Virtual consoles are unresponsive

I’m running in Xorg with the qtile window manager. Other than the window manager I haven’t changed much from the i3 community install. I’m on the 6.3 kernel with proprietary nvidia drivers.

I’m having a weird problem in which my virtual consoles (ctrl-alt-Fn for n != 7) all appear unresponsive. I see the single line from my boot log

/dev/nvme0n1p2: clean xxxxx files xxxx blocks

which to me looks like some routine reporting on my / partition that showed up on boot, but otherwise it is completely unresponsive. I see exactly the same thing on all the virtual consoles except where Xorg is running. I have a bad feeling this is something nvidia-related, any ideas?

Everything inside Xorg is working just fine, I would just like to feel like my virtual consoles are working.

Hm …
Maybe you can try starting one manually?

systemctl start getty@tty8.service

(assuming of course you use the default implementation of getty… if you dont you’ll know what I mean)

I’ve been periodically coming back and poking around this issue for the last couple of weeks and have gotten nowhere. Running systemctl start getty@ttyN.service always seems to kill Xorg and I still land on a frozen virtual console.

I can’t even seem to find a straight answer on how to know how many getty’s I’m supposedly running. /etc/systemd/logind.conf is on defaults and my Xorg is on 7, so they should be there, they are just frozen.

I do not have your setup, but these are general systemd suggestions.

  • Any failed units.
systemctl --failed
  • Follow the journal and open a tty and see if any messages are produced.
# review current log
journalctl -b

# follow
journalctl -f

I see messages in the journal like:

Started Getty on tty2
login: pam_uni(login:session): session open for
systemd-loging: New session
  • Getty service(s)/target.
systemctl | grep getty
  getty@tty2.service          loaded active running   Getty on tty2
  system-getty.slic           loaded active active    Slice /system/getty                loaded active active    Login Prompts
  • Getty service(s)/target more details.
systemctl status '*getty*'

The number of virtual terminals are defined in /etc/systemd/logind.conf, mentioned in the second link below and in man logind.conf.


The systemd man pages are the place to go, and there are a lot of them. I start with the systemd.directives. Search for the keyword/directive and there’ll be a link to the man page containing the details. The other place to get some info is Poettering’s original blog. Much of it is old, with older versions of the commands, but it’ll fill in the holes and point you in a direction.

NOTE: I went to the qtile home page (pacman -Si qtile | grep URL) to review their doc, unfortunately I got “trouble finding site” (known problem) when selecting Documentation…HHHmmm, I went to Qtile · GitHub and there is a section in their doc that might apply to your situation, qtile/without-dm.rst at master · qtile/qtile · GitHub. Also looks like qtile has a log.