I know that it ask so many time, how to boot Linux in text mode; but all solution that i got is on installed Linux system, not on fresh system.

Is there any way to load any Linux in live mode in text mode or console mode, not any service related to X must be started.

Are there is any kernel option or parameter that don't touch X system and start the system in text mode, in Debian based system like Kali ?

I want to start Kali in live mode on window machine, but in text mode, how it can be ?

  • Does the Kali distro provide you a menu at start up time? – slackmart Apr 29 '14 at 21:06

I don't understand what you mean by "installed Linux system, not on fresh system."

Debian has an option to boot in recovery mode (single option to the kernel). If this is available, it should show up in the grub menu. If it is not available in the menu, you could always add it. This is how it looks on my system.

menuentry "Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-vserver-686-bigmem (recovery mode) (on /dev/mapper/olddebian-root)" --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
        insmod part_msdos
        insmod ext2
        set root='(hd3,msdos5)'
        search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root c8231ae9-c018-45ba-8812-9170eb82449a
        linux /vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-vserver-686-bigmem root=/dev/mapper/olddebian-root ro single
        initrd /initrd.img-2.6.32-5-vserver-686-bigmem

The relevant line is

linux /vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-vserver-686-bigmem root=/dev/mapper/olddebian-root ro single

EDIT: If you want to a live CD to boot up in text mode, check out Grml. It has an option for lots of things, including booting in text mode. Other live CDs do as well, including Knoppix, but Grml is particularly flexible and full-featured. Note, to boot Knoppix in text mode, enter knoppix 2 at the prompt.

  • 2
    He wants to boot a live CD with text-mode only (and without installing anything on the machine). – cjm Apr 29 '14 at 17:24

Kali linux will start X on every runlevel, so appending single to the kernel parameters won't change much. In Kali you can't even login withouth GDM. But once you logged in, you can switch to one of the virtual terminals with Ctrl + Alt + F1 or Ctrl + Alt + F2. Then you can hit killall gdm3 which will leave you with virtual terminals only.


You can disable it by editing /etc/X11/default-display-manager and replacing gdm with 'true' or some other dummy command.

Source (since Kali is based of debian ;) ): Disabling graphical login in Debian wheezy

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