Booting without xorg running mint 17.1 cinnamon

Felix Miata mrmazda at
Wed Oct 7 15:48:22 PDT 2015

Eric Gunther composed on 2015-10-07 08:42 (UTC-0400):

> On Tue, 2015-10-06 at 18:06 -0600, David wrote:

>> OK, so I guess this is a different way of askinga question I've been
>> wrestling with for a few days now.  I need to install a driver
>> downloaded from nvidia, which when run tells me to stop xserver and
>> try running again.  I've tried several commands but haven't had any
>> success this time.  I installed the driver once before with the sudo
>> service mdm stop command but this time it also results in a blank
>> screen. 

> I have had success with sudo init 3, after logging out --> ALT F3 (or
> any F key below 5) to get to a command line in OpenSUSE.  As far as I
> know, init 5 is X while init 6 is reboot. Init 1,2,3 *I think* are 
> appropriate for installing nvidia driver.  That is the ".run" driver file.
> Where one would issue the command "sudo sh" to run
> it.

> The ALT F3 is to change virtual terminals on the computer, where the gui 
> inhabits 6 or 7 on this OpenSUSE machine and a text line login is on a few
> of the others, while logging information is on others yet.  There are 12
> Function keys.  I think this can be configured and so may be specific to a
> distribution.

openSUSE, like Fedora and Mageia and other RPM-based distros I've used,
almost conformed[3] to LSB runlevels[1], in which X ran only in #5, with
while Debian, Ubuntu and other debian-based distros inexplicably defined 4
levels identically[2]. In a debian, only level one doesn't automatically
start the X server. IOW, to kill or prevent X via runlevel switching, only
level #1 works in a debian.

Systemd, which most distros have switched to from sysvinit, confused this
disparity by eliminating the runlevel concept entirely, using "targets"
instead. Some targets conform to the previous runlevel definitions, and
implemented the old init/telinit commands as aliases to reach the targets the
most closely emulate the old runlevels. NAICT, debians using systemd, in my
limited experience so far, continue to start X in all targets except single,
emergency, shutdown or reboot.

So, to help users in getting X not to start, thus facilitating nvidia driver
installation, instructions need to be provided based on knowledge which init
system is in use, and more specifically in which distro, and which distro
version. Init 3 from cmdline or adding 3 to kernel cmdline at boot time is
simple and convenient, but only works in some distros. Among them, LMDE 2
Betsy and Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela do not. In them, S or 1, which by
definition excludes networking, is the only way I know to not start X at init
time. What does work to get multiuser without X simply and easily in debians
using systemd I'd like to know myself.

[3] I say "almost" because typically some networking services are started in
runlevel 2 while full networking is only reached in runlevel 3.
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata  ***

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