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I'm on Karmic. I had no keyboard, so I enabled autologin and some other stuff over ssh to get x2x going. Now I can't find what I did. I'm trying to just start X and XBMC now. I don't need gnome. I disabled gdm:

sudo update-rc.d -f gdm remove

but it still somehow manages to start on boot. Where can I look around for what I did?

If I stop gdm then startx again, it goes straight to XBMC like I want.

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Is gdm still in /etc/init.d/? – tj111 Nov 6 '09 at 19:02
Yes. I thought it's just a script for moving it into the different runlevels? – tladuke Nov 6 '09 at 19:11

The Karmic build has mangled the init.d scripts. You should be able to stop gdm from running by modifying /etc/init/gdm.conf and adding 'runlevel [3] and' and changing the stop runlevel from 016 to 0216 like so:

description     "GNOME Display Manager"
author          "William Jon McCann <>"

start on (runlevel [3]
      and filesystem
      and started hal
      and tty-device-added KERNEL=tty7
      and (graphics-device-added or stopped udevtrigger))
stop on runlevel [0216]

Advice taken from this thread.

Another option to boot without gdm is to create a new entry in grub. This has the advantage of letting you boot into gdm again later if you want to. Try copying the first entry from /boot/grub/grub.cfg and putting it into /etc/grub.d/40_custom. Then add the magic word: ' text' to the end of the linux line. Mine looks like this:

menuentry "Ubuntu, Linux 2.6.31-14-generic (console)" {
    if [ -n ${have_grubenv} ]; then save_env recordfail; fi
    set quiet=1
    insmod ext2
    set root=(hd0,2)
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set f5a3b213-32f8-42b1-b402-62a5e2980897
    linux   /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-14-generic root=UUID=f5a3b213-32f8-42b1-b402-62a5e2980897 ro   quiet splash text
    initrd  /boot/initrd.img-2.6.31-14-generic

Then run:

sudo update-grub

You can hold down the shift key while booting to select your new menu option.

share|improve this answer
Gosh, just when I had read all about run how runlevels work... – tladuke Nov 7 '09 at 3:14

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