LinuxQuestions.org
LinuxAnswers - the LQ Linux tutorial section.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 07-13-2009, 02:42 AM   #1
B3Co0L
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2009
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Question difference between a Linux console and a virtual terminal


I just installed my very 1st Linux box few days ago.. as well as reading a book...

Anyway, here is my question:
What is the difference between a Linux console (where we get when booting into a no desktop environment Linux box) and a virtual terminal (where we use when execute it from a desktop environment)?

Apparently, the xterm virtual terminal by default is the virtual terminal emulated in my ubuntu 9.04. Also, I noticed I have a few other types of terminals stored under /usr/share/terminfo and I can see there is a "linux" under "l" directory. I assume it is the linux console.

So, why the terminal emulation package under ubuntu 9.04 use "xterm" instead of the "linux", when it is a Linux system (why it need to go all the hesitation when there is a Linux's "linux console)?

Summarize, there are 2 questions:
1. what is the difference between a Linux console and a virtual terminal?
2. Why use other virtual terminal when there is a default "linux" console stored under /usr/share/terminfo/l in the desktop environment?
 
Old 07-13-2009, 04:33 PM   #2
fbianconi
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2008
Location: argentina
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 86

Rep: Reputation: 22
In short, they're almost the same, but if you need technicalities:

http://www.bigwebmaster.com/General/...OWTO.html#toc6
 
Old 07-13-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
texasone
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: /home/lorax
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 141

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Basically, the standard console is kind of limited, in my books, as it can't have a scroll bar (can be easier to use than more/less), harder to change color than most virtual consoles, and you only get around 6 or so (depending on your distro or if running different *nix). Virtuals can also do stuff like transparencies and different backgrounds, and multiple in your viewing ability. it all depends on what you want to use them for. if your are using cut and paste, you would use a virtual terminal, same for something which you would need to look stuff up on the web. but the original console is useful since its full screen. very useful when using Vim to edit files as the letters become easier to read.
 
Old 07-14-2009, 01:33 AM   #4
catkin
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: Tamil Nadu, India
Distribution: Servers: Debian Squeeze and Wheezy. Desktop: Slackware64 14.0. Netbook: Slackware 13.37
Posts: 8,563
Blog Entries: 29

Rep: Reputation: 1179Reputation: 1179Reputation: 1179Reputation: 1179Reputation: 1179Reputation: 1179Reputation: 1179Reputation: 1179Reputation: 1179
Quote:
Originally Posted by fbianconi View Post
In short, they're almost the same, but if you need technicalities:

http://www.bigwebmaster.com/General/...OWTO.html#toc6
Great HOWTO but the link is to a 2003 version; use http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Text-Terminal-HOWTO.html for the latest.
 
Old 07-14-2009, 09:55 AM   #5
onebuck
Moderator
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
Posts: 11,440
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502Reputation: 1502
Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasone View Post
Basically, the standard console is kind of limited, in my books, as it can't have a scroll bar (can be easier to use than more/less), harder to change color than most virtual consoles, and you only get around 6 or so (depending on your distro or if running different *nix). Virtuals can also do stuff like transparencies and different backgrounds, and multiple in your viewing ability. it all depends on what you want to use them for. if your are using cut and paste, you would use a virtual terminal, same for something which you would need to look stuff up on the web. but the original console is useful since its full screen. very useful when using Vim to edit files as the letters become easier to read.
I think that falling into the 'GUI' trap tends to bring out that type of response. The console can do anything that you can do in that great 'GUI' terminal. You just have to know how to set things up. What about 'screen';

Quote:
excerpt 'man screen';
Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes (typically interactive shells). Each virtual terminal provides the functions of a DEC VT100 terminal and, in addition, several control functions from the ISO 6429 (ECMA 48, ANSI X3.64) and ISO 2022 standards (e.g. insert/delete line and support for multiple character sets). There is a scrollback history buffer for each virtual terminal and a copy-and-paste mechanism that allows moving text regions between windows.

When screen is called, it creates a single window with a shell in it (or the specified command) and then gets out of your way so that you can use the program as you normally would. Then, at any time, you can create new (full-screen) windows with other programs in them (including more shells), kill existing windows, view a list of windows, turn output logging on and off, copy-and-paste text between windows, view the scrollback history, switch between windows in whatever manner you wish, etc. All windows run their programs completely independent of each other. Programs continue to run when their window is currently not visible and even when the whole screen session is detached from the user's terminal. When a program terminates, screen (per default) kills the window that contained it. If this window was in the foreground, the display switches to the previous window; if none are left, screen exits.
You can setup your console to have a 'gpm' that will allow you to cut/paste with that pointer.

You could actually learn the commands necessary to move, copy or even have a system that will have less overhead by not using that 'GUI' when you learn the 'cli' using the console.
 
Old 07-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #6
texasone
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: /home/lorax
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 141

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,


I think that falling into the 'GUI' trap tends to bring out that type of response. The console can do anything that you can do in that great 'GUI' terminal. You just have to know how to set things up. What about 'screen';



You can setup your console to have a 'gpm' that will allow you to cut/paste with that pointer.

You could actually learn the commands necessary to move, copy or even have a system that will have less overhead by not using that 'GUI' when you learn the 'cli' using the console.
I probably am falling into the "GUI" trap stuff, but on my machine, screen is always installed. also, the only terminal I use is xterm with gpm. I was more saying the abilities of other virtual terminals like eterm and those from DE's. and when I was talking about more in your viewing ability, I mean like having four open at once. Like now as I am trying to configure fvwm2, I have firefox open with tutorials and such, an xterm with vim writing to my config file, and another vim open with a .fvwm2rc that I downloaded off the net. That way I don't have to switch pages and screens to see them all.
 
Old 07-14-2009, 12:48 PM   #7
malekmustaq
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: /root
Distribution: Slackware & BSD
Posts: 1,220

Rep: Reputation: 231Reputation: 231Reputation: 231
B3Co0L:

Were the answers enough? By this time you should be running the cli.

>>Summarize, there are 2 questions:
1. what is the difference between a Linux console and a virtual terminal?<<

===Console I understand you as "shell" without running X. Virtual terminal I understand you as the emulators available to type in commands while X is running. They're almost as capable as equally although there are some advantages when you must run console with X shutdown.

>>2. Why use other virtual terminal when there is a default "linux" console stored under /usr/share/terminfo/l in the desktop environment?<<

===Ubuntu offers default to xterm, but you can switch to linux term if you want anytime. They have the same capability, both of them are linux terminals, only the name varies. You can also change the appearance and features either of them later when you learn the tricks. It doesn't hurt to run xterm or linux, me I prefer xterm too.

goodluck

hope it helps.
 
Old 07-15-2009, 01:25 AM   #8
B3Co0L
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2009
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Yes, yes..I am pretty much clear about it.. thanks a lot guys
Anyway, Ubuntu is not having xterm as default but GNOME terminal..
I didn't know i could just browse help>about to get it instead i used "echo $TERM" that returned "xterm". (I get the command from the book i am reading.. the book didn't explain in detail as it an introduction section to virtual terminal not commands..)
Not very sure about why it returned "xterm" and I only know that $TERM is an environment variable..
 
  


Reply

Tags
console, linux, screen, terminal, virtual


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Killing the process on a virtual terminal from another virtual terminal. Azazwa Linux - Newbie 8 05-05-2009 01:33 PM
Using virtual terminal as console grzes Linux - General 4 03-22-2008 04:55 AM
Difference between a Shell terminal window and the KDE Linux Console terminal window? bostonantifan Fedora 2 03-25-2007 08:23 PM
Difference between a console and a terminal vmniza Linux - General 1 02-29-2004 04:54 AM
Whats the difference Linux Console and BASH Shell glenn69 Linux - Newbie 2 08-31-2003 04:19 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:02 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration