How to change back to the console when stucked by the desktop environment

Julian H. Stacey jhs at
Sat Jul 16 13:59:00 UTC 2016

Hi, Reference:
> From:		Yubin Ruan <ablacktshirt at>
> Date:		Sat, 16 Jul 2016 20:56:01 +0800

Yubin Ruan wrote:
> Hi,
> I just tried FreeBSD-10.3 stable and get stuck when trying to use the 
> Mate desktop environment. I use Slim as the login manager. But when I 
> try to login, with correct username and passwd, Slim tell me that
>      "Failed to execute login command"
> (Any idea why would that happen?)
> So I try to switch back to the console use "Alt-F1...Alt-F8", which is 
> suggested by the doc. But that doesn't work. Why ?
> How can I switch back to the console to tune the system?

(Ive never heard of Slim, but) general procedure:
>From another net connected host:
	rlogin / telnet / ssh yourhost
	cd /var/log  ; ls -ltr
	ls -l xdm.log messages Xorg.0.log 	
		+ whatever logfile might be appropriate for your Slim
	ps -laxww
		kill some processes, watch if they restart
	vi /etc/ttys  
		change eg
			ttyv1                   "/usr/local/bin/xdm -nodaemon"  xterm   on  secure
			ttyv1                   "/usr/local/bin/xdm -nodaemon"  xterm   off  secure
	maybe you are using ttyv0 for xdm 
	(I use ttyv1 to leave 0 for errors)
	kill -HUP 1
		sometimes screen still wont come back, 
	if desperate then reboot

PS I dropped cc:  freebsd-amd64 at
as this has nothing to do with that CPU, & list rules
say dont cross post more than 2 lists.

Julian Stacey, BSD Linux Unix Sys Eng Consultant Munich
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