Booting to the command line without X-windows

Adolfo Bello adolfobello at
Sat Nov 19 15:27:19 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-11-16 at 20:57 -0500, golfer wrote:
> On 11/16/05, John W Redelfs <jredelfs at> wrote:
> > Because of all the Ubuntu hype, I'm coming back to Linux after several
> > years away from it, and I have forgotten a lot.  Can anybody tell me
> > how I should change my setup so that it boots from the boot loader to
> > a console login without X-windows and Gnome?  I prefer starting out on
> > the command line, and changing to a GUI only when I want one.
> I set up run level 3 to be gui-less by deleting the /etc/rc3.d/S13gdm
> and S21kdm and creating K01gdm and K01kdm links instead.  i.e.:
> :~$ ls -l /etc/rc3.d/K01*
> lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root 13 2005-10-20 07:42 /etc/rc3.d/K01gdm -> ../init.d/gdm
> lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root 13 2005-10-20 07:42 /etc/rc3.d/K01kdm -> ../init.d/kdm
> Then when I want to use the console, just 'sudo telinit 3'.  To start
> in konsole, I can 'sudo nano /etc/inittab' and change
> "id:2:initdefault:" to "id:3:initdefault:"
> > Alternatively, could someone tell me how to drop from the Gnome
> > desktop to the command line without X-windows.  Using sudo in a
> > terminal window from Gnome to install nVidia drivers doesn't work
> > because I need to do it without X-windows running.
> Maybe someone else has a better way.
> bye

This is what I did to have run level 3 as console mode and add it to the
grub menu:

Step 1:
	update-rc.d -f gdm start 13 2 4 5 . stop 01 0 1 3 6 .

Step 2: Modify /boot/grub/menu.lst by adding a new menu entry:

	title           Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.12-9-386 (CONSOLE)
	root            (hd0,6)
	kernel          /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.12-9-386 root=/dev/hda7 ro acpi=on quiet splash 3
	initrd          /boot/initrd.img-2.6.12-9-386

Make sure to adjust the root line to your hard drive setup and to run
"sudo update-grub"

Now, you can select booting to console mode from the grub menu. You can
even select it as the default boot mode.



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