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This question already has an answer here:

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?

marked as duplicate by αғsнιη, Rmano, Takkat, Wilf, Eric Carvalho Nov 8 '14 at 23:08

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Linux systems come with a bunch of virtual terminals, or VTs. Your graphical user interface on Ubuntu runs on VT 7, and VT 1 to VT 6 allow you to login via command line.

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

  • 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 '14 at 19:22
  • Fair enough, apparently I forget it all the time too :) – terdon Nov 8 '14 at 19:32
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    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 '14 at 19:40
  • I always end up force shutting down my computer. Now i know what to do. Thank you! – userino Nov 8 '14 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 – Hayden Schiff Oct 19 '15 at 13:18

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