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After installing Ubuntu Server 9.10, I couldn't get X to work, so I installed xfce-desktop from apt-get, hoping it would fix the problem (it didn't, but I got it working later).

I just rebooted my computer for the first time since then, and got an Xubuntu login screen. How can I disable this, and have it boot up into text mode?

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  1. Temporary way. You can hold Shift at boot time; after Grub menu will be displayed, select an item that ends with '(recovery mode)' and press Enter. Your machine will be booted in single-user console mode.
  2. Permanent way. Following this Ubuntu forum thread, edit /etc/init/gdm.conf and comment out full start on directive (attention: it is spreaded across multiple lines). After that you should be able to start Xorg with start gdm command under root.
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Change /etc/inittab to boot to level 2 not 5. If inittab is missing, create it. It is read by the /etc/event.d/rc-default script, and you might want to look at that. See http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=620327

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    Will not work in 9.10 because of migration from sysvinit to upstart. – whitequark Jan 29 '10 at 21:33

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