Linux: How to use Virtual Console

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

In Linux, there are virtual consoles.

Ctrl+Alt+F1
Switch to virtual console.
Ctrl+Alt+F7
Exit back to desktop (X11). (on Ubuntu linux, at least.)
Ctrl+Alt+
Switch to previous virtual console, or to X11.
Ctrl+Alt+
Switch to next virtual console, or to X11.

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

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

Virtual Console 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 console.

Linux Shell Basics

Sys Admin

Bash/Terminal

Linux Desktop