Archive for July, 2014

Don’t get Locked Out on your Linux machine!

19 July 2014

A lot of us will share a Linux machine with other people in the house — at least I do. Over here there are several user accounts on one happy Linux ‘family box’. But sometimes sharing a machine is frustrating, especially when a housemate leaves the keyboard with a locked account just when you want to start things up for yourself. Sharing passwords is a bad idea, so it looks like you’ll just have to wait.

The combination of <ctrl> + <alt> + <Fn> will take you to one of the six built in terminals, where Fn stands for the function keys 1 to 6. F1 is reserved for the default environment at startup of your computer.

And right here is the solution when you are locked out by another user:

  1. press <ctrl> + <alt> + <F2> (or one of the others, as long as it is not F1);
  2. login with your own account, you’ll get a full screen terminal;
  3. type $ startx and hit <enter> (the $ prompt is already there);
  4. and you’ll see your own environment in full graphical glory.

Finished? Just logout or lock your account (or not), and press <ctrl> + <alt> + <F1> to get back to your housemates’ locked account. If you like to come back and you didn’t log out, <ctrl> + <alt> + <F2> just brings back to where you where.

I’m just happy to post a nifty trick instead of reacting to challenges ;-)