Less^H^H^H^HUnknown features of Solaris 11: Virtual Consoles

A customer looked at me really puzzled when doing this.When we were working at setting up a system at the console, i needed more than one command line.

Customer: "On Linux systems we would use virtual consoles"
Joerg: "On this operating system, too"

Next time you are working on the console of your system (perhaps just the console you see in Virtualbox), just try pressing the alt-Key and the cursor left or cursor right key in parallel respectively Alt+F1 for the first, the system console. Alt+F2 for the second console … and so on. Nothing innovative, especially as Solaris used to have them in the past (but lost them out of reasons unknown to me) … more a feature from the “Damned! At last!”-department, but still really useful. That said, there may be moments where you even need more than the six virtual consoles available to you. As usual things are controlled by SMF in Solaris:

root@template:/# svcs | grep login
online          9:38:54 svc:/system/console-login:default
online          9:38:55 svc:/system/console-login:vt3
online          9:38:55 svc:/system/console-login:vt4
online          9:38:55 svc:/system/console-login:vt2
online          9:38:55 svc:/system/console-login:vt6
online          9:38:55 svc:/system/console-login:vt5

Let us add two consoles. We will leave out console 7 as this one is usually used by Xorg and can be used to switch to X.:

root@template:/# svccfg -s console-login add vt8
root@template:/# svccfg -s console-login add vt9
root@template:/# svccfg -s console-login:vt8 setprop ttymon/device=astring: "/dev/vt/8"
root@template:/# svccfg -s console-login:vt9 setprop ttymon/device=astring: "/dev/vt/9"

Now we just have to enable them:

root@template:/# svcadm enable console-login:vt8
root@template:/# svcadm enable console-login:vt9

Now try Alt+F8 or Alt+F9.

Do you want to learn more?

docs.oracle.com - man page: vt(7i) - Solaris virtual console interface