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-   -   log in console mode in debian etch (

htamayo 04-11-2007 11:32 AM

log in console mode in debian etch
Hi, after I installed etch, automatically gnome starts as my default session, but I don't want this, neither I want to use "the session button" and use "console failsafe session", I want to "log in console mode" and if I decide run startx or stay in console mode, in the web I just find that I need to deactivate "gdm", but question is:

from what file I have to "deactivate" this line? can you explain me this process?


svenwinkle 04-11-2007 12:04 PM

Ok, here's my understanding of things. In Linux you have runlevels. Different distributions handle runlevels differently (imagine that). Ubuntu (I haven't tried debian etch yet, but I would guess it's similar) has runlevels 1-5, but runlevels 3-5 are almost identical and X will start in any of them. Back in the old days, runlevel 3 always meant multi-user with no X and runlevel 5 meant multi-user with X. These days it seems everyone wants X so they put it in all the multi-user runlevels. To get around this you need to go into the runlevel that you want to designate as the non-X runlevel and remove the link to gdm. In Ubuntu Edgy, and assuming that you want the runlevel with no X to be 3, you would go to the folder /etc/rc3.d and remove the link S13gdm.

The second part of this was something I was not aware of until today. Ubuntu has moved away from the /etc/inittab model and is using something called Upstart to handle the way runlevels are handled. A nice caveat is that Upstart still respects /etc/inittab, so you can use the good-old-fashioned way of doing things and just create a file called /etc/inittab (if one doesn't already exist) and add the line:


Otherwise you can try using the new Upstart program. Some documentation on that can be found at

farslayer 04-11-2007 12:04 PM

Keep in mind Debian Starts EVERYTHING in run level 2
in Debian ALL runlevels from 2-5 are the SAME by default

mv /etc/rc2.d/S99gdm /etc/rc2.d/K99gdm

Just rename that symlink and gdm will not start at boot time.
/etc/rc2.d contains links to scripts that start services at boot time.

S means Start
K means Kill
The higher the number the later it will start or stop.

There are also utilities for managing your runlevels.


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