cat >/dev/null_

boot ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” in text mode


Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” has been released, and what I wrote in my last post is still relevant.

I did another search to find another good way to boot the OS in text mode, getting rid of gdm at boot.

Inbetween several instances of advice like removing /etc/rc2.d/S30gdm, which does not exist any longer since gdm has been moved to upstart, or getting rid of gdm altogether by uninstalling it, which I didn’t want to do, I found something interesting in a comment to an article:

You need to open the /etc/default/grub file, locate the following line:


and change it to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash text"

and don’t forget to run update-grub afterwards to update.

In more general terms, you may want to add the text parameter to the GRUB entry for which you want a text-mode boot. Changing the default GRUB command line postfix, which is appended to all entries, rather than changing a single entry, seems like a brutal solution, but it is also the quickest, and may be just what you want.

A little bit of explanation: the upstart script /etc/init/gdm checks the kernel command-line for inhibitors such as text, and quits if it finds one:

        for ARG in $(cat /proc/cmdline)
            case "${ARG}" in
                    plymouth quit || :  # We have the ball here
                    exit 0
  1. [...] boot ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” in text mode [...]

  2. RG

    Jun 30th 2010

    The starts up in 80×25 text mode. How can this be set to 132×50 ?

  3. andrew

    Jul 1st 2010
  4. kOoLiNuS

    Jul 7th 2010

    thanks man! I needed this one!

  5. grateful

    Jul 22nd 2010


  6. cw81

    Sep 30th 2010

    I’m new to Ubuntu so maybe your trying to do something different but I needed to install some nVidia drivers and you can get to a CLI on boot very easily without modifying any configuration.
    1. Hold down shift at boot.
    2. Select recovery mode for your kernel build.
    3. Select Root command prompt (can select with networking if needed)
    4. Switch to runlevel 3 with the command “telinit 3″
    Do your thing :D

  7. [...] boot ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” in text mode [...]

  8. myrrdin

    Dec 3rd 2010

    Thank you cw81! I’m still getting over the fact that I found what I was looking for in a thread of a forum only semi related B-)

  9. andrew

    Dec 27th 2010

    @cw81: that is a bit different indeed, I meant to *always* boot into text mode.

    @myrrdin: you are right. that’s why I wrote this post. I had a hard time finding this information myself. I guess things have changed meanwhile.

  10. doh!

    Jan 29th 2012

    hey! I dont have a /etc/default/grub file!

  • [...] boot ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” in text mode [...]

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