How To Switch to Console Mode for Ubuntu VMware Guest

By Lowell Heddings on December 13th, 2006

If you are running an Ubuntu guest in VMware, you may have found that you cannot switch into the Console mode using Ctrl+Alt+F1. If you try, you will encounter a blank screen and won’t see a login prompt at all.

There’s an easy workaround for this, but it’s not an obvious one. I’ll have to thank larstr on IRC for this tip.

Open up /boot/grub/menu.lst using the following command (or use your favorite editor)

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Find the section that looks like this:

## ## End Default Options ##

title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.17-10-386
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17-10-386 root=UUID=8312b3d9-e087-439b-8f3b-21f4b00434f1 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.17-10-386

Remove “splash” from the kernel line. Save the file, and reboot.

You should now be able to switch to console mode by using Ctrl+Alt+F1  (or F2-F6)

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/13/06
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