The virtual console on a Linux box is a good way to access the command line on a UNIX or Linux system. There are a few virtual consoles available on a machine. Press Ctrl-Alt-F2 to access the virtual console. Hold the Alt key and use the arrow keys to switch between virtual consoles. There is a wide range of console fonts available for the console. There is an easy way to change them. This way the console can be personalized. Issuing the
tty command as a normal user will tell you which virtual console you are on.
The fgconsole command is also an alternative. This will print the number of the virtual console you are using. The
chvt 3 command will switch the user to virtual console number 3. The text console is a distraction free environment if the user is a writer and needs a quiet screen to fill with text. The Music On Console, or moc player is a lightweight music player that may be used on the virtual console. Midnight Commander is a nice file manager. Allowing easy management of files and editing text for programming and/or editing configuration files.
The origin of the term TTY is TeleTYpewriter. These were a printer with a keyboard attached. The user would type a command and hit enter and the output would be on paper, not a screen. I have added a video below that shows a TeleTYpewriter in action.