Basics: How do I end the X-server state?
Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
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Posted: 25 Feb 2005
Question: I'm currently using the Novell Linux Desktop at home and I wanted to install the NVIDIA drivers for my graphics card. When attempting to install the drivers I receive a message stating that it can't be done because I'm within an X-server state. I found some tips on ending the X-server state (ctrl+alt+bkspace, ctrl+alt+F1 . . .) but every time I try I get the same message. I went back to NVIDIA's site and found a document that was about 30 pages long and I thought, could it be that complicated? So my question is: What do I need to do to end the X-server state to install the NVIDIA drivers? Thanks! J.
Answer: For SUSE
This is a problem for the newbie, especially those who are used to only having a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and don't know about the other powerful modes that Linux can operate in.
The GUI mode is one of four modes or run levels that Linux uses to do its jobs. The others don't have a GUI interface, just the command line. They are:
- Single user mode
- Multi-user without networking
- Multi-user with networking
Only one mode is active at any one time on a normal user workstation. When the system boots up it looks inside the file /etc/inittab which is the system initialisation table, to see which is your default mode. Usually this is mode 5, the GUI mode. The other most common mode is 3, which is multi-user with networking and no GUI.
To activate a different mode you have to be the super user and use the shell command "init Mode_Number". Init is actually the parent process of all the other processes running on your system.
When your machine re-initialises to another mode it looks at the /etc/inittab to see what it should do. This is usually to run the script /etc/init.d/rc with the mode number. The rc stands for run control. rc looks in /etc/init.d/rcN.d/ where N is the mode number, to see which services to shutdown and startup. The directory contains links to files which are stored in /etc/init.d/ Each one has a letter and a number. The letter tell the rc script whether it is to be started (S) or stopped (K) and the number in what order this is to be done.
Here is my /etc/init.d/rc3.d/ directory:
Quite a lot of system activity takes place, but the main thing that you want to happen is that your GUI shuts down, so you can install the NVIDIA drivers, and then restart the GUI mode with them in place.
In your GUI, open a root console terminal window. In SUSE KDE from the menu – System – Terminal – Terminal Program Super User Mode and supply the root password, or if you don't have one of these, open an ordinary terminal console window and give the command "su -" and the root password.
In this window type the command init 3 as shown:
When you press Enter, the GUI should shut down and a login prompt appear in the black screen.
On some systems the GUI doesn't shut down properly, and you have to do the following actions, after activating init mode 3.
To get to the GUI screen:
CTRL-ALT-F7To kill the X server:
Login as root, and give the root password, cd to the directory where you saved the NVIDIA install file.
Run it by typing "./Name of NVIDIA File" and hit the Enter key.
When this file has completed its install routine, give the command "init 5" to return to your GUI mode. You should see the NVIDIA splash screen before the GUI appears.
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