You know how you can jump into a full-screen terminal via Ctrl+Alt+F7, but is there a way to have a possible DUAL terminal mode?

Something that would provide you with 2 terminals (or more) in a cli interface? Something that you either boot into instead of the GUI, or just jump out of the GUI (like the F7 thing).

  • 2
    I think what you are looking for "terminal multiplexers" like tmux or byobu? – Byte Commander Jul 9 at 22:22
  • yes, I think so – DPS Jul 9 at 22:44
  • is there any way that you can edit that to say F1 instead of F7? I got that wrong obviously lol. F7 allows you to exit back into the GUI. Sorry. I would, but I dont know how you edited it to look like that the first time lol – DPS Jul 9 at 22:50
  • F2*. Sorry, I got it wrong again – DPS Jul 9 at 23:03

When you press Ctrl+Alt+F7, you're switching to a different tty or virtual console.

These virtual consoles work much like a Terminal, such as gnome-terminal or xterm, except they aren't loaded by your Windows Manager, and you will likely need to login to them. Be warned, if you login and fail to log out, that tty will stay active and someone else can just switch over and use it.

That means that just like you can use other tools, such as screen or tmux to multiplex your terminal, you can do so in your tty. One of the benefits from using one of these multiplexers is that they support multiple 'tabs', have ways to have multiple shells or terminals in a single tty or terminal window (your goals) as well as support resuming of the session later. There a lot of guides on how to use both screen and tmux, but I would recommend you taking a look at The Tao of tmux, as that is very detailed and doesn't assume you know a lot about everything else. There are images there that will help explain how you can split your tty into multiple terminals, and how to switch between them.

If you wish to automate something for when you login, you will want to look into how sourcing files at login, such as ~/.bashrc, ~/.profile and other shell initialization files work, while also looking into how others have solved similar problems.

Without more specifics, I hope that this helps explain that you can use a multiplexer that supports splitting to accomplish your goal.

  • This was exactly the answer that I've been searching for! Thank you, so much. I'm starting the book you recommended now! Cheers! – DPS Jul 9 at 22:48
  • No worries. If you're not using a GUI, these ttys are great, but if you're using Windows Manager/X11, I'd recommend looking into using a multiplexer in a terminal emulator in your GUI and using that in full screen and on a different workspace vs playing with ttys but that's for you to decide. Best of luck. – earthmeLon Jul 9 at 22:51
  • thank you! I was really just looking for a way to have the choice to jump into something more light weight and easier to use, but i still wanted to be able to have the convenience of switching back to the GUI for things like managing networks and stuff... but want to 95% of the time be inside of the terminal – DPS Jul 9 at 22:59
  • If you like tiling your terminal, you may like a tiling windows manager to tile your tiled terminals :D i3wm – earthmeLon Jul 9 at 23:03
  • I've heard about that, I think I'll go check it out! Oh man... I just figured out that you can press ctrl+alt+f1-f2-f3-f4-f5 for DIFFERENT tty's. I feel so dumb now – DPS Jul 9 at 23:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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