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Re: Console access using F1 etc

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:46 PM, Bob Proulx <bob@proulx.com> wrote:
John Foster wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> > John Foster wrote:
> > > Any idea what I need to edit to get my system back to what I like. I
> > > will probably figure it out sooner or later, but sooner will be
> > > better.
> >
> > Probably.  But please do tell us on the mailing list what it is that
> > you are trying to accomplish.  You asked about how to drop from X
> > Windows to the text console and I replied with Control-Alt-F1.  As far
> > as I can tell that should have completely and totally answered your
> > question.  But I guess not.  I and others on the mailing list will be
> > happy to help but we are not mind readers.  Tell us something.
> Sorry I thought I made it plain. I can NOT use CTRL/ALT/F1 to get to the
> basic console.

Uhm... no.  You said:

> > > I can not access the consoles by hitting ctrl,alt,delete.

That is a different key sequence.  To get to the console you need
CTRL-ALT-F1 through CTRL-ALT-F6 or so.

   The /etc/inittab defines the following line:

     # What to do when CTRL-ALT-DEL is pressed.
     ca:12345:ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t1 -a -r now

   And is documented in the 'man inittab' man page:

             The process will be executed when init receives the
             SIGINT signal.  This means that someone on the system
             console has pressed the CTRL-ALT-DEL key
             combination. Typically one wants to execute some sort of
             shutdown either to get into single-user level or to
             reboot the machine.

> I have noticed that in the last 2 systems I have built & installed
> linux on that this was the standard installation with xwindows.

Sorry but your words are ambiguous.  I can't tell if you are saying
that you found CTRL-ALT-F1 standard and working or if you are saying
that it has not been working for you the last few installs.

Let me assure you that a stock Debian installation with X Windows on
most normal supported hardware that CTRL-ALT-F1 will get you to the
text console.  If it doesn't then there may be a hardware support
problem.  Especially as related to the newer KVM and framebuffer
console.  Blech!  I hate that the Linux kernel dropped support for
much of the older hardware when they turned on that system.

> This function is disabled. I had to edit some file in /etc/ X11 or
> Xorg to get this to work. Its been a couple of years & I forgot what
> I had to edit & where it was. Sorry for the confusion. Not a rookie,
> just don't do this often.

Okay.  But how do you know it is disabled?  Don't jump to conclusions.
Instead describe exactly what you are seeing.

You are in X11, right?  Is this a gdm (gnome display manager) login
screen?  You press CTRL-ALT-F1 and nothing happens and you are still
left at the gdm login screen?  Or does something happen such as does
the screen go black?

Did you try Whit's suggestion to try setting vga=785 on the boot
command line to set to a 640x480 64k color framebuffer?

If you say the type of hardware you have then someone on the list may
have the same hardware and be able to suggest the correct solution.

OK its working now. I have no idea why except that it may have been an issue with the keyboard. I installed a bunch of firmware for other hardware Video, keyboard, etc. and when I got done shut down the system to reboot another OS. When I restarted it all was working well including my Logictech G-10 keyboard. Now goes to the console when I hit Ctrl; Alt; F1; etc. As usual, this list is my lifesaver. I'm a user of Linux, not really interested in a lot of experimental software installation & tweaking of things. I just want it to work.
Thanks for your assist.

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