Linux Commands Examples

A great documentation place for Linux commands


start a program on a new virtual terminal (VT).

see also : chvt - login


openvt [-c vtnumber] [OPTIONS] [--] command

add an example, a script, a trick and tips

: email address (won't be displayed)
: name

Step 2

Thanks for this example ! - It will be moderated and published shortly.

Feel free to post other examples
Oops ! There is a tiny cockup. A damn 404 cockup. Please contact the loosy team who maintains and develops this wonderful site by clicking in the mighty feedback button on the side of the page. Say what happened. Thanks!



openvt can be used to start a shell on the next free VT, by using the command:
openvt bash

To start the shell as a login shell, use:
openvt -l bash

To get a long listing you must supply the -- separator:
openvt -- ls -l


openvt will find the first available VT, and run on it the given command with the given command options, standard input, output and error are directed to that terminal. The current search path ($PATH) is used to find the requested command. If no command is specified then the environment variable $SHELL is used.

-c, --console=VTNUMBER

Use the given VT number and not the first available. Note you must have write access to the supplied VT for this to work;

-f, --force

Force opening a VT without checking whether it is already in use;

-e, --exec

Directly execute the given command, without forking. This option is meant for use in /etc/inittab. If you want to use this feature in another context, be aware that openvt has to be a session leader in order for -e to work. See setsid(2) or setsid(1) on how to achieve this.

-s, --switch

Switch to the new VT when starting the command. The VT of the new command will be made the new current VT;

-u, --user

Figure out the owner of the current VT, and run login as that user. Suitable to be called by init. Shouldn’t be used with -c or -l;

-l, --login

Make the command a login shell. A - is prepended to the name of the command to be executed;

-v, --verbose

Be a bit more verbose;

-w, --wait

wait for command to complete. If -w and -s are used together then openvt will switch back to the controlling terminal when the command completes;

-V, --version

print program version and exit;

-h, --help

show this text and exit.


end of options to openvt.


If openvt is compiled with a getopt_long() and you wish to set options to the command to be run, then you must supply the end of options -- flag before the command.


Earlier, openvt was called open. It was written by Jon Tombs <jon[:at:][:dot:]es or jon[:at:][:dot:]uk>. The -w idea is from "sam".

see also

chvt , doshell, login

How can this site be more helpful to YOU ?

give  feedback