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CONSOLE(4)                 Linux Programmer's Manual                CONSOLE(4)



NAME
       console - console terminal and virtual consoles

DESCRIPTION
       A  Linux system has up to 63 virtual consoles (character devices with major number 4 and minor number 1 to 63),
       usually called /dev/ttyn with 1 <= n <= 63.  The current console is also addressed by /dev/console or  /dev/tty0,
       the character device with major number 4 and minor number 0.  The device files /dev/* are usually created using
       the script MAKEDEV, or using mknod(1), usually with mode 0622 and owner root.tty.

       Before kernel version 1.1.54 the number of virtual consoles was compiled into the  kernel  (in  tty.h:  #define
       NR_CONSOLES 8) and could be changed by editing and recompiling.  Since version 1.1.54 virtual consoles are cre-
       ated on the fly, as soon as they are needed.

       Common ways to start a process on a console are: (a) tell init(8) (in inittab(5)) to start  a  mingetty(8)  (or
       agetty(8))  on the console; (b) ask openvt(1) to start a process on the console; (c) start X -- it will find the
       first unused console, and display its output there.  (There is also the ancient doshell(8).)

       Common ways to switch consoles are: (a) use Alt+Fn or Ctrl+Alt+Fn to switch to console n; AltGr+Fn might  bring
       you  to  console  n+12  [here  Alt  and  AltGr  refer  to  the  left and right Alt keys, respectively]; (b) use
       Alt+RightArrow or Alt+LeftArrow to cycle through the presently allocated consoles; (c) use the program chvt(1).
       (The  key  mapping is user settable, see loadkeys(1); the above mentioned key combinations are according to the
       default settings.)

       The command deallocvt(1) (formerly disalloc) will free the memory taken by the screen buffers for consoles that
       no longer have any associated process.

   Properties
       Consoles  carry  a lot of state.  I hope to document that some other time.  The most important fact is that the
       consoles simulate vt100 terminals.  In particular, a console is reset to the initial state by printing the  two
       characters ESC c.  All escape sequences can be found in console_codes(4).

FILES
       /dev/console
       /dev/tty*

SEE ALSO
       chvt(1),  deallocvt(1),  loadkeys(1), mknod(1), openvt(1), console_codes(4), console_ioctl(4), tty(4), ttyS(4),
       charsets(7), agetty(8), init(8), mapscrn(8), mingetty(8), resizecons(8), setfont(8)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the project,  and  informa-
       tion about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.



Linux                             1994-10-31                        CONSOLE(4)