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Linuxhelp _ Technical Support _ Boot To Command Line

Posted by: nhesson Feb 18 2004, 04:25 AM

Hello All,

I have just installed Debian Linux, and by default the systems boot into X
server. I want to boot into the command line only. How do I do that?
I have edited the 'inittab' file, and the 'initdefault' line from 2 to 3.
That does not work, the system still boot to the desktop login.
What am I doing wrong?


System Info:
Debian 3.0 R2
Kernal 2.4.20
XFree86 4.1.1


Posted by: Robert83 Feb 18 2004, 04:41 AM

First look at /etc/init.d/README. Most Unices put a README file there
describing the init scheme. In turn, this README in Debian points you
to Debian's policy manual, which tells all that has been decided about
the way a Debian system should work. look into CHAPTER 9!

Robert B

Posted by: Robert83 Feb 18 2004, 04:46 AM

Three runlevels are common to all Linux distributions that use System V-style init. Runlevel 0 is used to halt (shut down) the system, runlevel 1 is single-user mode, which has no networking support, and does not allow multiple users to log in (only the root user can use the system, and only on the console), and runlevel 6 is used to reboot the system. Runlevels 2 through 5 are different depending on which Linux distribution you use. Debian currently makes no distinction between these runlevels, however, some distributions do make distinctions. For example, in Red Hat, runlevels 2 and 3 are used for console-only multiuser logins, where runlevel 2 does not have networking on but 3 does, and runlevels 4 and 5 are analogous to 2 and 3, but with X Window-based logins.

Posted by: hughesjr Feb 18 2004, 02:19 PM

For debian, run level 2 is default ... switch /etc/inittab back to 2 ...

then go to /etc/rc2.d and do the command:


You will see a file named S99xdm (or S99gdm, or S99kdm) depending onthe display manager you picked ... just issue the command:

rm S99xdm

(or S99gdm, or S99kdm)
On my debain install, runlevels 2,3,4,5 all look exactly the same ... so you could set the default runlevel to 3 if you want (and do the rm S99xdm) there (/etc/rc3.d)and leave the S99xdm alone in rc5.d, then use 3 as the default run level and 5 as a GUI runlevel ... make sure your rcx.d (substitute 2,3,4,5 for x) are the same and you can then set it up however you want...

Posted by: bambinos May 16 2013, 02:36 AM

hi. i got the same problem too but the only differense is that after i changed id:2:initdefault to id:3:initdefault
it run to command line and asks me in which runlevel i wish to run. any number i may put it says that "no more proccesses in this level and then freezes".
so any help plz?

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