I'm kind of new into Linux world.

I'm using a Debian distro. I want to switch the default desktop manager into Awesome, and I want to boot straight to the command line, and from there start Awesome. How can I do that? Thanks :)


You want to change what's started in the default runlevel. You can find that with runlevel; it's probably 2 (you'll see N 2 -- in any case it's the last number).

Assuming it's 2, now ls /etc/rc2.d (or rc3.d, etc.). Everything in there is a symlink with a prefix S[N] or K[N] where N is a number between 1 and 99. Somewhere in that list you'll see (most likely) S[N]gdm, or possibly S[N]lightdm or S[N]xdm. Something ending in dm (for display manager). Double check by reading the comments in the top of this file; there should be a Short Description including mention of "display manager".

When you are sure what it is (e.g., below assuming gdm):

update-rc.d gdm disable 2
update-rc.d gdm stop 50 2

The last command is optional; it just makes sure gdm is stopped if you happen to change runlevels from something else. If you use it, you should now see K50gdm instead of S[N]gdm in /etc/rc2.d. If not (i.e., you just used "disable"), you won't see any listing for gdm at all in that directory.

Reboot to make sure that worked. You should end up at the command line.

To use awesome, create a file $HOME/.xinit:



Make that executable (chmod a+x .xinit), and run startx.


After having disabled gdm for the runlevel 2 (additionnal informations here), the file that you have to create in your home directory (/home/your_username) is .xinitrc and not .xinit

exec awesome

You can find a lot of informations on .xinitrc here.

Then the startx command will launch awesome Wm

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