Manual Reference Pages  - OPENVT (1)


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. 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.


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 < or>. The -w idea is from "sam".


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

19 Jul 1996 OPENVT (1) V1.4
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