My question is quite simple. I was told that Linux machine launches different tty's, and they can be accessed by using Ctrl+Alt+F1-12. I found this:

  • F2 brings me to my desktop environment
  • F3-6 brings me to what it should - a console proposing me to log in
  • F7-12 brings me to the same looking console, but it's empty
  • F1 is a weird one. When I press Ctrl+Alt+F1 from my desktop environment, my monitor stops receiving signal from my PC, and signal returns after switching tty back. When I press the same combination from another tty, I see Ubuntu's login page with all users on my machine (I did not try to login again from there yet, I just return back with Ctrl+Alt+F2).

So, why are F7-12 consoles empty and why does F1 behave in such a weird way?

UPD: I checked those F3-6 consoles: they work pretty fine.

I also checked F7-12: they are empty (I only see a blinking pointer) and they don't take any input from keyboard.

And then I discovered that simply Alt+F1 is enough to go from F3-12 to that login screen, while inside my desktop environment Alt+F1 seems to work pretty much like 'Activities' button in a top-left corner.

marked as duplicate by karel, Videonauth, pomsky, N0rbert, muru Jun 22 '18 at 6:02

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  • 4
    Possible duplicate of Switching between console and GUI and Why so many Virtual consoles? (for information about how to access tty7-tty12 read Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy's answer) – karel Jun 21 '18 at 10:50
  • @karel Well, so are there now only 4 consoles besides a one occupied by desktop environment by default? And before 17.10 there were 6, am I right? – Dmitriy M. Jun 21 '18 at 11:00
  • That's right, but you can open more than the default number of virtual consoles. – karel Jun 21 '18 at 11:02
  • OK then. Many thanks! Now I just want to find out what does the Ctrl+Alt+F1 combination do and why my monitor stops receiving signal. – Dmitriy M. Jun 21 '18 at 11:11
  • 2
    In Ubuntu 17.10 and later, tty1 (accessed by Ctrl+Alt+F1) contains the login screen, and tty2 (accessed by Ctrl+Alt+F2) contains your actual loaded graphical session. The reason why Ctrl+Alt+F1 goes to a black screen is that you were already logged in and you didn't log out before you pressed Ctrl+Alt+F1. – karel Jun 21 '18 at 11:25

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