How to use the virtual console on modern Linux distributions.

The virtual consoles are six virtual terminals that allow the Linux user to administer their Linux system in a text-only environment. If you are on your Linux desktop, press Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to the first virtual terminal.

Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 framebuffer console.
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 framebuffer console.

Use the Alt-F2 key combination to get to the next virtual console. Or you may hold Alt and use the arrow keys to navigate backwards and forth.

The /etc/inittab file used to be used to control the virtual terminals, but now systemd has taken over. There is a guide here on how to add another virtual terminal with systemd: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Systemd#How_do_I_change_the_number_of_gettys_running_by_default.3F.

The virtual consoles are very useful for running many commands on one Linux system. This allows you to have many screens open and switch between them to perform various tasks.

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