Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software
User Name
Linux - Software This forum is for Software issues.
Having a problem installing a new program? Want to know which application is best for the job? Post your question in this forum.


  Search this Thread
Old 10-21-2006, 01:04 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 39

Rep: Reputation: 15
Can I have Multiple shell prompts without a GUI?

I guess this is a very basic Linux/Unix question, but is there a way to get multiple command prompts without using a GUI? For example, sometimes I like editting a program in VIM, and running 'top' to see processes and whatnot. I don't always care for a GUI. I've never seen this done, but I'd like to know if it's at all possible.

Thanks in advance for entertaining the question. I'm not exactly a newb, but I just have to ask this somewhere.
Old 10-21-2006, 01:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Perry, Iowa
Distribution: Mepis , Debian
Posts: 2,692

Rep: Reputation: 45

depending on the distribution, you may already have it, type 'screen' at the command prompt

Last edited by rshaw; 10-21-2006 at 01:19 PM.
Old 10-21-2006, 01:26 PM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: N. E. England
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, Debian
Posts: 16,298

Rep: Reputation: 74
If working from the command line, you should have 6 virtual terminals you can use. You can access these by doing ALT-Fn where n is any number between 1 and 6.
Old 10-21-2006, 07:44 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 39

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
reddazz, I just booted into the command line (I'm using FC5, btw), and I did the ALT-Fn thing. What it does, it is it shows a line that says "(args: n) [anything I typed before]" (where n is the number). Is this supposed to happen? I can't do anything with ALT-Fn when I'm running something like 'top'.

I'm looking into the screen thing. Thanks for the suggestion. FC5 doesn't have it installed already, evidentally.

Thanks for the help anyway. I didn't even think it was a smart question to ask.
Old 10-21-2006, 08:09 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2006
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Distribution: Slackware 12, Fedora Core, PCLinuxOS
Posts: 194

Rep: Reputation: 30
See if CTL-ALT-Fn works. Some of my systems have to have the CTL in there for it to work.
Old 10-25-2006, 01:36 AM   #6
Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 39

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
alienx, that didn't work for me. Like I said, I think ALt-Fn wants to do something, but I can't tell if it does. Regardless, I got the "screen" utility to do something like what I wanted. It's not optimal, as in split-screen functionality, but it works. ...Or can it do split-screen stuff?

Thanks for the help.
Old 10-25-2006, 06:36 AM   #7
Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: xubuntu, grml
Posts: 451

Rep: Reputation: 37
Yes, screen can split windows:
from here: nerdstuffs
Splitting of regions:
<Ctrl>a S
Split this region and spawn a blank window.
<Ctrl>a :
Enter command mode for screen.
In command mode: open a screen in the newly spawned region.
<Ctrl>a <Tab>
Switch focus to the other region.
Kill this region so you go back to just one region.


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
Shell Scripts Answering Prompts dudeman41465 Linux - Software 1 01-24-2006 12:20 PM
SVN and Apache, multiple password prompts watsoncj Linux - Software 0 10-10-2005 02:36 PM
Shell prompts and keymaps amnesty_puppy Linux - Newbie 8 08-17-2004 07:52 PM
Netscape 7 prompts for new profile on multiple launches UK1 Ninja Linux - Newbie 10 10-23-2003 04:00 PM
Shell Prompts and root ls colouring iantri Slackware 10 09-11-2003 09:48 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:53 PM.

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