How to Switch TTY

TTYs in Linux, named after teletypewriters, are separate virtual terminals on the computer. A Linux system creates multiple virtual terminals when it boots, allowing a user to use several terminals at once without needing to run a graphical desktop environment. Each terminal has its own user login prompt and shell. TTYs can even be accessed from other hardware devices connected to the Linux system. You can switch between TTYs using a keyboard shortcut or by executing a command. Most Linux distributions create TTYs 1 to 6 as text shells and reserve TTY 7 for the graphical desktop environment.

Keyboard Shortcut

Step

Press and hold “Ctrl” and “Alt” at the same time.

Step

Press the “F” key corresponding to the TTY you want to switch to. For example, press “F1” to switch to TTY 1 or “F2” to switch to TTY 2.

Step

Return to the graphical desktop environment by pressing “Ctrl,” “Alt” and “F7” at the same time.

Command

Step

Open a terminal by clicking “Applications,” “Accessories” and “Terminal.”

Step

Type “chvt #,” replacing “#” with the number of the TTY you want to switch to, and press “Enter.”

Step

Return to the graphical desktop by typing “chvt 7” into a terminal and press “Enter.”