My virtual terminals have vanished. [Solved]

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My virtual terminals have vanished. [Solved]

Postby jiml8 » Nov 1st, '20, 06:30

I just updated - something I am becoming very reluctant to to - and right before I did the update I realized my virtual terminals have disappeared.

I don't know when they vanished because I only try to use them when I need them. And, until a little while ago, I have not needed them for awhile. I suspect they have been missing since the last time I updated, which was about 2 months ago.

so, ctrl-alt-F2, etc gets me nothing.

I went looking, and discovered the /etc/ttys file no longer exists. I also looked in /etc/X11 for evidence that they are defined there. I grepped for "tty" and "vt" in /etc and did not find anything useful.

I can hunt for hours, or I can ask.

Does anyone know where my virtual terminals might have gone? Probably some config issue in that noisome systemd...
Last edited by jiml8 on Feb 7th, '21, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My virtual terminals have vanished. Has anyone seen the

Postby doktor5000 » Nov 1st, '20, 17:04

Could be. The getty processes are spawned on-demand by systemd when you switch to a tty. Or at least that's how it should work.
Although sometimes when your first getty / the tty for your X session does not start properly, switching also does not work.

I'd suggest you check for
Code: Select all
systemctl --all|grep getty

There's a getty@.service which is instanced for each tty, so by default you should have a loaded but inactive getty@tty1.service (because that's where X runs).
Check that for some documentation pointers, e.g. systemd-getty-generator or https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Getty or maybe http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/serial-console.html
What I can recommend and what we had previously by default IIRC, is this: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Sy ... /dev/tty12 (that will not directly help with your issue although it might prove useful to check if something is wrong or something is not spawning due to reason XYZ)

Also check if there are any overrides below /etc/systemd/system/getty*service.d/ or with systemd-delta and in /etc/systemd/logind.conf.
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Re: My virtual terminals have vanished. Has anyone seen the

Postby jiml8 » Nov 5th, '20, 21:12

Well, here is what systemd says:
Code: Select all
systemctl -a | grep getty
  getty@tty1.service                                                                                                                   loaded    inactive   dead      Getty on tty1                                                                                                 
  getty@tty2.service                                                                                                                   loaded    active     running   Getty on tty2                                                                                                 
  getty@tty3.service                                                                                                                   loaded    active     running   Getty on tty3                                                                                                 
  getty@tty4.service                                                                                                                   loaded    active     running   Getty on tty4                                                                                                 
  getty@tty5.service                                                                                                                   loaded    active     running   Getty on tty5                                                                                                 
  getty@tty6.service                                                                                                                   loaded    active     running   Getty on tty6                                                                                                 
  system-getty.slice                                                                                                                   loaded    active     active    system-getty.slice                                                                                           
  getty-pre.target                                                                                                                     loaded    inactive   dead      Login Prompts (Pre)                                                                                           
  getty.target                                                                                                                         loaded    active     active    Login Prompts             


So it does appear that systemd is starting the gettys.

I thought it perhaps was the nvidia binary blob, so I updated to the latest one. I had to SSH into the box to install it because I tried to telinit 1 from my user session, and did not get a console, just a blank screen.

So, via SSH, in installed the latest nvidia driver and rebooted. The box did not come up correctly so I rebooted again. This time it came up, and I had my virtual consoles, but did not have X. So, working from a virtual console, I installed the nvidia driver again, then started sddm.

The moment sddm started, I got my GUI and lost all my virtual consoles.

And that is where I am at right now.
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Re: My virtual terminals have vanished. Has anyone seen the

Postby jiml8 » Feb 5th, '21, 21:32

...and my virtual terminals are back.

I did an update this morning and I am now on kernel 5.10.12, along with all the other updates. I also upgraded to the latest Nvidia driver (460.39).

And, finally, my terminals have returned.

I think the problem was in KDE and not in the nvidia driver, but I am not certain of that. I suspect this because I have been chasing another problem (apparently dbus, which goes with KDE) that would cause my UI to hang after about a week of uptime, forcing me to reboot. I've been trying to sort out all the symptoms I have been seeing, and they all seem to point to KDE.

So, maybe now my UI won't hang after a week. Hope that's fixed. But anyway, I have my consoles back.
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Re: My virtual terminals have vanished. Has anyone seen the

Postby isadora » Feb 6th, '21, 09:16

JIm, please mark the topic [SOLVED] please. ;)
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Re: My virtual terminals have vanished. Has anyone seen the

Postby morgano » Feb 7th, '21, 18:13

Glad update solved it.
Next time one could as a test try another DM, and/or log in to IceWM.
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Re: My virtual terminals have vanished. Has anyone seen the

Postby jiml8 » Feb 7th, '21, 19:29

morgano wrote:Glad update solved it.
Next time one could as a test try another DM, and/or log in to IceWM.

It was a long time before I started thinking the problem might by KDE; I had been thinking it was the nvidia driver. The other problem I did figure out pretty quickly was likely dbus, but I saw no choice but to wait on an update and grumbled, but did reboot about once a week when my UI stopped.

My workflow depends heavily on KDE; I run lots of VMs just in my normal usage (presently, I have 6 of them running; 1 Windows, 2 Mint, 1 OpenSUSE, 1 FreeBSD 8.4, 1 FreeBSD 12), and the ability to provide separate desktops is extremely helpful.

I don't think I could do this with icewm, and I would have to figure out how to set up another desktop (say gnome) to do what I need to do. I have been busy, and therefore unwilling to take the hours that such a switch (even for diagnostic purposes) would require - particularly when, should I demonstrate the DE to be the problem, I couldn't fix it anyway.

For now, I have my consoles back. And the system has been up long enough that possibly I could expect to see some issues with dbus but so far I have not seen any. If I go 2 more days without any symptoms, then likely the problem is gone. If I make it 5 more days without rebooting, it almost certainly is gone.
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