When using a virtual machine in VirtualBox you might want to switch to a different console by hitting


where <n> stands for the number of the console you want to access (like Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get a text console and Ctrl+Alt+F7 to get back to your X session).

Unfortunately, key combinations with Ctrl+Alt like the mentioned Ctrl+Alt+F<n> or Ctrl+Alt+Del will not be sent to the guest operating system. Instead, Ctrl+Alt+F<n> will only let you change consoles on your host and Ctrl+Alt+Del will magically disappear and effect neither the host nor the guest OS.

VirtualBox offers two menu entries (under the menu entry “Machine”) to send Ctrl+Alt+Del and Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to the guest OS, but does not offer such a feature for other key combinations.



Fortunately, you can use the host key (the right Ctrl key by default) as a substitute for Ctrl+Alt. Therefore when pressing


VirtualBox will send


to the guest OS and this will let you change consoles in your guest and also use other key combination that include Ctrl+Alt.



  6 Responses to “How to use Ctrl+Alt+F1 etc. in a Virtual Machine in VirtualBox”

  1. Thank you for your help..
    I already knew this.

    But somehow i forgot.
    Thank you for helping me.

  2. Thank you! This helped me.

  3. first press alt+ctrl+end
    and then press alt+ctrl+del

  4. Thank you very much, help me solve my problem.

  5. Thank you very much! Having the local linux host intercept it was driving me nuts.

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