Does OS X have virtual terminals?

iMetroid

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 25, 2006
79
0
Baltimore, MD
I'm a Linux user thinking of switching over, so pardon my extremely geeky question.

I know for a fact that Macs crash. Definitely not as much as Windows PC's, but they still crash once and a while. Same goes for Linux. Every so often, KDE* will freeze up on me. I don't mean a single app*, I mean the entire GUI. That's when virtual terminals come in handy. I can jump into one via a key combination*, and end whatever's causing it to eff up. My question is - does Mac OS X have virtual terminals? If not, is there an alternative to holding down the power button if you get a freeze/crash?

Thanks!

*KDE is one of the Linux desktop environments, in case you were unclear on that.

*Though, that has happened before. A force quit usually takes care of it right away, which I know Mac has.

*Ctrl + F Keys
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,638
61
Harrogate
No. OSX does not have virtual terminals.

You can ssh in (assuming you have the ssh daemon running) and terminate processes remotely.
 

stcanard

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2003
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Vancouver
iMetroid said:
*KDE is one of the Linux desktop environments, in case you were unclear on that.

*Though, that has happened before. A force quit usually takes care of it right away, which I know Mac has.

*Ctrl + F Keys
I have never (3 years of usage, starting with the release of Panther) had OSX crash on me so badly that I couldn't force quit (restart) the finder. cmd-option-escape is hardwired far enough into the system that it will even overcome a frozen UI.

The only crashes I have had that required more than that were kernel panics, and virtual terminals will not save you there.
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,037
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Salt Lake City, UT
stcanard said:
I have never (3 years of usage, starting with the release of Panther) had OSX crash on me so badly that I couldn't force quit (restart) the finder. cmd-option-escape is hardwired far enough into the system that it will even overcome a frozen UI.

The only crashes I have had that required more than that were kernel panics, and virtual terminals will not save you there.
I've had the rare crash (maybe 1 or 2 total) for which Force Quit didn't work. Like robbieduncan said, as long as you've got SSH turned on (one check box in System Preferences), you can SSH in from another machine and kill the offending process(es).
 

trainguy77

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2003
3,567
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iMetroid said:
I know for a fact that Macs crash. Definitely not as much as Windows PC's, but they still crash once and a while. Same goes for Linux. Every so often, KDE* will freeze up on me. I don't mean a single app*, I mean the entire GUI.
I have a fedora 5 box down stairs and so far with my experience with it, its more unstable the OS X. I have had problems that no one in the IRC know how to fix for ex it freezes every time i try to do a remote desktop. Strange I know, anyway. With my experience OS X is more stable then Fedora core 5. I am however no saying X can't crash, but I hardly ever have that happen.
 

freeman.marc880

macrumors newbie
Apr 21, 2015
1
0
No OSX doesn't have a virtual terminal, in fact, you're going to find that OSX is very restricted when compared to Linux. Root access isn't available via a GUI (it is via the su command though), I dunno, there's just no room for customisation, you loose the right to make your system your own like you can on Linux. This isn't at all a bad thing though, and in no way is OSX a bad operating system, I personally love it as I can record music, program, and use Unreal Graphic engine straight out of the box without having to install packages via terminal. I'd recommend OS X to anyone over Windows.
 

tomnavratil

macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2013
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Czech Republic
In 5 years, I have only seen one crash where Force Quit wouldn't work with the UI and that has been with an external screen (still don't know what went wrong) - so it's not too bad!
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
3,285
375
No OSX doesn't have a virtual terminal, in fact, you're going to find that OSX is very restricted when compared to Linux. Root access isn't available via a GUI (it is via the su command though), I dunno, there's just no room for customisation, you loose the right to make your system your own like you can on Linux. This isn't at all a bad thing though, and in no way is OSX a bad operating system, I personally love it as I can record music, program, and use Unreal Graphic engine straight out of the box without having to install packages via terminal. I'd recommend OS X to anyone over Windows.
If you enable the root user in OS X you can login as the root user and use the GUI as root user.