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Old 11-20-2003, 12:09 PM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2003
Location: New Zealand
Distribution: redhat 9
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can't get gui login screen

Hi, I've created some major problems for myself, I think.

Last night my machine seemed to stop responding and I couldn't close any programs down, nor access the Menu button, so I powered off. I would never normally do that in windoze, but couldn't think what else to do - I'm very new to Redhat

This morning, the machine appears to boot normally, prompts to check the files due to not shutting down cleanly, does that OK. It then gets to where it normally shows the gui login screen, but can't quite get there and cycles permanently between the text login (very briefly as usual) and attempting to show the gui screen again, which never shows.

I've corrupted some files I suppose, a good lesson to me to learn that there must be some other way of shutting down when it seems to have locked up on me, but that's not the question now.

How do I recover from this situation and get the gui logon screen back? I can boot to windoze OK. Can I simply do a reinstall "over the top"? If so, what do I need to watch out for so I don't have to start from scratch?

I have a knoppix cd here somewhere, will that be of any use in trying to sort this out?

Thanks for any help - I'm finding the transition to doing useful things with linux really challenging, but I'm determined to stick with it even though right now I feel like it's not worth it (this will pass!).

Old 11-20-2003, 12:22 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Suse 6.0+, Mandrake 5.0-10.0, Redhat 6.0-9.0, Gentoo 1.2+, Gnoppix, Knoppix, Sabayon, Ubuntu 5.04+
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Try control-alt-f1 to see if you can get to tty1.. a text login console.

Login as root, browse your way over to /etc/X11

Type, telinit 3. This switches your system to runlevel 3 which shouldnt have X running.
Now, you have 2 options. If you know how to run your screen config program... run it, and redo all your video settings.

Option 2. Delete any and all files in /etx/X11 that are called XF86Config.. or XF86Config-4.. on some distro's this will make the config utility run itself when you reboot the system
Old 11-20-2003, 12:33 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2003
Posts: 11

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I don't know exactly how to correct your error, but I could give you a few tips to get you started and on your way.

The linux system runs on different levels, these are refered to as init.
init 0 is the system when it has shut down.
init 3 is the system at the basic command line level.
and init 5 is your RH Gui.
a good lesson to me to learn that there must be some other way of shutting down when it seems to have locked up on me
Forcing your computer to shutdown
in the command line, type:
su - (switch user to root)
init 0 (shutdown)

so you can't log in ... I would suggest finding a way to start your machine at init 3 (command line).

You can do this by toggling through the grub application, if you look around you can find a way to change your run level to init 3.

if that doesn't work, there should be an override as the system boots up. just press the correct key (at the correct time) and log in as root.

try to reconfigure your user name and passwords, you can also access key filesystems if you know which files are causing this problem.

goodluck with that
Old 11-21-2003, 12:23 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2003
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Hmmm, locked up in X eh? CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE should drop you to a prompt where you can in the future type your various shutdown commands(shutdown -now or the above).

Redhat? Yeah, I'm a newbie as of this past week, and hit the power button to kill the computer. Found the 3 finger method third install around...

Good Luck in all of this though! Stick with it, if you got good at windows, you can get good at Linux....patience....
Old 11-21-2003, 02:41 AM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: New Zealand
Distribution: redhat 9
Posts: 20

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Thanks for the replies, I'll know how to shut down next time

ctrl+alt+f1 won't do anything.

I can enter interactive startup but not see anything that will let me change the init level or prevent going past the command line screen immediately prior to the attempt to go to the gui login. What can I do to stop it at the command line login? Most of the services that I can choose to start I know nothing about. (I might try not starting everything!)

I can get to edit the grub menu fine, the entry to boot to redhat says:

root (hd1,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=label=/ hdc=ide-scsi
initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.20-8.img

Is this where I can do something - I'm clueless at this stage. I'll stick with this for now, hopeful of getting things going without resorting to a reinstall.
Old 11-28-2003, 11:27 AM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2003
Posts: 5

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The runlevel is stated in the inittab file, it should be in /etc/ folder somewhere, I'm using slack and I don't know if yours is somewhere else.... try this webpage out. In slack, the inittab states what the runlevels are with the #Description stuff. Check out this page, it might have some useful information.


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