In the past month I’ve been getting accustomed to Ubuntu 12.04, and all of the changes it brings to the user interface of Ubuntu. One issue I’ve been especially bothered by is the lack of virtual terminals, at least of users of NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers (myself included). The issue seems to stem from the fact that Ubuntu 12.04 makes use of a hardware framebuffer to draw a splash screen on boot, which causes issues with the driver when attempting to switch virtual terminals. I had a hard time finding any solutions to my problem, until I found this post on AskUbuntu which gives a couple suggestions. While the poster suggests going all out and completely disabling graphical boot, he also suggests a less drastic solution, adding a flag to the linux boot options that prevent loading framebuffer modes that interfere with virtual terminals.
To do this, open /etc/default/grub in a text editor and find the line that reads
and change it to read
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash vga=normal"
Rebooting your computer should leave the grub menu and boot splashscreen unchanged, while the virtual terminals work perfectly! Of course, your mileage may vary, depending on your system. This works for me on a fully updated install of Ubuntu 12.04, with an NVIDIA 9800 GT.