7.2. Change init level to textual

There is little point in running the X Window System on a server with no screen. Edit /etc/inittab finding the line containing initdefault, such as


Alter the default from run level 5 (multiuser with X Window System) to run level 3 (multiuser).


The startx command can be used if an occassional X Windows session is required upon an attached keyboard and monitor.

NoteRun levels and Red Hat's kudzu

kudzu automatically updates the initdefault entry in inittab to use run level 3 if a serial device is being used as a console.

7.2.1. Continuing to run X

Sometimes a computer with a serial console and no attached monitor still needs to run the X Window System. For example, the computer might host a number of X terminals.

In this case the computer should remain in run level 5, but should not run a X server for any attached monitors. Alter /etc/X11/xdm/Xservers and remove any lines starting with a colon (which indicates an X server on the local machine). Figure 7-2 shows an unaltered Xservers file.

Figure 7-2. Xservers from Red Hat Linux 7.2

:0 local /usr/X11R6/bin/X

If the operating system uses GNOME's gdm then alter its configuration file /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf, removing any entries for local X servers from the [servers] section. Figure 7-3shows an unaltered [servers] section.

Figure 7-3. [servers] section of gdm.conf from Red Hat Linux 7.2