are you sure you are not looking at the second thread launched in gdb?
>> That thread will only return on shutdown.
>> Which version of LCDproc and FreeBSD (output of uname -v) are you using?
>> Regards,
>> Markus
>> On 04.12.2010 23:09, Tom Pusateri wrote:
>>> Some more info: In gdb, it is never returning from pthread_create() in
>>> lis.c:514
>>> The lis driver appears to be the only driver that uses threads.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Tom
>>> Begin forwarded message:
>>>> *From: *Tom Pusateri
>>>> *Date: *December 4, 2010 3:43:02 PM EST
>>>> *To: *bsdfan at <mailto:bsdfan at>
>>>> *Subject: **lcdproc on FreeBSD with lis driver*
>>>> I have built the lcdproc code using a modified port to include the lis
>>>> driver (which depends on devel/libftdi).
>>>> libftdi seems to work and the utilities that ship with it seem to work
>>>> but LCDd hangs on startup. I'm running gdb now to see if I can figure
>>>> out why but I wondered if you knew anything about the lis driver and
>>>> if anyone else is using it and if can be included by default in the
>>>> Freebsd port.
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Tom
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