Open a console

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Sometimes in your Linux life, it is important to open a console in order to send commands to the computer. These commands will be interpreted by a shell. When you open a console, you will be presented with a shell prompt typically giving your computer's hostname (in this case it is tweedleburg) like this:

tweedleburg:~ #

This means you can start typing commands.

There are several ways to open a console. Depending on your Desktop environment, installed software and distribution, one or more of the following procedures might work for you:

  • press ALT_F2, type "xterm", then ENTER. This works for most distributions.
  • hold ALT and Ctrl keys while pressing "t". This works in Ubuntu, Xubuntu and maybe others.
  • press ALT_F2, type "konsole", then ENTER. konsole is very user-friendly. This will work if KDE is installed.
  • Right-click the desktop, and select "Terminal Emulator", works in Xubuntu.
  • On Ubuntu 18.04 which runs Gnome desktop you can press the square of dots in the left south side of the screen and type "terminal" (without the quotes). Alternatively you can press the terminal icon in the bar on the left side of the screen. It will be a black square.
You will often find console examples here like
# command1


$ command2

In these command examples do not type '$' or '#' because $ signifies that the command is run as a normal user and # means the command is being run as the root user.

See also