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



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


openvt [−c vtnumber] [OPTIONS] [−−] command


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.

−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.


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


Earlier, openvt was called open. It was written by Jon Tombs <[email protected]> or <[email protected]>. The −w idea is from "sam".


chvt(1), doshell(8), login(1)

Updated 2023-02-15 - |