If, by "desktop," you mean a console screen, why not boot to level 3 instead of 5?
Note that, if you want a semi-gui interface (to find files, etc) you can use EMACS or Midnight Commander. (EMACS is very powerful, but hard to learn, mc is more intuitive and, usually, enough to get the job done.)
A yum install emacs mc should install both.
Oh, to boot into level 3, replace the rhgb by a 3 in the kernel= line of /boot/grub/grub.conf
You can do this dynamically by pressing e when the GRUB OS selection menu is displayed and the correct OS selected, and you can force that menu to be displayed (if you have the default "hidemenu" option in the gurb configuration file) by pressing <Esc> when the GRUB splash screen is displayed.
If the line you're editing appears garbled (as mine often does), the sequence "<Esc>, c, <Esc>, e" will usually clear it up.
You might also try a "google" for "via" or your specific "via" chipset, if you know it.
Last edited by PTrenholme; 03-21-2007 at 08:31 PM.