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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book



One of the unique things about Linux and Unix is the ability to spread work across multiple consoles. It might seem a trivial matter, especially when you come from a Windows-style environment. I mean, what use could having multiple consoles provide?

A console, in its basic definition, is simply a monitor and keyboard, analogous to the phrase terminal. In Linux you have what are termed virtual consoles (or console for short). A virtual console is another workstation or desktop (for you Windows and Mac OS people) to work in.

There is a great advantage when you run multiple programs in command-line mode. You can have several processes running, each on its own console. It helps keep you organized.

Accessing the Consoles

In most Linux distributions, the default number of consoles is set to four. You can access the consoles by pressing down on the Alt key and pressing one of several F keys (F1 through F7). For example, if you have two consoles, you would press Alt+F1 and Alt+F2 to access the consoles.

X Window

From within the X Window System, commonly known as X Window, add the Ctrl key as well to exit out of X Window and into another console.

To re-enter X Window from a command-line console, use the Alt+F7 key combination. If you go back to the console where you launched X Window, all you get is the script from the X server launch, not the actual X Window desktop.

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