Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am installing ubuntu server in a vmware vm. In the expert installer there is this question (i guess this is the same in the debian installer):

Please enter a space delimited list of virtual consoles you use

and the standard setting is:

/dev/tty[1-6]

I wonder if I can reduce this to maybe 1-2. I am not sure what it exactly means. I will only use one "physical" console for install one time and maybe later for emergencies, but normally only ssh remote login consoles.

Maybe this is related to this faq entry:

http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Keyboard-and-Console-HOWTO.html#ss7.1

So my question is: what does it change if I reduce this to 1-2? I am wondering on each install.

EDIT: I selected this for my install:

/dev/tty[1-1]

But later on the running instance I got 6 consoles with Alt-1 .. Alt-6 on the vmware console nonetheless. Strange. There are 6 instances of "getty" showing up in the processlist.

EDIT 2: I should have added that this was the Ubuntu 10.04 server install Disk (i386) "Lucid Lynx" beta 2

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes, it should be fine to reduce the number of virtual consoles. To access these consoles, you press Ctrl-Alt-Fx where by default, x=[1-6]. A separate logon shell is assigned to each of these VCs. If you don't need them, reducing the number should have no negative consequences.

share|improve this answer
1  
It's Fx (as in Ctrl-Alt-F1 and so on), not just x –  grawity Jan 24 '10 at 14:55
    
Good call - it had been a while since I'd actually used virtual consoles, so I'd forgotten that part. I'll update the answer accordingly. –  EEAA Jan 24 '10 at 20:11

Interesting, this has just taught me that init on Ubuntu (hardy at least) doesn't use /etc/inittab any more, it uses a service-per-file model via /etc/event.d/

Have a look in /etc/event.d - init reads this directory to work out what to start, there will be a file for each of your gettys running on tty[123456]. Remove the unnecessary tty* files and reboot, make sure you leave tty1 at least though!

I expected there to be a way to tell init to just re-read this directory, but all the normal ways of saying 'your configuration has changed', like 'kill -HUP 1' and 'init 2' did not work. Odd, this was normal when you had /etc/inittab. If anyone knows how to get init to reread this directory, please shout.

share|improve this answer
    
I know a good site where you could ask :) (Make another question...) –  gbarry Jan 24 '10 at 20:50

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.