How to enable tty for more than 6 console. How to disable all the tty terminals in Linux. systemd disable tty. systemd enable tty using getty service in Linux.

How to disable tty or enable tty console in Linux ( RHEL / CentOS 7)


I have written another article to understand the difference between /dev/tty and /dev/pts. In this article I will share the steps to disable tty and enable tty for specific terminal consoles in Linux.


Basic overview on TTY

  • tty consoles are managed by systemd in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 OS.
  • tty consoles are created on-the-fly upon access.
  • The allowed number of consoles can be configured in /etc/systemd/logind.conf file.
  • Set NAutoVTs= value in this file to desired number to have systemd capable of generating those many tty consoles.
  • By default there are 6 terminals available on a Linux system which can be accessed using Ctrl+Alt+F[1-6]


Disable TTY terminal console

To disable tty terminal make the below changes in /etc/systemd/logind.conf

ReserveVT Takes a positive integer. Identifies one virtual terminal that shall unconditionally be reserved for autovt@.service activation . The VT selected with this option will be marked busy unconditionally, so that no other subsystem will allocate it. This functionality is useful to ensure that, regardless of how many VTs are allocated by other subsystems, one login “getty” is always available.

Now since our aim is to disable all the terminals, we will leave the value as “N” for ReserveVT. With this step you have disabled all the available terminals. Now you can manually enable the required terminals.

tty1 can not be disabled as it is used by xorg process and it is hardcoded.


Enable TTY terminal console

For the demonstration of this article I will enable console access for terminal 2 and 3 on my Linux host.

Create a symlink of a tty you want to enable in /etc/systemd/system/

node1:~ # ln -sf /usr/lib/systemd/system/getty@.service /etc/systemd/system/
node1:~ # ln -sf /usr/lib/systemd/system/getty@.service /etc/systemd/system/

Enable tty using systemctl:

node1:~ # systemctl enable getty@tty2.service
node1:~ # systemctl enable getty@tty3.service

Verify the changes

node1:~ # ls -l /etc/systemd/system/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 38 Jun  1 15:23 /etc/systemd/system/ -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/getty@.service
node1:~ # ls -l /etc/systemd/system/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 38 Jun  1 11:49 /etc/systemd/system/ -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/getty@.service

Next reboot the node to activate the changes

node1:~ # reboot

Once the node is successfully UP post reboot, attempt to connect to other terminals using Ctrl+Alt+F[4-6] and you will observe that all these terminals will be disabled although terminal 1-3 will be enabled because of our configuration.


Lastly I hope the steps from the article to enable or disable tty on Linux was helpful. So, let me know your suggestions and feedback using the comment section.


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