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Thread: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Beans
    14

    Exclamation Re: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

    I am experiencing a very similar problem:

    I have a "server" running Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop that I use as my main file store - running four 1T drives as a RAID-10 array with Samba, Apache, SWAT, etc. running to help administer and use it.

    It was running Fedora 10. (Because - at the time - Ubuntu would not even *install* with my 4-port eSATA card in place.) I went to update to Fedora 12 - and it was a mess...

    I discovered that Ubuntu 9.10 would support my RAID setup natively - so I wiped the system clean and installed Ubuntu. (I generally prefer Ubuntu anyway.)

    The way my system was originally set up was that it would give me a GRUB menu list for 5 seconds - and the menu list had two options: Fedora X.x.x.x (graphical), and Fedora X.x.x.x (console).

    Most of the time, I would run my server in console mode so that there wasn't the memory and processor overhead caused by the GUI.

    Why? I'm running this beast on an ancient Dell Optiplex GX-110 desktop with a 700Mhz P3 and a max of 512 megs of RAM that I scavanged out of a dumpster somewhere - along with just about everything else I use.

    Unfortunately I cannot yet afford the luxury of the fancy bleeding-edge AMD 256 bit processors with 18 cores running at XXXThz. I gotta make do with what I can get, and that's why I like Linux. You don't have to be running bleeding-edge hardware to get the sluggish performance of an IBM XT. However, since I *am* running on cruft - I like to be nice to it and only run the heavyweight stuff when I absolutely need it.

    This way, I could default into console mode 99% of the time, saving the overhead of the GUI for those times when I REALLY needed it.

    =========================================

    However. . . . . . .

    With 9.10 I have noticed some really annoying new "features"
    1. It appears that there is no way to get a GRUB startup menu. Even if I **WANT** it.
    2. Passing a kernel parameter (I was using " --3") absolutely does not work. I did not know about "text", and I have not yet tried it.

    There seems to be some confusion here as to what works and does not work.

    At the risk of sounding annoyed, Ubuntu spends a lot of time championing that they are "all about giving the user choices" OK, I wanna make a choice - start up with a GRUB boot menu or not. I wanna make another choice - Graphical startup or console startup. At this point it appears that I have about as much choice as a MAC user! Maybe even less. . . .

    The reason I raise this is that the original reason I was attracted to Ubuntu was both it's ease of use, AND it's flexibility, without ramming some particular style or philosophy down my throat the way Fedora loves too.

    Is there a way I can release these extremely restrictive defaults so that I can make my system behave the way *I* want it to, and not the way *SOMEONE ELSE* wants it to?
    /rant

    Thanks in advance for any help you folks can provide.

    p.s. **PLEASE** suggest to whoever spins these distro's that locking down the startup process like this is the fast boat to Linux Obscurity.

    What say ye?

    Jim
    Last edited by jharris1993; February 22nd, 2010 at 09:59 PM.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    3

    Question Re: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

    I'm a habitual redhat-fedora-centos user, just installed ubuntu 11 on a test machine and have just wasted an hour trying to get it to boot to run level 3 instead of gdm (or 2 with no gdm as it is on ubuntu - why change that i have to ask?? oh, and why was there no root password?!? had to sudo edit the shadow file!)

    I've tried half dozen of the "solutions" google threw up and it's still booting to graphic login which is frankly painful (pc is from noah's ark, it's a bit slow but will do for test server.)

    one hour is about one hour longer than it should take, so resorted to flaunting my ignorance and asking here?

    ubuntu 11.04 - how do i boot to run level 3 (or ubuntu's equivalent) ?

    thanks in advance.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Beans
    425

    Re: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

    Quote Originally Posted by mjames.c2l View Post
    ubuntu 11.04 - how do i boot to run level 3 (or ubuntu's equivalent) ?

    thanks in advance.
    Ubuntu does not use "run levels" although some compatibility is provided for packages installing scripts in /etc/rc*.d.

    If you want to prevent gdm (and X) from starting, add "text" to the boot options.

    I noticed I also had to use "set gfxpayload=text " in grub.cfg to keep my text console happy on some hardware.
    Please use launchpad to search for/report bugs and problems: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Beans
    425

    Re: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

    Quote Originally Posted by mjames.c2l View Post
    oh, and why was there no root password?!? had to sudo edit the shadow file!)
    Oh, and you should strictly speaking use "sudo vipw -s" to edit that file. But it is simpler to use "sudo passwd root" to set a root password.
    Please use launchpad to search for/report bugs and problems: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    3

    Re: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

    Thanks for the quick reply tormod, i've just tried that and still no joy, this is exactly what i tried

    changed /etc/default/grub to:

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text"
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=""

    ran update-grub

    rebooted -> gui login

    changed to

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text"
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="text"

    ran update-grub

    rebooted -> gui login

    this is the default menu section of grub.conf (after 1st update)

    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.38-8-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    recordfail
    set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos1)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root a6036b89-17ac-4d8c-952c-5647021ead6d
    linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic root=UUID=a6036b89-17ac-4d8c-952c-5647021ead6d ro text
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic
    }

    where i can see the update-grub has changed the linux boot params to "text" but this is still booting to gui

    anything in that lot look suspicious? or is there something else i need to do?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    3

    Re: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

    actually don't worry about it, i noticed the restart option wasn't actually restarting the pc so i shut it down and now it won't boot up at all, just hangs on a black screen.

    i think ubuntu11 was just a bit too optimistic for an old dog of a pc.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Beans
    425

    Re: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

    Quote Originally Posted by mjames.c2l View Post
    now it won't boot up at all, just hangs on a black screen.
    Maybe because you did not change the gfxpayload as I suggested?
    i think ubuntu11 was just a bit too optimistic for an old dog of a pc.
    My 11.04 installation runs on a ~2003 laptop with AMD 1GHz CPU and 256 MB RAM (-16MB for shared graphics)...
    Please use launchpad to search for/report bugs and problems: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Beans
    150
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: HowTo: Boot into runlevel 3 (text-only; no X server)

    I am reopening an old thread...I tried to reboot without the GUI and it failed!

    Here are my GRUB lines:
    Code:
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text"
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="text"
    set gfxpayload="text"
    Yet, it still loads up gnome shell with all it's fancy GUI!

    Edit: I even ran sysv-rc-conf and set lightdm to level 3 and same for x11-common, rebooted in recovery mode and I still have the GUI!
    Last edited by Flywaver; October 26th, 2011 at 05:17 PM. Reason: tried another tip but didn't work

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