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CONSOLE(4)			    Linux Programmer's Manual			       CONSOLE(4)

NAME
       console - console terminal and virtual consoles

DESCRIPTION
       A  Linux  system  has up to 63 virtual consoles (character devices with major number 4 and
       minor number 1 to 63), usually called /dev/ttyn with 1 <= n <= 63.  The current console is
       also  addressed by /dev/console or /dev/tty0, the character device with major number 4 and
       minor number 0.	The device files /dev/* are usually created using the script MAKEDEV,  or
       using mknod(1), usually with mode 0622 and owner root.tty.

       Before  kernel  version 1.1.54 the number of virtual consoles was compiled into the kernel
       (in tty.h: #define NR_CONSOLES 8) and could be changed by editing and recompiling.   Since
       version 1.1.54 virtual consoles are created on the fly, as soon as they are needed.

       Common ways to start a process on a console are: (a) tell init(8) (in inittab(5)) to start
       a mingetty(8) (or agetty(8)) on the console; (b) ask openvt(1) to start a process  on  the
       console; (c) start X--it will find the first unused console, and display its output there.
       (There is also the ancient doshell(8).)

       Common ways to switch consoles are: (a) use Alt+Fn or Ctrl+Alt+Fn to switch to console  n;
       AltGr+Fn  might	bring you to console n+12 [here Alt and AltGr refer to the left and right
       Alt keys, respectively]; (b) use Alt+RightArrow or  Alt+LeftArrow  to  cycle  through  the
       presently  allocated consoles; (c) use the program chvt(1).  (The key mapping is user set-
       table, see loadkeys(1); the above mentioned key combinations are according to the  default
       settings.)

       The command deallocvt(1) (formerly disalloc) will free the memory taken by the screen buf-
       fers for consoles that no longer have any associated process.

   Properties
       Consoles carry a lot of state.  I hope to document that some other time.  The most  impor-
       tant  fact  is  that  the  consoles simulate vt100 terminals.  In particular, a console is
       reset to the initial state by printing the two characters ESC c.  All escape sequences can
       be found in console_codes(4).

FILES
       /dev/console
       /dev/tty*

SEE ALSO
       chvt(1),   deallocvt(1),   loadkeys(1),	 mknod(1),   openvt(1),   console_codes(4),  con-
       sole_ioctl(4), tty(4), ttyS(4), charsets(7), agetty(8), init(8), mapscrn(8),  mingetty(8),
       resizecons(8), setfont(8)

COLOPHON
       This  page  is  part of release 3.55 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the
       project,    and	  information	 about	  reporting    bugs,	can    be    found     at
       http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux					    1994-10-31				       CONSOLE(4)
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