Ubuntu – How to enable: Switch back to running GUI from TTY in 18.04


I recently installed Ubuntu 18.04 (previously 16.04) and an important feature is missing: the option to switch between GUI and TTY.

From the GUI I can switch to one of 5 TTY, by CtrlAltF2 to CtrlAltF6. I can login in the tty, do whatever I wish. When I Press AltF1, I get to the login-screen, not back to running GUI session. AltF7 leads to a black screen.

When I switch to the login screen, and login, I get a fresh GUI-Login. The programs have been terminated, the unsaved data and status is lost. This is annoying.

In previous versions, AltF7 brought me to the original, running GUI. AltF1 brought me to the console of the GUI. This is how I want it to be. The particular order of screens does not matter – the crucial item is to get back.

How can I customize 18.04 in this way?

PS: I basically have the default 18.04.4 desktop install using GNOME-shell (not unity). The only thing remotely non-standard is that it is MBR/Legacy, not GPT/UEFI install.

Best Answer

The part you are look for is at the bottom from: Switch to Console in Ubuntu 18.04 - How to Leave GUI?

In Ubuntu 18.04, they have changed things around and you cannot get to tty1, it is always showing the display manager / login screen. If you log in, you then cannot get to tty2 because it becomes the GUI for the first logged in user. The tradition of both GUIs showing on tty7 has ended.

You can get to tty3 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F3, tty4 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F4, tty5 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F5 and tty6 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F6.

You can then switch between tty3-6 by pressing Alt with the appropriate F-key.

Finally, you can get back to the GUI with Alt+F1 for the login chooser or Alt+F2 for the logged-in user's desktop.

To make a long story short use: Alt+F2

If the function keys don't work you can try these instructions.

In summary you can type:

sudo chvt 2

to switch to TTY2.

There is a lot more you can do with commands to bypass the function keys. Please read the link.

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