VMWare, Linux text terminals

by luca
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In every Linux distro, if you’re using the grapical interface and you need to switch to text terminal, you have to press  CTRL+ALT+Fx  x usually from 1 to 6); while to switch back to the GUI the shortcut sequence is CTRL+ALT+F7.

If you installed Linux in a virtual machine with VMWare as hypervisor, you probably noticed that the shortcut above doesn’t work. The reason is simple: in VMWare, you use the shortcut CTRL+ALT to “release” mouse pointer from the virtual machine’s console:

If you want to switch to a text terminal, you need two shortcuts:

  • CTRL+ALT+space bar

The first one indeed disable the release functionality, allowing you to use afterwards the normal one:


On my laptop, when I pressed CTRL+ALT+F1 I disabled the internal monitor… I found that the shortcut was “reserved” by the Intel video driver; I had to disable the shortcuts in its options:


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