I'm running an ARM version of Ubuntu provided by Linaro. I'm not 100% sure on current version as I'm re-installing using the manufacturing tools (I want to say its Linaro 11.10). However, I was wondering if anyone could help me with an issue?

I did a sudo apt-get remove gnome*, to get rid of all the GNOME packages since I do not want a GUI. I restarted the system and I did not get a CLI. The screen was just black.

Is there a way to get to CLI or where/how would I change the files to boot to CLI?

  • I would simply leave these things installed and switch the default runlevel to a non GUI one. – slm Jun 24 '14 at 13:00
  • The reason to not have it installed is to save limit the number of unnecessary packages in the memory. Either way I am still having issues of changing the runlevel and having it boot directly to CLI. – Keith Jun 24 '14 at 13:09
  • Removing them only saves on disk space, if you're running in a GUI-less runlevel then none of the GNOME packages would be loaded consuming any RAM. I'd take a look at this SU Q&A: superuser.com/questions/310978/starting-ubuntu-without-the-gui – slm Jun 24 '14 at 13:15
  • I have taken a look at a few guides. I am not sure of my bootloader but I do know I am running System V. So I believe this has different runlevel meanings. I have tried numerous times of changing them to boot directly to CLI and not run the GUI with no success. I will take a look at your link to further my knowledge tho. – Keith Jun 24 '14 at 13:20
  • What kind of console do you have, hardware-wise? Do you want to keep a GUI (an X server) available (to be reached upon explicit demand with startx), or do you want to remove X altogether? – Gilles Jun 24 '14 at 23:26

You can switch to another console by using Ctrl + Alt + F1/F2/F3/... to have access to a text-console. If that doesn't work, restart the system with single as kernel parameter.

As soon as you have a console, you can login to the system and stop your display manager: Check which display manager is running with ps aux|grep dm or look for gdm or other *dm in /etc/init.d/ and check if they are started with /etc/init.d/gdm status

stop the currently running display manager with:

/etc/init.d/gdm stop

Now, disable the display manager for the next boot:

sudo vi /etc/init/gdm.conf


stop on runlevel [016] 


stop on runlevel [0126]
  • I am running lightdm. I had to use 'service lightdm stop' to stop it from running. I changed the runlevel to as you said and upon reboot it seems to still boot into the GUI. Any other ideas? – Keith Jun 24 '14 at 13:15
  • 1
    You dit edit sudo vi /etc/init/lightdm.conf instead of sudo vi /etc/init/gdm.conf, right? Uninstalling lightdm would also work since you seem to want to remove gnome completely. – jensd Jun 25 '14 at 8:57
  • Yes I edited lightdm.conf, I want to say that I may not have the right graphics drivers for when the GUI is loaded. A screen black screen with a blinking cursor comes up if I change the runlevel to a 1. But if i just ad 2 to the stop on runlevel it still loads the GUI – Keith Jun 25 '14 at 12:10

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