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Old 03-05-2001
I think most UNIX folks use X as their desktop and then use X Terminals for command lines. If you use a basic console you are limited to the console unless you use the virtual consoles (like in Linux) where you can shift from console to console using the F(function) (or similar) keys.

However, in most X based desktops you have much more control over your command line terminals (xterms). So, if are going to do a bunch of compiling and working on a lot of different projects, having a desktop to launch X terminals makes life much easier.

On the other hand, if you are just running a server for your web, firewall, ftp, mail or other network service, then there may be little benefit to using the extra memory on your X environment.

Since you are just learning, you need to also learn the X environment, including X server and other X related utilities sooner-than-later. X is an integral part of all UNIX environments and helps teach many essentials too.

This does not mean that you should use X GUIs to change directories and play in your filesystem (like Windows Explorer); using command line utilties like find and cd to explore the filesystem is better and more efficient, IMHO. However, having many open X Terms can be very helpful if you like to multitask and do many things at once. In other words, you can be a command line guru via the X environment. That is what most people do.

[Edited by Neo on 03-05-2001 at 09:37 PM]
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VCONSOLE.CONF(5)						   vconsole.conf						  VCONSOLE.CONF(5)

vconsole.conf - configuration file for the virtual console SYNOPSIS
/etc/vconsole.conf DESCRIPTION
The /etc/vconsole.conf file configures the virtual console, i.e. keyboard mapping and console font. The basic file format of the vconsole.conf is a newline-separated list environment-like shell-compatible variable assignments. It is possible to source the configuration from shell scripts, however, beyond mere variable assignments no shell features are supported, allowing applications to read the file without implementing a shell compatible execution engine. Note that the kernel command line options vconsole.keymap=, vconsole.keymap.toggle=, vconsole.font=,, vconsole.font.unimap= may be used to override the console settings at boot. Depending on the operating system other configuration files might be checked for configuration of the virtual console as well, however only as fallback. OPTIONS
The following options are understood: KEYMAP=, KEYMAP_TOGGLE= Configures the key mapping table of for they keyboard. KEYMAP= defaults to us if not set. The KEYMAP_TOGGLE= can be used to configured a second toggle keymap and is by default unset. FONT=, FONT_MAP=, FONT_UNIMAP= Configures the console font, the console map and the unicode font map. FONT= defaults to latarcyrheb-sun16. EXAMPLE
Example 1. German keyboard and console /etc/vconsole.conf: KEYMAP=de-latin1 FONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 SEE ALSO
systemd(1), loadkeys(1), setfont(8), locale.conf(5) AUTHOR
Lennart Poettering <> Developer systemd 10/07/2013 VCONSOLE.CONF(5)