Linux: Virtual Terminal

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

In Linux, there are virtual consoles (aka virtual terminal).

Switch to virtual terminal.
Exit back to desktop (X11). (on Ubuntu linux, at least.)
Switch to previous virtual terminal, or to X11.
Switch to next virtual terminal, or to X11.

Ctrl+Alt+F1 to Ctrl+Alt+F6 are all virtual terminals.

What is the use of Virtual Terminal? Why not just the terminal?

Virtual Terminal is useful in situations when you need to bypass the GUI (X11) system.

For example, when X11 crashed or frozen.

For example, for getting scancode of a key press, showkey --scancodes works only when in virtual terminal.