Determining the Default Boot runlevel

Determining the Default Boot runlevel

The default boot runlevel is set in the file /etc/inittab with the initdefault variable. When set to 3, the system boots up with the text interface on the VGA console; when set to 5, you get the GUI. Here is a snippet of the file (delete the initdefault line you don't need):

     # Default runlevel. The runlevels used by RHS are:
     # 0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
     # 1 - Single user mode
     # 2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have
     # 3 - Full multiuser mode
     # 4 - unused
     # 5 - X11
     # 6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
     id:3:initdefault:                      # Console Text Mode
     id:5:initdefault:                      # Console GUI Mode

Note the following:

  • Most home users boot up with a Windows like GUI (runlevel 5).

  • Most techies tend to boot up with a plain text-based command-line-type interface (runlevel 3).

  • Changing initdefault from 3 to 5, or vice versa, has an effect on your next reboot. See the following section on how to get a GUI login all the time until the next reboot.

  • Of course, don't set the initdefault value to 6 or your system will constantly reboot. Setting it to 0 will never allow it to start!

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