I'm new to Ubuntu..

I'm not sure what just happened, but the screen just went black with the text: Ubuntu 11.10 "my computer name" tty4

and I was asked to log on.

It happened when I closed Chrome (Alt+F4). This is the second time it has happened, and I cant make it go away :) Even if I log on. Only thing that works is to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, which makes my PC restart.

Any idea what is causing this?


2 Answers 2


Looks like you accidentally switched to the text console, that does no harm at all as long as you know how to return to your desktop. Did you accidentally hit Ctrl+Alt+F4? In that case you can return to your desktop hitting Ctrl+Alt+F7.

There are usually 6 text consoles (F1 - F6) but most users aren't even aware of them. They're extremely useful for troubleshooting, but otherwise barely used these years. I think the main use is in servers with usually no GUI (graphical user interface) available.

  • 1
    So helpful! Just want to note that on Linux Mint 14 I had to press Ctrl + Alt + F8 actually.
    – m_floer
    Aug 8, 2013 at 23:51
  • I had the same problem...I want to clarify that I had to use Ctrl + Fn + Super (? - key with Windows logo) + F7 on my laptop running Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Feb 19, 2017 at 11:23
  • Super+F4 and Super+F7 do it for me. Lubuntu 16.04.3 LTS. It's rather unfortunate because my Super is next to Alt, which makes it easy to fat-finger Alt+F4, intending to close the foreground window.
    – AaronD
    Jan 7, 2018 at 0:16
  • If you are on Ubuntu 20.04 this won't work. I followed @Tripatpal Singh's answer to this question: askubuntu.com/a/1058896/866008 Jul 17, 2021 at 13:55

The shortcut including the F7 key didn’t work for me in Ubuntu 18.04. Instead, Ctrl+Alt+F1 worked to get back.

  • Works on Windows 10 as well, thank you! Dec 30, 2019 at 21:51
  • Works on Ubuntu 20 as well. Jul 17, 2021 at 13:52

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