Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I keep hearing about these things known as tty's.

  • what are they

  • how can I access them

  • what do they do?

share|improve this question
Here is the link that should answer your question: askubuntu.com/questions/27339/what-is-tty7-in-the-commandline –  Wojciech Oct 14 '11 at 14:37

1 Answer 1

up vote 16 down vote accepted

tty is one of those funky Unix commands that prints (or, displays) to standard output the name of the terminal connected to standard input.

These are commonly used as a way to get access to the computer to fix things, without actually logging into a possibly b0rked desktop.

Related: What is tty7 in the commandline?

By default Ubuntu has 7 tty's.

1-6 are command line only, 7 runs your X session (your normal desktop).

To access them, use this keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl + Alt + F1

(changing F1 to F1-F6 to access the terminal that you need)

To get back to your X session (the normal desktop),

Ctrl + Alt + F7

share|improve this answer
Sir you have mentioned " to F1-F6 to access the terminal that you need" , how they are different and how to use them as per to need ,what kind of need is supported to which terminal. I dont know if it is the right place but your question and answer pointed it for me. –  Sushantp606 Nov 30 '13 at 12:40
actually, if you are not in an X session, you can type just Alt+F7, you don't need the Ctrl. –  fonini Dec 27 '14 at 4:19

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.