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> Patrick J Draper wrote:
> How do I stop my Debian 2.1 machine kicking straight into X windows or
> how do I get out once it has.
> I'm having problems and wish to boot to the command line.
> Many thanks All
> Email: pdraper@simpsons.uk.com

( Hint - It's a good idea to not leave the subject line blank.)

X Window (not X Windows, plural) is starting automatically at bootup via
a little program called wdm (or xdm, or gdm, or several others).
Probably. There are other ways to automate it also, but this is likely
the case.

To get out of X when it's running, you need to shut down the xdm (or
whatever) program first.

xdm is started in your startup routine. Your default run level is
probably 2, so the directory you're interested in is /etc/rc2.d.

In that directory are several files starting with S or K. The S files
start stuff; the K files kill stuff. You probably won't find any K files
in this directory. During startup (or a change of run level), the K
files are run first, in numerical/alphabetical order, followed by the S
files in order. xdm will probably be within one or two of being the last

There are several ways of stopping wdm. You could do a "ps ax|more" and
look for xdm (or gdm, etc), and then kill the PID to that app. Better,
and probably the cleanest, is to (as root) run
"/etc/rc2.d/S[whatevernumber]xdm stop". Then you can exit X in the
normal manner (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace for an unclean exit, or however your
window manager provides, such as with "Debian/Close/Exit Window Manager"
on IceWM.

xdm will restart on your next boot (but no need to reboot), or you can
start it manually by running "/etc/rc2.d/S[whatevernum]xdm start".

If you want to semi-permanently turn off xdm, rename the S script to
something like "NOS[whatevernum]xdm", or move it to a temporary
directory, etc. Some people change the S to a K so that xdm will be
killed instead of started. Rename it back when you want to re-enable it.

To permanently turn off xdm, use dselect (or dpkg, or apt-get, etc) to
remove the xdm package.


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