Ubuntu: Change run level

So if you desire to have your system start into a command line interface mode instead of a gui all you have to do is change the run level.

Here is a break down of the different run levels for Ubuntu:

1 Single-User Mode Does not configure network interfaces, start daemons, or allow non-root logins.
2 Multi-User Mode Does not configure network interfaces or start daemons.
3 Multi-User Mode with Networking Starts the system normally.
4 Not used/User-definable For special purposes.
5 X11 As runlevel 3 + display manager.

To check your current run level within the system, go to the terminal or shell and type the following:

This will return a response of something similiar to:
# runlevel N 2

The ‘N’ stands for none, meaning there has been no run level change since powering up.

For Ubuntu 9.10, you change the run level within the /etc/init/rc-sysinit.conf file

The line is at the very top and it says, runlevel 3 or depending on what its set to will be different. If you want to have a GUI start automatically change it to the 5. Depending on how you have configured it at the time of installation, if you used server edition, then your going to be booting into a command line which is 3.  If you are running desktop then it would be 5.

If you want everything but gui use 3, if you want the gui startup then use 5.

I would love to hear your comments, please leave comments on if this was helpful or not to you.

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Good info, i wanted to find out if we can edit the rc-default file in ubuntu9.04, and insert the runlevel i prefer…
    more over….the command: telinit doesnt work.
    doesnt happen anything

  2. There is no reason why you could not change the default run level in 9.10 to be whatever you want it to be. The run level file that you want to change is located at:

    The name of the file you need to edit is called:

    You can edit that using vi, joe or your favorite text editor program.
    Look for the default runlevel section or item and you can change it from there.

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