ID #1173

How do I switch between consoles / see the system log?

By default, Freesco loads four virtual consoles. Holding the ALT key and pressing F1, F2, F3 or F4 will switch between them. The first virtual console (ALT-F1) is used to show boot messages and after boot can be logged into and used to issue commands. ("Commands" include many standard Linux commands, the setup program, the package management commands as well as file management etc.).

The second virtual console (ALT-F2) is purely a login console used to log in and issue commands. The third (ALT-F3) is used as a system log and logs all messages (important or trivial) from bootup. It is constantly updated whenever something happens and is the primary source for information when something goes wrong.

The fourth virtual console (ALT-F4) displays select messages from individual programs configured to use it, such as logins and changes to ISP mode.

Programs in packages may add their own virtual consoles (e.g. the IPTraf package uses ALT-F5 to display statistics on the current network and Internet connections) and users may add more virtual consoles for login and other purposes themselves.

Virtual consoles can be switched between at any time (even when in the middle of running a program) and provide a way to keep lots of information easily at hand (e.g. edit a configuration file in one console while browsing an example file in another).

To add an extra serial console you can log into is easy. Log into a console and type:

daemon - "agetty 9600 tty6" &

This will give you a login/command console on ALT-F6. As mentioned before, tty1 (the first virtual console) through tty4 (the fourth) are already loaded with Freesco. Thus, you can use tty5 through tty8 (assuming they are not already used by packages etc.) for login consoles. The highest tty available with the default Freesco configuration is tty8.

If you want to always have extra consoles whenever you restart your machine, edit the file /rc/rc_init and under the line:

daemon - "agetty 9600 tty2" &

Add more commands of a similar syntax but using tty5, tty6, tty7 and / or tty8, then reboot. These new consoles will then be added every time your Freesco machine starts and can be accessed using ALT-F5 through ALT-F8.

Last update: 2005-03-26 00:14
Author: Mathieu CATTIN
Revision: 1.0

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