I pressed Ctrl+Alt+F3 by a mistake and then my computer showed a fullscreen terminal asking for my password and username, How do I get out of that?


1 Answer 1


Linux systems come with a bunch of virtual terminals, or VTs. Your graphical user interface on Ubuntu runs on VT7, and VT1 to VT6 allow you to login via command line.

You switched to VT3. Press Ctrl+Alt+F7 to get back.

From 17.10 onwards VT1 is used for the display manager ("login screen"), the standard X session uses VT2. Hence we have VT3 as the first usable VT.

Also see Why is my GDM at a different TTY than my desktop environment? for more about the origin of this change.

  • Yes, sorry, I mean Alt. In fact, s/Ctrl/Alt/ in my previous comment. Alt is always needed, it's Ctrl that isn't and it's Alt+right arrow that cycles. I deleted my previous comment since it was misleading.
    – terdon
    Nov 8, 2014 at 19:22
  • Fair enough, apparently I forget it all the time too :)
    – terdon
    Nov 8, 2014 at 19:32
  • 1
    Not always on VT7. One of my machines always gets Xorg to VT8 for some reason. So if Ctrl+Alt+F7 doesn't work (gives black screen or some text instead of GUI), try Ctrl+Alt+F8.
    – Ruslan
    Nov 8, 2014 at 19:40
  • I always end up force shutting down my computer. Now i know what to do. Thank you!
    – userino
    Nov 8, 2014 at 21:15
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    Footnote: I know this is an Ubuntu forum, but for any Fedora users who end up here -- you wanna switch to VT2, not VT7: Ctrl+Alt+F2 Oct 19, 2015 at 13:18

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