I'm using 12.04, I accidentally used Ctl-Alt-F9 and got a black full screen with command line cursor (Terminal). How can I go back to the normal Unity screen?

  • Another way, just press Alt + right or left arrow couple times, until you get out of gui. Ubuntu by default has like 6 black screens (ttys), and 7th is the gui Feb 4, 2015 at 9:28

2 Answers 2


Press Ctl + Alt + F7, that is the default graphical tty.

Linux systems use to have 12 terminals: 6 for text (Ctl + Alt + F1 to F6) and 6 for graphical (Ctl + Alt + F7 to F12)

  • To provide a little more information, Ctl+Alt+F1-F6 are your tty terminals. I'm not sure the purpose of F9. desgua has the right answer, though. +1
    – JasCav
    May 2, 2012 at 0:23
  • F9 is for graphical.
    – desgua
    May 2, 2012 at 0:26
  • 6
    Note that Ctrl is only needed if you're in the GUI; once you hit a text console, you can switch between them with just Alt+F1-F7.
    – roadmr
    May 8, 2012 at 22:42
  • 4
    On LinuxMint it is CTRL+ALT+F8
    – mv288
    Nov 26, 2012 at 8:20

Ctrl+Alt+F7 did not work for me, here are the alternatives:

  1. For those who have a Fn button, try Ctrl+Alt+Fn+F7
  2. if all fails, try the command: chvt 7
  • doesn;t work in my case! please check this askubuntu.com/questions/1186897/… Nov 7, 2019 at 10:07
  • 1
    Ctrl+Alt+F1 helped me to return GUI back on Ubuntu 18.04 when I accidentally pressed Ctrl+Alt+F9. Jul 12, 2020 at 8:14
  • You need press additional because your keyboard has other Function given to the Fn's keys like volume, screen refreshing and brightness settings I do guess. Aug 1, 2020 at 16:06

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