You'll have to bare with my my Linux terminology is pretty bad. When I say virtual terminal I'm talking about when you press ctrl+alt+ a function key (F1-F12). I think they are called virtual terminals.

So I found this snippet that allows you to start an X application in another terminal.

/usr/bin/xinit /opt/someAppFolder/SomeApplication -- :1

I found it in a form that allows you to run Steam in another terminal so you can easily switch out of your full screen games back to your desktop.

But what I want to do is from my desktop terminal (tty7) launch a application (that does not require X) in another terminal. I know I can switch to another terminal, login, then run the app. But can I write a script to do that? So all I need to do is click a shortcut?


Use openvt. Note that you'll need to be root, because the terminal devices belong to root unless a user is logged in.

openvt -c 8 myapp

Add the option -s if you want to switch to vt 8 when the openvt command is run.

  • Thanks I also found out "chvt N" (N being the terminal number) lets you change virtual terminals! Thanks! – Jerinaw Feb 11 '15 at 4:53

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