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Linux: Switch: Console: How to switch the console between graphics and text? [VMWare]

May 20th, 2009 12:40
John Martin, Roj Merry, haytham ali, engatoo engatoo, Knud van Eeden,


----------------------------------------------------------------------
--- Knud van Eeden --- 12 November 2003 - 10:34 pm -------------------
Linux: Switch: Console: How to switch the console between graphics and 
text? [VMWare]
---
Method: use hotkeys:
 1. <CTRL><ALT><F1> from graphics to text
 2. <CTRL><ALT><F7> from text to graphics
 Note: it is not necessary to open a console first
---
Note:
If using VMWare, because this hot keys <CTRL><ALT> are in use and 
overtaken
by VMWare, you might choose to temporarily switch to another hot key
combination (goto VMWare, menu 'Edit'->'Preferences'->tab 'Hot keys',
enable radio button 'Ctrl-shift-alt', 'OK', suspend your VMWare 
operating system,
and resume it again, to activate). Then switch to text mode to do the
actions, and put back the old VMWare hotkeys when ready.
---
---
Method: edit the configuration file '/etc/inittab'
---
This did only work in Red Hat, Mandrake.
---
Steps: Overview:
 1. -login as root, by typing:
      su
     and give your root password
     1. edit the configuration file
         /etc/inittab
        (possibly make a backup first,
         by typing e.g.
         cp inittab inittab_bak)
     ---
     Here the vi editor is used:
      vi /etc/inittab
       then press the <INSERT> key to be able to edit the text
     2. -change line:
         id:5:initdefault:   (this means start in graphics mode)
        to the following:
         #id:5:initdefault
         id:3:initdefault:   (this means start in text mode)
     3. -Save the file:
         <ESCAPE>
         :save /etc/inittab
         (or possibly :write /etc/inittab)
         :q
         or even better just one command to save current
         file and quit, use:
         :wq
     4. -reboot Linux, to switch to this text mode
          type
          shutdown -r now
        ---
        Note: in Linux Debian v3 I could not get this method
              to work.
              I tried to change
               id:2:initdefault:
              to
               id:3:initdefault:
              and also tried to change in the file:
               /etc/lilo.conf
              the default from:
               # append=""
              to instead:
               append="video=vga16:off"
              but it did not work in first try.
           ---
           I discovered that you also can
           use in Debian (after you do
           a reboot) in the graphical
           screen the button 'Menu'.
           Use then 'Console login' for
           text (or similar <ALT><N>).
           ---
           I finally decided to use the method
           <CTRL><ALT><F1> and <CTRL><ALT><F7>
           to switch between graphics and text in
           a console.
           ---
           But in VMWare <CTRL><ALT> is a hot
           key, so will take over if you try that.
           ---
           So I changed first the default settings
           in VMWare menu 'Edit'->'Preferences'->
           tab 'Hotkeys', enable radio button
           'Ctrl-Shift-Alt'->'OK'.
           You will have to pause your Linux,
           and quit VMWare to make this active.
           After that do the <CTRL><ALT><F1> in
           a console to install VMWare tools.
           ---
           Remember that you now have to use
           <CTRL><ALT><SHIFT> to switch between
           Linux and Windows.
           ---
 4. -you will now be in text mode, and presented with the option
     to login
 5. -login as root again
      su
 6. -Do further actions
 7. -Then reboot or use <CTRL><F7> to switch back to
     graphics mode and put it back in the former state.
 8. Let Linux start again automatically in graphics mode,
    by editing the /etc/inittab file again:
  1. -login as root
       su
  2. -edit /etc/inittab
       vi /etc/inittab
  3. -change line
       id:3:initdefault:   (this means start in text mode)
      to
       id:5:initdefault:   (this means start in graphics mode)
  4. -save the file:
       <ESCAPE>
       :save /etc/inittab
       :q
 9. reboot your Linux in VMWare
---
---
Method: use the 'telinit' command
Steps: Overview:
 1. -In graphics mode, open a console
 2. -To switch to text mode, type the command:
      telinit 3
 3. -To switch back to graphics mode, type the command
       telinit 5
      or similarly
       startx
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---
Tested in:
Linux Debian v3: command 'telinit 3' exists, but does not do anything
                 here immediately, it might work
Linux Mandrake v9: 'telinit 3' works, and goes to text mode, but hangs
                   my VMWare Mandrake v9, and I had to restart it
Linux Red Hat v9: does not work ('telinit' is an unknown command)
Linux Slackware v9:
Linux SuSE v9: works OK
Linux Turbolinux v8: command 'telinit 3' exists, but does not do
                     anything here immediately, it might work
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