Linux / UNIX: Virtual consoles (VC)

September 8, 2019

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Q. Can you explain the term Virtual Consoles and elaborate the usage of the same?

A. Under FreeBSD, Linux, or UNIX the virtual console (VC) allows a user to have multiple logins without using X windows GUI system. It is also known as virtual terminal (VT)

Linux has 6 VC

It is a combination of the keyboard and the display for a user interface. The concrete combination is the system console of the computer, where the user can switch between the virtual consoles to access multiple unrelated user interfaces. Usually in Linux, the first six virtual consoles provide a text terminal with a login prompt to a unix shell. The graphical X Window System starts in the seventh virtual console. To access 6 terminal press and hold [CTRL] + [ALT]+F{1,2,3,4,5,6}. For example press CTRL+Alt+F1 (or ALT+F1) to access the virtual console number 1.

Access X GUI system

To access X GUI system press CTRL+ALT+F7.

Other options for VC/VT

GNU Screen is a program that can change between several text-mode programs in one textual login.

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.