The system console is an interface used by human to control the computer. Basically, it consists of a keyboard and a monitor that can provide a text user interface.

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What is the exact difference between a 'terminal', a 'shell', a 'tty' and a 'console'?

I think these terms almost refer to the same thing, when used loosely: terminal shell tty console What exactly does each of these terms refer to?
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2answers
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Linux: Difference between /dev/console , /dev/tty and /dev/tty0

On a Linux system, what is the difference between /dev/console, /dev/tty and /dev/tty0? What is their respective use and how do they compare?
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7answers
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Disable screen blanking on text console

I'm running linux clusters, mostly on SLES10. The servers are mostly blades, accessed via remote console. There is a real console in the server room, but switched off. I would like to disable the ...
35
votes
5answers
37k views

How to clear terminal completely?

When we use clear command or Ctrl+L in terminal, it clears terminal but we can still scroll back to view the last used commands. Is there a way to completely clear the terminal?
34
votes
2answers
14k views

Fix terminal after displaying a binary file

I'd tried command cat with an executable file: cat /bin/ls Now I can't read any word in this terminal (Linux console). How can I fix it?
33
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1answer
1k views

What happens when Ctrl + Alt + F<Num> is pressed?

I am looking for an explanation of what happens in Linux when this key combination is pressed to change the current terminal. In particular, what software component intercepts this key combination and ...
27
votes
2answers
47k views

Refresh env variables after editing bashrc file

I frequently edited the .bashrc file to export new environment variables. Rather than close the console and start a new one to refresh the env variables, is there a convenient way to refresh?
21
votes
2answers
18k views

How to colorize output of ls ?

I'm running CentOS in Linux text mode. When I run the command ls /usr/, the output is too hard to read (dark blue on black). How can I change the text coloring?
20
votes
2answers
17k views

why there are six getty processes running on my desktop?

My desktop system is: $ uname -a Linux xmachine 3.0.0-13-generic #22-Ubuntu SMP Wed Nov 2 13:25:36 UTC 2011 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux By running ps a | grep getty, I get this output: 900 tty4 ...
20
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2answers
707 views

Is it possible to save Linux virtual console content and scrollback in a file?

I have a long-term running script and I forgot to redirect its output to a file. I can see it in a terminal, but can I save it to a file? I'm not asking for tee, output redirection (e.g. >, ...
19
votes
3answers
8k views

How to get fewer ttys with Systemd?

In the old days I just modified /etc/inittab. Now, with systemd, it seems to start tty[1-6] automatically, how should I disable tty[4-6]? Looks like there's only one systemd service file, and it use ...
17
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9answers
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Best way to use a shell with Cygwin in Windows 7

I installed Cygwin, to be disappointed that bash by default runs within "cmd.exe". I googled around and found Console2. It's not a particularly well-designed application, as doing adjustments is ...
17
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5answers
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Is there any reason why I get ^[[A when I press up arrow at the console login screen?

Whenever I'm at the console login, I press up arrow intentionally to see the previously typed commands. But I see this ^[[A. But when I press Ctrl Alt Print Screen Scroll Lock Pause Break Page Up ...
17
votes
4answers
69k views

Command line to return to the GUI after Ctrl-Alt-F1?

I'm unable to return to the GUI with Ctrl-Alt-F7 (or any of the 12 function keys). I have some unsaved work and I don't want to lose them. Are there any other key combinations that will allow me to ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I configure bash to execute “clear” before every command typed in the console?

I would like to configure bash to execute clear command every time I type some command in the terminal (before executing my command). How can I do that? I'm using Debian Linux.
17
votes
3answers
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How to set the resolution in text consoles (troubleshoot when any `vga=…` fails)

It is a common way to set the resolution of a text consoles (that are usually available by Ctrl-Alt-F1 thru Ctrl-Alt-F6) by using a vga=... kernel parameter. I'm using Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid, output of ...
16
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2answers
5k views

What does raw/unraw keyboard mode mean?

In the magic sysrq key combinations, there is the combination alt+sysrq+r which, according to wikipedia, does the following: Switch the keyboard from raw mode, the mode used by programs such as ...
14
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2answers
50k views

Can I change the font of terminal?

I have a Unix-like OS installed without desktop. Is it possible to change the font of the terminal?
13
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4answers
9k views

use mosh without giving up local scrollback / history?

Is there a way to use mosh without giving up the local scrollback? Basically, in some circumstances, IP-roaming is indeed useful and needed, but the extra terminal emulation and key prediction seems ...
12
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2answers
4k views

Adjusting keyboard sensitivity in a command line terminal?

When using a tty login shell by entering Ctrl-Alt-F1 from an Ubuntu 12.04 install on a laptop the keyboard seems overly sensitive and if my finger lingers for a moment on a button I end up with ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

How to define a Compose Key in terminal (no desktop environment)?

I would like to define a compose key on my system (Debian Sid "Wheezy"). I have no Xorg (and don't want any desktop environment). Only in terminal. I would like to set it up on my Alt-Gr key (right ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

TTY On External Monitor

When using my laptop at home, I usually use an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse with my laptop's screen as a second monitor. This is all easily configured using a nice GNOME utility that I ...
11
votes
4answers
14k views

How to get file to a host when all you have is a serial console?

When all you have is a serial console (say via telnet through a terminal server), what methods can be used to transfer files in/out of a host? Cut/paste works for the small/printable stuff and I've ...
11
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7answers
2k views

Options to show images when on the console

When I am on the console (the tty, the virtual terminal, which you reach with Ctrl+Alt+F1-6, not a terminal emulator), what options do I have to view images, tiff, whatever that's not text?
10
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2answers
939 views

Can I save output from a previous terminal command using only the keyboard?

I just spent the last two hours running a dd command (or picture any similar "difficult to re-do" scenario) from a live CD without a GUI; all I have is my trusty "multi-window" (CTRL+ALT+F#) Bash ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I let an SDL app (not running as root) use the console

I want to use an SDL-based program to display graphics on the console, without having to log on from the console, and without running the program as root. For example, I want to be able to run it via ...
10
votes
1answer
879 views

Redirect linux console on boot

Is it possible on boot to redirect the console output to a screen session? The server has no monitor attached, and I'd like to be able to see the primary console output. I've seen other posts about ...
9
votes
3answers
13k views

How do I change the screen font size when using a virtual console?

Using LDXE and Ubuntu, I can log into a virtual console via Ctrl+Alt+F1. The text is far too small. How do I change the screen resolution to get a larger font?
9
votes
4answers
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How do I connect a serial terminal to a KVM instance?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what KVM is capable of, but the ability to add/remove hardware on the VM seems to imply I can add a serial port that then acts as a terminal. So, my questions are: ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

Viewing system console messages in GUI

Under Linux, is it possible to view error messages that show up on the text mode terminal while in GUI mode, instead of having to press Ctrl+Alt+F1 or Ctrl+Alt+F2 to view the messages every time and ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

How to log to file and to console

I know that I can log to file by adding > log.txt to the end of a command but how can I log to file AND to console?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Detect if running in a virtual terminal?

I'd like to autologin to tty1 on login and then use vlock to lock it. How can I detect from Bash if the current terminal is a console virtual terminal (e.g. tty1), so that I can put the vlock line ...
8
votes
1answer
325 views

How do I prevent system information from being displayed on a terminal?

I'm working on a curses GUI that is supposed to start up automatically on boot-up in the default linux terminal (I have no X server installed). I have this working great, but I have a problem where ...
8
votes
3answers
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Show a notification across all running X displays

Using the command line, I'd like show a notification on every running X display. ( and running console ) Something like: notify-send-all 'Warning' 'Nuclear launch in 5 minutes, please evacuate' Is ...
8
votes
2answers
875 views

How to disable Alt-Arrow switching of Virtual Consoles?

The following happens on different Linuces: When I'm in a virtual console, hold Alt and press ← or →, the virtual ttys cycle. This is really annoying as I'm using fish-shell which also uses this key ...
8
votes
3answers
15k views

How to change cursor shape, color, and blinkrate of Linux Console?

I know I can change some fundamental settings of the Linux console, things like fonts, for instance, with dpkg-reconfigure console-setup. But I'd like to change things like blinkrate, color, and ...
8
votes
1answer
847 views

Why do we need so many terminal emulator packages and what is their use?

This is something that has been so confusing to me for a long time. I am using Linux but I have gaps in my understanding of certain aspects and one is about the terminal. As I came to understand it ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I permanently change the console TTY font type so it holds after reboot?

I'm running Ubuntu 15.04 64-bit Desktop Edition (A Debian based Linux). I used sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup from the command line to change the default console font type to Terminus. ...
8
votes
1answer
304 views

How to Pass High Resolution from GRUB2 to FreeBSD?

I boot FreeBSD-10-RELEASE from GRUB2. I have set up the GRUB2 boot menu to display very nicely at my laptop's max resolution of 1024x768x32. I know it's possible to pass this resolution to the boot ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

How to list console and kernel fonts?

I have a number of console fonts installed in /lib/kbd/consolefonts/ installed. How do I list them (obviously all I can do, is just look at the filenames, but not at a list at available fonts). How ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Shutdown from login prompt in tty

Suppose I boot a Linux machine without GUI. When it displays a tty login prompt, can I shutdown the machine with a keyboard sequence? Of course I could type in my username and password and then sudo ...
7
votes
7answers
27k views

Console tool to test internet bandwidth

I'm looking for a tool that will test my internet connection bandwidth and create an simple report like speedtest does. Do you know some program/tool that do this? Something with CentOS packages ...
7
votes
2answers
9k views

Setting console font in vconsole.conf does not work (systemd)

I am trying to set a different default console font for my new Arch Linux installation (using systemd). I set up my vconsole.conf in /etc as so: KEYMAP=us FONT=Lat2-Terminus16 I rebooted and saw ...
7
votes
2answers
29k views

How Do You Pass VGA/VESA Modes with GRUB2?

One of my machines has a 3 TB HD setup to triple boot into Mint 14 (Ubuntu 12.10 variant), Slackware 14.1 and Arch Linux. The HD is formatted using the GPT/Guid system. The Grub2 technically "belongs" ...
7
votes
2answers
666 views

How to determine the current color of the console output?

I know that, if a coloured terminal is available, one can colour the output of it using escape characters. But is there a possibility to find out, which colour the output is currently being displayed ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Tmux output is slower when vertical splits exist: why?

When I use Tmux and split the window into panes, I notice that programs are quite a bit slower to print out lines of text when there is vertical split (two panes side by side) than when there is a ...
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3answers
3k views

How can I check which terminal definitions are available?

The bulk of the question is in title, but to elaborate a little: On most Linuxes I can find /usr/share/terminfo -type f. But on Solaris machine I have nearby - this directory doesn't even exist. I ...
7
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1answer
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Read what is written to /dev/tty*

How can I read what is written to /dev/tty*(* = 0 - number of tty)? I tried sudo tail -f /dev/tty1 on one terminal(X) and then sudo cp .emacs /dev/tty1 from another. X didn't show the the content of ...
7
votes
3answers
848 views

Font getting reset in virtual console on GNU/Linux

I have set a custom font on my virtual console (vt1) using the following command: shell> setfont ter-114f If I switch to X (using Ctrl+Alt+F7) and come back to the virtual console (using ...
7
votes
2answers
132 views

switching between shells, stops the music that is currently playing

While I was listening to music I changed the virtual console using Ctrl+Alt+F2, and suddenly the music was paused. Returning back to the console that runs the X server Ctrl+Alt+F7 or logging in to ...