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How To Start Linux In Multiuser Mode Rather Than Boot Directly Into Xwindows (x11)

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#1 Grinler


    Lawrence Abrams

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 02:56 PM

How to start Linux in multiuser mode rather than boot directly into XWindows (X11)

Guide Overview

By default most Linux distributions automatically start up the X11 when the system starts. For those who do not use XWindows or do not want it to start automatically, this guide will explain how to change your configuration so that the default runlevel is Full Multiuser Mode. You can then start XWindows manually by typing startx as needed.

  • Log in to the server as root.

  • Type vi /etc/inittab

  • When inittab opens, using the arrows keys move your cursor down till you see a line that looks like this.


    Lets disect this line. The id:5 denotes the runlevel that Linux will boot up into. Runlevel 5 is the graphical login mode. This means that when Linux starts it will go directly into X11. The initdefault stands for the default runlevel. We want to change this runlevel to 3 which is full multiuser mode console login.

  • Using your arrow keys, move the cursor so it is highlighting the number 5 in the line above.

  • Press the x key to delete the number 5.

  • Press the i key to go into insert mode.

  • Type the number 3. The line should now appear as id:3:initdefault:

  • Press the escape key to leave insert mode.

  • Type :wq and press enter to save and exit vi.

    Note: If you make any mistakes and do not want to save your changes. You can instead type :quit! and it will exit vi and discard any changes you made.
Now that you have changed the default runlevel to 3 when you start Linux it will no longer boot into X11, but rather directly into the console.

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#2 Jombee


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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:18 AM

If you're running a debian based system you will have to remove gdm/kdm from rd.d
you can do that manually or by

# update-rc.d -f gdm remove

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