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

Yubin Ruan ablacktshirt at
Sun Jul 17 08:36:29 UTC 2016

On 2016年07月16日 21:58, Julian H. Stacey wrote:
> 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
> 		to
> 			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.
> Cheers,
> Julian

Thanks, I just manage to install a proper desktop environment(Xfce) to 
use and it seems to work fine.
However, still, I cannot manage to do tty-switching using <Ctrl-Alt><F_> 
(<Alt-F_> didn't work either). Strangely, whenever I press 
<Ctrl-Alt><F_>, the whole desktop block. I don't know why, it just block 
everytime I press <Ctrl-Alt><F_> ( the _ stand for number 1...8)

My /etc/ttys file looks like this:

     console     none                   unknown    off   secure
     ttyv0    "/usr/libexec/getty Pc"   xterm      on    secure
     .          (the same )
     ttyv7    "/usr/libexec/getty Pc"   xterm      on    secure
     ttyv8    "/usr/local/bin/xdm-nodaemon"  xterm  off  secure

     #serial terminal
     ttyu0    "/usr/libexec/getty 3wire"   vt100   onifconsole secure
     ttyu3    "/usr/libexec/getty 3wire"   vt100   onifconsole secure

     #Dumb console
     dcons    "/usr/libexec/getty std.9600"  vt100 off  secure

Any idea?


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