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Ok, first of all I am using mandrake 9.1 and kde. I have mandrake setup to go straight into the graphical mode (this is for ease of use for my wife who I am trying to convert to linux). The problem is that I can't figure out how to get out of x and back to the command line. Ctrl-Alt-Bksp just causes x to restart and put me back at the graphical login screen. If I logout of x, I end up at the graphical login menu which gives me options to reboot the comp, shutdown the comp, and place the comp in standby, but no option to get me to a command line without x running.
So when installing things that involve x, such as an nvidia driver, I am supposed to log out of x and work from the command line. But the only way I have found to get out of x and to a real command line is to unselect my option to boot directly to graphical mode and then logout. Then after installing something like an nvidia driver, I have to start x from the command line and then reselect my option to boot to graphical mode.
What I need is a way to get out of x to do command line work, but on the next reboot, my "boot to graphical" selection will still apply. Just so you know, I do know how to use consoles, but for things like the nvidia driver, X cannot be running at all during the install.
An 'init 3' should get you into runlevel 3, a non graphical environment.
Open a term, become root and type init 3
I'm not a mandrake user, but this is the general way of switching runlevels.
This are the runlevels and what they should be used for:
# runlevel 0 is System halt (Do never use this for initdefault)
# runlevel 1 is Single user mode
# runlevel 2 is Local multiuser without remote network (e.g. NFS)
# runlevel 3 is Full multiuser with network
# runlevel 4 is Not used
# runlevel 5 is Full multiuser with network and xdm
# runlevel 6 is System reboot (Do never use this for initdefault)
To go back to your 'X' environment: init 5
Or reboot, your default setting is still intact, check /etc/inittab for the following line:
# default runlevel
It won't say 3, probably 5 (if Mandrake followed the numbering convention)
I'm not sure if its the right way, but when I want to go to terminal only from the GUI this is what I do:
Open the konsole or a terminal, "su -" to work as root. Type "init 3"(without quotes). X server is shut down and you are then working in text mode only. When you want to go back to the GUI type "init 5"(as root, without quotes) and you will be taken back to the login screen.