3.3 Virtual Consoles

3.3 Virtual Consoles

The final stage of the boot process starts one or more programs that allow you to log in to the system console. Linux has two primary display modes: console (text) mode, and an X Window System server (graphics mode, usually via a display manager). The kernel boots in console mode, but on most distributions the system switches over to graphics mode near when the rc*.d commands complete.

Linux has several virtual consoles . Each virtual console may run in graphics or text mode. When in text mode, you can switch between consoles with an ALT-Function key combination ” for example, ALT-F1 takes you to /dev/tty1 , ALT-F2 goes to /dev/tty2 , and so on.

A virtual console used by XFree86 in graphics mode is slightly different. Rather than getting a virtual console assignment directly from /etc/inittab , an XFree86 server takes over a free virtual console. For example, if you have getty processes running on tty1 and tty2 , a new XFree86 server takes over tty3 . In addition, after XFree86 puts a virtual console into graphics mode, you must normally press a CONTROL-ALT-Function key combination to switch to another virtual console instead of the simpler ALT-Function key combination.

The upshot of all of this is that if you want to see your text console after your system boots, press CONTROL-ALT-F1. To get back to the X11 session, press ALT-F2, ALT-F3, and so on, until you get to the X session.

How Linux Works
How Linux Works: What Every Superuser Should Know
ISBN: 1593270356
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 189
Authors: Brian Ward

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