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9.2.2. A Note About Virtual Consoles

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation program offers more than the dialog boxes of the installation process. Several kinds of diagnostic messages are available to you, as well as a way to enter commands from a shell prompt. The installation program displays these messages on five virtual consoles, among which you can switch using a single keystroke combination.
A virtual console is a shell prompt in a non-graphical environment, accessed from the physical machine, not remotely. Multiple virtual consoles can be accessed simultaneously.
These virtual consoles can be helpful if you encounter a problem while installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Messages displayed on the installation or system consoles can help pinpoint a problem. Refer to Table 9.1, “Console, Keystrokes, and Contents” for a listing of the virtual consoles, keystrokes used to switch to them, and their contents.
Generally, there is no reason to leave the default console (virtual console #6) for graphical installations unless you are attempting to diagnose installation problems.

Table 9.1. Console, Keystrokes, and Contents

console keystrokes contents
1 ctrl+alt+f1 graphical display
2 ctrl+alt+f2 shell prompt
3 ctrl+alt+f3 install log (messages from installation program)
4 ctrl+alt+f4 system-related messages
5 ctrl+alt+f5 other messages