How to Get to a Linux Command Shell - dummies

By Doug Lowe

You can get to a command shell in one of two basic ways when you need to run Linux commands directly. The first is to press Ctrl+Alt+Fx to switch to one of the virtual consoles, where Fx is one of the function keys, from F1 through F12. Then, you can log on and run commands to your heart’s content. When you’re done, press Ctrl+Alt+F7 to return to GNOME.

Alternatively, you can open a command shell directly in GNOME by opening the Activities Overview, clicking Applications, opening the Utilities collection, and then clicking the Terminal icon. This opens a command shell in a window right on the GNOME desktop, as shown. Because this shell runs within the user account that GNOME is logged on as, you don’t have to log on. You can just start typing commands. When you’re done, type Exit to close the window.

A terminal window.