directfbrc - DirectFB configuration file
The directfbrc file is a configuration file read by all DirectFB
applications on startup. There are two of these: a system-wide one
stored in /etc/directfbrc and a per-user $HOME/.directfbrc which may
override system settings.
Further customization is available per executable (basename of
argv): /etc/directfbrc.$0 and a per-user $HOME/.directfbrc.$0
After config files, the environment variable DFBARGS is parsed.
The same parameters that can be used in the directfbrc file can be
passed via this variable or on the command-line by prefixing them with
--dfb: separated each with a comma.
The directfbrc file contains one parameter per line. Comments are
introduced by a hash sign (#), and continue until the end of the line.
Blank lines are ignored.
Most parameters are switches that turn certain features on or off.
These switches have a no- variant that disables the feature. This man-
page describes the positive variant and will also note which setting is
the compiled-in default.
The following parameters may be specified in the directfbrc file:
Specifies the graphics system to use. The default is to use the
Linux frame buffer (fbdev) but you can also run DirectFB
applications on SDL (sdl). Other systems might be added in the
Opens the given frame buffer device instead of /dev/fb0.
Specify the bus location of the card. The option is only used if
DirectFB doesn’t have sysfs support and if unspecified 1:0:0
will be assumed. Use this option if the driver fails to detect
(or incorrectly detects) your card.
Sets the default screen resolution. If unspecified DirectFB will
use the first mode from /etc/fb.modes Some frame buffer devices
(namely vesafb) don’t support mode switches and can only be used
in the resolution that is set on boot time.
Scale the window to this size for ’force-windowed’ apps.
Sets the default pixel depth in bits per pixel. If unspecified
DirectFB will use the depth specified in the first mode from
/etc/fb.modes DirectFB supports color depths of 8, 15, 16, 24
and 32. Which values are available depends on the frame buffer
device you are using. Some frame buffer devices (namely vesafb)
don’t support mode switches at all and can only be used in the
pixel depth that is set at boot time.
Sets the default pixel format. This is similar to the depth
parameter described above but allows more fine-grained control.
Possible values for pixelformat are LUT8, RGB332, RGB16, RGB24
and RGB32. Some drivers may also support the more exotic pixel
formats A8, ALUT44, ARGB, ARGB1555, I420, UYVY, YUY2 and YV12.
Selects the multi application world which is joined or created.
Starting with zero, negative values force creation of a new
world using the lowest unused session number. This will override
the environment variable "DIRECTFB_SESSION".
Always enter as a slave, waiting for the master, if not there.
Select the remote session to connect to.
Uses the given directory (tmpfs mount point) for creation of the
shared memory file in multi application mode. This option is
only useful if the automatic detection fails or if non-tmpfs
storage is desired.
Group that owns shared memory files.
With this option the probing of memcpy() routines can be
skipped, saving a lot of startup time. Pass "help" for a list of
Selects which layer is the "primary layer", default is the
first. Check ’dfbinfo’ for a list of layers supported by your
Tell application only about the primary layer.
quiet Suppresses console output from DirectFB. Only error messages
will be displayed.
Enables the output of the DirectFB banner at startup. This is on
Enables debug output. This is on by default but you won’t see
any debug output unless you compiled DirectFB with debugging
Enable memory allocation tracking.
Enable shared memory allocation tracking.
Enable stack trace support. This is on by default but you won’t
see any trcae output unless you compiled DirectFB with trace
Write all messages to the specified file.
Send all messages via UDP to the specified host and port.
Abort on NONE, ASSERT (default) or ASSUME (incl. assert)
Forces the primary surface to be a window. This allows to run
applications that were written to do full-screen access in a
Forces the primary surface to be the background surface of the
Turns hardware acceleration on. By default hardware acceleration
is auto-detected. If you disable hardware acceleration, the
driver for your graphics card will still be loaded and used to
access additional display layers (if there are any), but all
graphics operations will be performed by the software renderer.
This option allows to disable software fallbacks.
Turns DMA acceleration on, if supported by the driver. By
default DMA acceleration is off.
Flushes all disk buffers before initializing DirectFB. This can
be useful if you working with experimental device drivers and
expect crashes. The default is not to sync.
The no-mmx options allows to disable the use of MMX routines
even if support for MMX was detected. By default MMX is used if
is available and support for MMX was compiled in.
Turns AGP memory support on. The option enables DirectFB using
the AGP memory to extend the amount of video memory available.
You can specify the AGP mode to use (e.g. 1, 2, 4, 8 or 0 to
disable agp). By default AGP memory support is off.
Free sysmem instance on xfer to video memory.
Specify the font format to use. Possible values are A1, A8,
ARGB, ARGB1555, ARGB2554, ARGB4444, AiRGB. The default font
format is A8 because it is the only format that ensures high
quality, fast rendering and low memory consumption at the same
time. Use this option only if your fonts looks strange or if
font rendering is too slow.
By default DirectFB installs a signal handler for a number of
signals that cause an application to exit. This signal handler
tries to deinitialize the DirectFB engine before quitting the
application. Use this option to enable/disable this feature.
As described with the sighandler option, DirectFB installs a
signal handler for a number of signals. By using this option
you may specify a list of signals that shouldn’t be handled this
By default DirectFB checks if the application has released all
allocated resources on exit. If it didn’t, it will clean up
after the application. This option allows to switch this
feature on or off.
This option activates blocking of all signals, useful for
DirectFB daemons (a DirectFB master application that does
nothing except being the master).
By default DirectFB allocates a new virtual terminal and
switches to it.
Use given VT instead of current/new one.
Allow to switch virtual terminals using <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F?>. This
is an experimental feature that is usually disabled; use at your
Puts the virtual terminal into graphics mode. This has the
advantage that kernel messages won’t show up on your screen
while the DirectFB application is running.
Use VT handling code at all?
Specify the serial mouse device.
Enables using GPM as mouse input repeater.
Usually DirectFB compresses mouse motion events. This means that
subsequent mouse motions are delivered to the application as a
single mouse motion event. This leads to a more responsive but
less exact mouse handling.
Specifies the mouse protocol to use. The following protocols are
MS Two button mouse using the Microsoft mouse protocol.
MS3 Three button mouse using an extended Microsoft mouse
MouseMan Three button mouse using a different extension to the
Microsoft mouse protocol introduced by Logitech.
MouseSystems The most commonly used protocol for three button
PS/2 Two/three button mice of the PS/2 series.
IMPS/2 Two/three button USB mice with scrolling wheel using the
Microsoft Intellimouse protocol.
The different protocols for serial mice are described in more
detail in mouse(4).
Swaps left and right mouse buttons. Useful for left-handers.
Map the CapsLock key to Meta. Useful for users of the builtin WM
without a Meta key on the keyboard (e.g. Window key).
Ignore all non-IR Linux Input devices.
Grab Linux Input devices. When a device is grabbed only DirectFB
will receive events from it. The default is to grab.
By default DirectFB shows a mouse cursor when an application
makes use of windows. This option allows to switch the cursor
off permanently. Applications cannot enable it explicitly.
Specify the window manager to use.
Completely disables background handling. Doesn’t make much sense
since the mouse and moving windows will leave ugly traces on the
Controls the color of the background. The color is specified in
hexadecimal notation. The alpha value defaults to full opacity
and may be omitted. For example to choose a bright magenta
background, you’d use bg-color=FF00FF.
Fills the background with the given image from file. The image
is stretched to fit to the screen dimensions.
Like bg-image but tiles the image to fit to the screen
dimensions instead of stretching it.
By default DirectFB windows may be translucent. If you disable
this feature, windows are forced to be either fully opaque or
fully transparent. This is useful if your graphics card doesn’t
support alpha-transparent blits.
Enables window decorations if supported by the window manager.
Limits the amount of Video RAM used by DirectFB. The amount of
Video RAM is specified in Kilobytes.
Limits the amount if AGP memory used by DirectFB. The amount of
AGP memory is specified in Kilobytes.
If specified DirectFB will dump the screen contents in PPM
format into this directory when the <Print> key gets pressed.
Suppress loading of this module. The module name is the filename
without the libdirectfb_ prefix and without extension (for
example keyboard to disable loading of the keyboard input
Some older Matrox G400 cards have SGRAM and a number of graphics
operations are considerably faster on these cards if this
feature is enabled. Don’t try to enable it if your card doesn’t
have SGRAM! Otherwise you’d have to reboot.
If you have a dual head G400/G450/G550 you can use this option
to enable additional layers using the second head.
Controls the signal produced by the TV output of Matrox cards.
Matrox cable type (default=composite).
Use this device for the H3600 TS driver.
Use this device for the MuTouch driver.
Use this device for the PenMount driver.
Use these devices for the Linux Input driver.
Use these devices for the tslib driver.
Override the hardware revision number used by the Unichrome
Redirect videolayer to pixelpipe B.
Allows to control where window surfaces are stored. Supported
values for <policy> are:
auto DirectFB decides depending on hardware capabilities. This
is the default.
videohigh Swapping system/video with high priority.
videolow Swapping system/video with low priority.
systemonly Window surfaces are stored in system memory.
videoonly Window surfaces are stored in video memory.
Allows to control the desktop buffer mode. Whenever a window is
moved, opened, closed, resized or its contents change DirectFB
recomposites the window stack at the affected region. This is
done by blitting the windows together that are visible within
that region. Opaque windows are blitted directly while
translucent windows are blitted using alpha blending or color
keying. If there’s a back buffer the recomposition is not
visible since only the final result is copied into the front
buffer. Without a back buffer each step of the recomposition is
visible. This causes noticeable flicker unless all windows are
Supported values for <mode> are:
auto DirectFB decides depending on hardware capabilities. This
is the default. DirectFB chooses a back buffer in video memory
if the hardware supports simple blitting (copying from back to
front buffer). If there’s no acceleration at all the back buffer
is allocated in system memory since that gives much better
performance for alpha blended recomposition in software and
avoids reading from the video memory when the result is copied
to the front buffer.
backsystem The back buffer is allocated in system memory. This
is the recommend choice if your hardware supports simple
blitting but no alpha blending and you are going to have many
alpha blended windows.
backvideo Front and back buffer are allocated in video memory.
It’s not required to set this mode explicitly because the ’auto’
mode chooses it if blits are accelerated. Without accelerated
blits this mode is not recommended.
triple Like backvideo except the surface is triple buffered.
frontonly There is no back buffer. This is the best choice if
you are using opaque windows only and don’t use any color
windows Special mode with window buffers directly displayed.
This mode requires special hardware support.
Wait for the vertical retrace after flipping. The default is to
wait before doing the flip.
Disables polling for vertical retrace.
Here are some examples that demonstrates how the parameters described
above are passed to DirectFB application on the command-line.
Starts df_neo without hardware acceleration.
Lists the DirectFB options that can be passed to df_neo.
The canonical place to find informations about DirectFB is at
http://www.directfb.org/. Here you can find the FAQ, tutorials,
mailing list archives, the CVS tree and can download the latest version
of the DirectFB library as well as a number of applications.
system-wide DirectFB configuration file
per-user DirectFB configuration file
frame buffer modes file
fb.modes(5), fbset(8), mouse(4), ppm(5)