<alt>fn going to X

Lars Eighner lars at larseighner.com
Sun Jun 10 17:33:48 UTC 2012

On Sun, 10 Jun 2012, Gary Aitken wrote:

> On 06/10/12 10:47, Gary Aitken wrote:
>> What's the trick to allow <alt>fn to still be used to switch vtys when running X?
>> At first I thought it was the wm grabbing it, but I've disabled that and now it goes to whatever app has the focus.  Seems like something in the kernel has to grab it before it gets passed on to X.
> I see it's <ctl><alt>fn when in X.
> However, once out of X on another vty, switching to the vty where X was
> started does not get me back to X.  How do I get back to the X display
> which is running?

Oh, you have to swith to the vtty where X is running, which certainly is NOT
where you started X.

Look in /etc/ttys for a line like this:

ttyvb	"/usr/local/bin/xdm -nodaemon"	xterm	off secure

The above is not standard on installation, so probably the
'ttyv?' is different.  The ? is the ttyv number (in hex) where
your X should be running - BUT the hex number start at 0 (zero)
while your F keys start with 1.  For example, the above says X should run in
ttyv b = 11 decimal, but that is associated with F12 (so that F1 can be
mapped to ttyv0).

It is possible to run some gui programs like zgv without a terminal, but in
that case there is no way to switch terminals into or out of them.  You can
only launch them and quit them.  Maybe (or not) X could run like that if you
did not have a dedicated ttyv set up in /etc/ttys.

Lars Eighner
8800 N IH35 APT 1191 AUSTIN TX 78753-5266

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