I am running Ubuntu Server with the Xfce desktop environment install.
I have to type startx to get to the GUI. How can I get back into the command line interface when I am in the GUI without rebooting.

  • 1
    For clarity, are you just wanting to access the command line, or are you wanting to quit your X session? Jun 14, 2017 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


You can change your tty and there are several ways to do that, e.g:

sudo chvt 2

Will put you in tty2.

or Ctrl+Alt+F2.

use ps $(pgrep X) command to see in which tty your X session is running, and use another.

You can also kill the X session which is not a good idea, or change the target to multiuser.target.

Alternatively you might want to stop xfce4-session:

sudo pkill -15 xfce4-session

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