If you start the X server, you will always switch to the VT where it is started. You cannot start X on VT 1, but stay on VT 2, you will switch to VT 1. You can pass the -novtswitch option which affects what happens when the X server is stopped. With this option, stopping VT is done without the VT switch.

Why is this not possible to start the X server without switching VT?

  • X need to use an unused empty VT - the first is usually the ones on F7 or F8. The other VTs (F1 through F6) will then be busy running getty, login or a shell (eg. bash), depending on if you've logged-in or not. It's a bit different for new systems using systemd instead of init, but also here VTs will have been marked reserved to be used for log-ins, thus they are already taken. I suppose it should be possible to start X without switching VT, but starting X seems to require screen-mode changes that steal focus thus switches VT. – Baard Kopperud Sep 5 at 0:02
  • @BaardKopperud On modern Linux systems, X does not need an empty VT. It can run on the same VT as a console login. – Gilles Sep 5 at 10:48

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