View Full Version : How can I disable lightdm in Ubuntu 12.04

Leo Simon
December 12th, 2012, 10:18 AM
I need to be able to boot into console mode, from where I launch fvwm. It used to be easy to do this, by setting


in /etc/default/grub, then updating grub. But then, in order to deal with ubuntu's sound problems I follows the instructions in


which ran a number of updates. Since doing this, I now an unable to avoid being booted into lightdm's gui screen. I read that this was a bug, and that the bug had been fixed, but my version of lightdm (1.2.1) is apparently the most recent one. I tried to remove lightdm as some threads suggest with

sudo update-rc.d -f lightdm remove

but this simply hung my machine.

so I had to use recovery mode to get back.

Could anybody suggest something please?
How could it possibly be so hard to do such a primitive thing as avoid a gui? Ubuntu seems to want to be more like windows every new release....

Thanks for any advice!

December 12th, 2012, 11:29 AM
echo "manual" | sudo tee -a /etc/init/lightdm.override

Leo Simon
December 12th, 2012, 06:07 PM
Thanks for the quick response. I should have posted that I'd tried the override route. lightdm.override exists and says manual, but it doesn't override the gui for some reason.

I've also tried editing /etc/init/lightdm.conf, and commenting out the stanza that begins with"start on". This is ignored.
Also, the script clearly says that if /proc/cmdline contains the word "text" then to quit. /proc/cmdline *does* contain the word "text" but it doesn't quit.

The only conclusion I can draw is that the startup script is not even looking at /etc/init/lightdm.conf. Is this possible?

Leo Simon
December 13th, 2012, 10:03 AM
I finally solved this problem. After the patch described above was installed, lightdm.conf was not being read at all. Rather gdm.conf was calling lightdm! I copied into gdm.conf the lines in lightdm.conf that checked cmdline.conf for the word "text" and bailed if these words were found. Then everything worked the way it should.

But what a crazy patch!!! Why would anybody set things up this way???