Booting to a console login

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In some cases, you may find it helpful to boot to a console-only logon. For example:

  • when X-Windows(GUI) is having troubles displaying right (to repair X-Windows or switch graphics drivers)
  • when you're on a slow machine and just don't need the GUI to do what you want to do.

You can tell GRUB to boot you into any runlevels you want by simply appending the number onto the GRUB command line before hitting enter. It is recommended that you actually practice doing some things at runlevel-3, so that you're comfortable there, in anticipation of the time when you'll need to work there. Note that since the network is running, you can install/remove software and drivers, and make changes to files.

To edit files at runlevel-3, you'll need a non-GUI-based editor such as the newbie-friendly nano. If that is not installed, just install it by running the root-cmd

apt-get install nano

In a similar fashion, you can even browse the Internet, using a non-GUI browser, such as lynx.

[As an alternative to using run-level-3 to repair the system, you can instead bootup the MEPIS LiveCD, as it likewise supports various 'repair' operations (of the installed system).]


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