I am running Ubuntu Gnome 16.10 with gnome-shell 3.20.4.
I usually see my graphic interface run on TTY7. But now (new install) I see GDM run on TTY1 and my graphic interface on TTY2. Why GDM and gnome-shell are separate? And why it's run graphic interface on TTY2 and not in TTY7. It is a wrong configuration or it is totally normal to see this ?

On my TTY7 I can see : /dev/sda4/ clean: xxx/xxx files, xxx/xxx blocks

  • I have the same problem running unstable Debian after recent upgrade. I am running gnome-shell 3.22.2-1 and gdm 3.22.1-1.
    – thegeko
    Dec 31, 2016 at 1:18
  • If you see the date of the post, my question is older than yours...
    – Zagonine
    Oct 16, 2017 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


I found an explanation on Gnome's Bugzilla, see below. Hopefully they will address the increased memory consumption by tearing down the greeter after user login.

GDM's behavior was changed in 3.16 so that instead of running one X server on the login screen which is then transformed into the user's session, we now start a new X session from within the user's session, which means that we need to start the user's session on another TTY/VT.

Note that when using fast user switching, you effectively got this behavior as well, with each user on a different TTY/VT. We just extended it to the first user to log in as well.

  • Thanks for sharing this info. I'm new to hacking virtual terminals and this is interesting. Feb 15, 2022 at 5:48

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