How to run a virtual terminal in Linux/Unix

13 May 2023 3 minutes Author: Lady Liberty

Linux/Unix virtual terminal

Linux is a multi-user system that allows many users to work on it at the same time. Unix is a family of portable, multitasking, and multiuser operating systems that are based on the ideas of the original AT&T Unix project developed in the 1970s. From the beginning, Unix was intended for programmers, for those involved in web development. Unlike Unix history, Linux has its own path of OS development. Linux is a family of free and open source operating systems. Unix is a commercial product offered by various vendors, each with its own variant, usually designed for its own hardware. It is expensive and closed code. The development of Unix began in the late 1960s, at first the system was developed together with MIT and General Electric, but then some developers decided to make their own OS, and in 1970 it was named Unix, then it was rewritten in the C programming language.

Since then, the OS began to be distributed both for free and on a commercial basis. New editions and variants appeared, BSD was the most popular. In turn, Linux is similar in its functions to Unix, but completely different in its code base. This operating system was made from two projects, one of which is GNU and the other is the Linux kernel. The goal of such a project is to create a system similar to Unix itself, but which would not depend on it. In other words, it was necessary to create an OS that was freely distributed and could be modified without restrictions. Linux was developed under the influence of the Minix system, the successor Unix, but the code base was written from scratch.

Now let’s learn a little more about them…
Virtual terminals are similar to the terminals you’ve used so far. They are used to execute commands and prompt input. The only difference is that you cannot use a mouse with virtual terminals. So you need to know the keyboard shortcuts.

Starting a virtual terminal

There are usually six virtual terminals (by default) in the Linux operating system, and you can log into them as different users to perform different tasks. Follow the steps below to start a virtual terminal.

1) Press Ctrl+Alt+F1.

2) Enter your user ID and password.

3) Now the virtual terminal is ready to work.

Navigation through virtual terminals

You can navigate between the 6 virtual terminals using the following command.

Ctrl + Alt + F (from 1 to 6)

F1 is the first and F6 is the last virtual terminal.

You can work on them all at the same time. Which virtual terminal you are running on, note the tty listed above.

tty is the number of the teletype, which can also be found by typing the command “tty”.

The seventh terminal

The 7th terminal is the one we used for the Linux tutorials. It can be accessed by pressing the given key combination.

Ctrl + Alt + F7

Shortcuts of the virtual terminal

These are some keyboard shortcuts to keep in mind when working on virtual terminals



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