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I have an embedded Ubuntu 12.04 system running with no monitor and I need to run a command in the terminal. I can connect a USB keyboard (or even a mouse, but a mouse would be difficult to use without a monitor) and log into the Ubuntu desktop. How can I bring up the terminal using only the keyboard without any visual feedback?

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ALT + F2 and typing gnome-terminal ready. –  josecarlos Mar 22 at 12:13
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Why are you operating in the dark like that? Can you not access this system via SSH? –  not__p Mar 22 at 21:12
    
@Jason If I could have, I would have. In fact connecting to wifi is exactly what I was going to do with the terminal. –  Matt Mar 29 at 22:05
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@Matt been there before. Without any output though, I foresee a frustrating experience. Some alternatives to trying to configure your machine without any feedback: you could remove the hard drive and configure the wifi and ssh then replace it, or install an os on a flash drive with ssh and wifi set up then access the machine via this os with ssh and write the configurations to the internal hdd. –  not__p Mar 31 at 2:25

3 Answers 3

up vote 21 down vote accepted

Just hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 to switch to another tty. That's probably easiest.

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I sometimes have problems with tty1. Ctrl+Alt+F2 works each time. –  gronostaj Mar 21 at 17:16
    
Thanks! Does this work from the login screen as well? –  Matt Mar 21 at 17:17
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@Matt Yes. You'll probably have to log in on the other tty as well though. –  Oliver Salzburg Mar 21 at 17:17
    
Yes I realize that (mostly because I just tried it out on another Ubuntu I'm on right now). –  Matt Mar 21 at 17:19

For Unity (shipped by default since the Ubuntu12), Gnome, LXDE, Cinnamon and MATE, the Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut will work if you are already logged in.

If you are using Xfce (Xubuntu), however, it would be Super+T. (Note that Super is the Windows key)

And as far as I am aware, in KDE, while it is also Ctrl+Alt+T, for some reason, there are issues with the default shortcuts. So you have a few other options. Press Alt+F2, then type konsole and press Enter. If you have full access to the system, and you want to set up a keyboard shortcut, right click on the Menu, find Konsole, select Advanced tab, Current shortcut key. Select a combination of your liking, though be careful with shortcuts already in use.

As per Terdon's request, this answer has been expanded to provide information about the different Ubuntu environments.

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This is a great answer and will probably come in hand, but unfortunately in this situation Oliver's answer is better. –  Matt Mar 21 at 17:23
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It is good when issues are resolved quickly. Cheers! –  Kard Nails Mar 21 at 17:40

If you still have access to it, ALT + F2 is essentially a one-time run dialog. It can be re-enabled in System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts.

This used to be a standard short cut. Why Canonical removed it, I'll never know.

http://help.ubuntu.com/community/KeyboardShortcuts

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