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Xubuntu HOWTO

Configure Virtual Terminals

NOTE: Due to "improvements" done with GDM, this will not work with Jaunty (9.04) and newer releases.

For the purposes of this HOWTO we will configure Xubuntu in the following manner:

VT 1 - 4: Consoles
VT 5 - 7: X sessions
VT 8 & 9: Free
VT 10 : User logs
VT 11 : Daemon logs
VT 12 : Kernel logs

Feel free to customize these to suit your needs.

I will be using vim as a text editor, but you are welcome to use whatever you like.

Obtain root priviledges

As always when making system changes we must first obtain root priviledges.

% sudo -s

Prevent consoles on terminals 5 and 6 from loading

Remove (or rename) the following files:

% rm /etc/event.d/tty[56]

Open /etc/default/console-setup

% vim /etc/default/console-setup

and change ACTIVE_CONSOLES to "/dev/tty[1-4]" so that it'll look like this:


Configure X sessions

Open /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom

% vim /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom

In section [daemon] set FirstVT to 5 and VTAllocation to false. so that it'll look something like this:


This will cause GDM to start loading X sessions beginning with VT 5 instead of the default 7 and prevent automatic allocation of VTs.

In section [servers] set the X servers to load X displays 0 - 2 on VTs 5 - 7 like so:

0=Standard device=/dev/tty5
1=Standard device=/dev/tty6
2=Standard device=/dev/tty7

If you wish, you may replace Standard with Chooser for any display to run the XDMCP Chooser. The device parameter along with VTAllocation set to false will cause each X display to always load on the same VT.

Add logs to VTs 10 - 12

Open /etc/syslog.conf

% vim /etc/syslog.conf

Add the following lines:

user.*         /dev/tty10
daemon.*       /dev/tty11
kern.*         /dev/tty12

Or, if you wish to only send errors and critical errors to the consoles:

user.err;user.crit         /dev/tty10
daemon.err;daemon.crit     /dev/tty11
kern.err;kern.crit         /dev/tty12


If we have the kexec package installed we can reboot without having to start from the beginning by bypassing the boot loader. Otherwise do a full reboot to reload the kernel, When everything checks out, install the kexec package.

$Xubuntu HOWTO: Configure virtual terminals; v1.0.3; 09.03.2011$

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$xubuntu HOWTOs; v1.1.7; 03.12.2008$