When on GDM login screen, Ctrl+Alt+F3 ... F7 does not work. After logging into GNOME desktop, then Ctrl+Alt+F1 will bring me to GDM, F2 back to GNOME, and F3 to F7 to a TTY terminal.

But before I log into GNOME, I'm unable to switch to a terminal. Trying to do so even results in loosing my trackpad and no more control over the mouse pointer.

So are tty3 to tty7 (or more?) available when on GDM before logging into GNOME? If so, how to access them? If not, why, and how can I enable them?


2 Answers 2


The actual used tty consoles have changed around with the introduction of Wayland and 17.10. Now tty1 always contains the login screen, and tty2 contains your actual loaded session.

So use Ctrl+Alt+F3 up to Ctrl+Alt+F7 for getting to an actual unused tty and use Ctrl+Alt+F2 to go back to GUI.


Get a wired Internet connection, the following steps will work like charm for you :

  1. start your machine then immediately upon start of boot begin to repeatedly tap shift key until the purple grub menu appears

  2. use down arrow key to move cursor to "Advanced options" for Ubuntu then hit enter

  3. choose one saying "recovery mode" and hit enter

  4. now at screen called " Recovery Menu" use arrow keys to move down to "option root Drop to root shell prompt" then hit enter

  5. type this at the terminal :

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

    then press enter

  6. enter your password if it asked and hit enter

  7. reboot and try to login

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