Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I key in ctl-alt-f[1..12], I am taken to VT1[ ..12] (Virtual Terminal 1..12). This works wherever I am. From a Virtual Terminal that is not running a graphical environment, shift-alt-f[1..12] takes me to Virtual Terminal [13..24]. However, if I use the same key-combination from any Virtual Termial that is running a graphical environment - Gnome, KDE, XFCE or LXDE, these key combinations are simply ignored. It doesn't matter which VT the graphical environment is running in, the keystrokes are still sent to that great bit-bucket in the sky. What is happening here - is the X-server somehow eating these keystrokes? Is there any way I can get X-server not to eat them?

share|improve this question

Yes, the X server wants the ctrl added to switch VTs. Hold down ctrl if you are on a VT running X.

share|improve this answer

Not completely sure I understand. Ctrl-alt-f[1-6] take you to non-graphical VTs. ctrl-alt-f[7-9] take you to graphical VTs.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.