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Old 10-21-2006, 01:04 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2006
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.


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