Jim Cheetham jim at
Sun Mar 13 04:12:02 UTC 2005

What you describe is pretty much the original unix usage of run-levels 
... single-user at 1, multi-user at 2 (i.e. the login service starts), 
networking at level 3 (well, network servers like NFS, not client stuff 
and basic IP functionality) ... and GUI at level 5. 4 didn't seem to be 
used for much, as far as I can remember ;-)

These days, many distributions have chosen to do everything at runlevel 
2. I'm not quite sure I fully appreciate the reasoning behind this.

Certainly GRUB can be asked to have different choices, reflecting 
different runlevels. Just a matter of tagging the runlevel number at 
the end of the boot specifier. However, unpicking the init script 
dependancies is much more difficult.

I'd like to see an explanation for picking runlevel 2 as the 
"everything" level ...


On Mar 13, 2005, at 4:13 PM, matthew.east at wrote:

> I have a query regarding the current state of runlevels in ubuntu. 
> Hope this is the right list.
> Since I am a laptop user I wondered about the possibility of choosing 
> from grub to boot into two possible runlevels so that in one runlevel 
> I would load my network services (network, ntpdate, smb, etc) and in 
> the other runlevel I would not load network things, for when I am not 
> using my laptop connected to a network. This is important because if I 
> am not connected and I try my usual boot, it spends a fair while 
> trying to get an ip via dhcp and so on.
> AFAICS the network starting services are in rcS, which as I understand 
> it is started on every boot. So without a bit of working around, the 
> result I describe in the previous paragraph is a bit difficult, 
> especially with things like initscript dependencies. Of course, this 
> is not helped by the fact that editing initscripts in ubuntu is pretty 
> difficult, unless I have missed some tool.
> gentoo have lovely initscripts and it is easy as pie to get two 
> runlevels such as those I have described into the grub menu. Can this 
> be done with ubuntu? if not, will it ever be possible?
> thanks for your attention, Matt
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