ctrl-alt-Fn no longer switches virtual terminals

Peter B. Steiger pbs_lists_001 at bluebottle.com
Sun Sep 16 23:19:54 PDT 2007

I boot linux to a console prompt and launch xorg as needed with
startx... I've done it that way since my first Red Hat install nearly 10
years ago and every new install I've done since then (all LFS) I've
copied my preferences from one .xinitrc to the next.  All of which is to
say, as far as I know none of my settings have changed since the last
time this worked between one and eight weeks ago (I don't need that
functionality very often, so I don't remember for sure the last time it

But for some reason, some time within the last month or two the
ctrl-alt-Fn combination will no longer take me out of my X desktop and
back to one of the virtual terminal consoles.  When I'm out of X
entirely, ctrl-alt-Fn and alt-Fn both work the same to move me among the
six virtual terminals I set up in inittab.

I also just discovered that ctrl-alt-Fn still works for root, just not
my day-to-day login.

The problem occurs on both my new (within the past week) LFS+BLFS build
with kernel + xorg 7.3, as well as the partition with my older
build on it (kernel + xorg 7.2).

I use fluxbox as my window manager and recently updated it, but the same
problem occurs when I remove fluxbox and start X with just twm.

I do not load any special keyboard or console options with loadkeys; I
just the out-of-the-box us keyboard configuration with whatever defaults
the kernel picks.

Root can run chvt and get back to a text console, but that program will
not let non-root run it.

Somewhere in my recent updates I must have done something to screw up
the ability to switch among VTs, but I can't think of what it could be.
Any suggestions on where to look?  I don't even know what system
(kernel, xorg, whatever) maps the operation of the function keys to the
vt console switcher.

Peter B. Steiger
Cheyenne, WY

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