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I have a CentOS 6.2 OS which boots into GUI. How, upon startup, can I not boot into the GUI and instead, boot into the CLI? I want to do this at computer startup time.

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When you are at the GRUB menu where you select which OS to boot (if this menu don't appear, press ESC while you get the "Booting CentOS in X seconds"), press e to edit your boot commands. You should see a screen like this: (parameters may vary)

GRUB menu

Look for the line that begins with kernel. Choose it and then press e again. You will be at a simple editor, add 3 to the end of this line. This means booting in runlevel 3, which is text-mode only.

To make this stick: edit /etc/inittab and look for a line that begin with id:5. Replace the 5 in that line by 3. You can find a brief description of runlevels here, but shortly:

  • Runlevel 0 and 6: halt and reboot the machine, respectively.
  • Runlevel 1: No services running, only root can login.
  • Runlevel 2: Users can login but no networking.
  • Runlevel 3: Networking and text-mode.
  • Runlevel 4: unused.
  • Runlevel 5: GUI.
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After making the kernel edit for the runlevel boot mode, (and pushing b for "boot"), is it still supposed to load the splash screen? –  BGM May 19 '12 at 21:10
1  
@BGM I think so, but it should drop you to the login prompt after it finishes. –  Renan May 19 '12 at 21:11
    
It works for level 1, but not for level 3. Is that strange? –  BGM May 19 '12 at 21:12
    
Anyway, Renan has the answer. I also found it here: linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-server-73/… –  BGM May 19 '12 at 21:25

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