I used nodm and matchbox-window-manager to boot my raspberry pi into a Java application without desktop being shown but I am now stuck in matchbox window and I need access to the terminal. How can I escape the matchbox window/access terminal from this point? I've tried ALT+F1-6 with no luck. I can end the Java program process but then its just a black screen.

(I've also tried mashing my keyboard)

  • If you try to switch to an ascii console, then you should use Alt-Ctrl-F(1-6) instead of Alt-F(1-6). I've absolute no practice with nodm (which seems to be not maintained anymore github.com/spanezz/nodm ) or matchbox-window but the Alt-Ctrl-Fx combination works on all Window Manager / Xwindow / Wayland combinations I used for the last ~30 years) Nov 14, 2020 at 10:11
  • If you follow the github link from my last comment, you'll see: The author advices to use the lightdm instead of nodm. It seems lightdm does the autologin now out of the box enricozini.org/blog/2019/himblick/x-autologin . Just a hint, if that's a possibillity you can think of. Nov 14, 2020 at 10:13

1 Answer 1


As a comment pointed out, I was using the wrong shortcut. To escape the window manager and get to a terminal use CTRL+ALT+F(1-6)

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