start X in background without it taking over the console?

Bill Tillman btillman99 at
Wed May 11 12:37:58 UTC 2011

From: CyberLeo Kitsana <cyberleo at>
To: Chris Telting <christopher-ml at>
Cc: freebsd-questions at
Sent: Wed, May 11, 2011 7:07:01 AM
Subject: Re: start X in background without it taking over the console?

On 05/11/2011 05:36 AM, Chris Telting wrote:
> I already do... I'm want to automate it.  Every other virtual screen
> terminal can start without grabbing the console, I don't want X to
> either.  I do development and I suffer crashes.  I want to do work while
> it boots up for a couple minutes and I'm tired of manually switching
> back to text mode.  It's gets annoying the 200th time.

You could script it right after X starts, as such:

vidcontrol -s 1 # Equivalent to Alt-F1

I don't think X is currently designed to start without initializing the
graphics hardware, though, so the initial vt change is probably
unavoidable. Perhaps once KMS trickles down?

Fuzzy love,
Technical Administrator
CyberLeo.Net Webhosting
<CyberLeo at CyberLeo.Net>

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I'm watching this thread with interest. First, I don't run X that much and what 
I seem to know about it is that once you start X is grabs your video hardware 
and that's that. I have never been able to get a text console back once I do 
startx. But I'm a simpleton and only run the normal standard windows manager 
which installs with X. I've tried all the others and while they are great I just 
don't see the need for all the overhead since my FreeBSD servers are just 
that...servers. Once in X I can open as many Xterm windows as I want and I have 
access to the text console. Still I would be interested to know if there is a 
resolution to his poster's question.

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