Running X in runlevel 3

David G. Miller dave at
Tue Jun 19 22:11:43 UTC 2007

Chris Jones <jonesc at> wrote:

> On limited hardware that could be reason alone to use startx from 3.
> Does this really make a difference ? I accept it saves one login screen, but 
> surely once you have logged on this screen is forgotten and your preferred 
> session (KDE,gnome or whatever) is started.
> Your argument that it helps on low end machines only makes sense to me if the 
> login screen is somehow 'remembered' after log on, so still using system 
> resources. I really doubt this is the case in which case I doubt, once you 
> have your desktop session running it really makes a difference whether you 
> went via the standard login window (init 5 if you like) or startx from init 
> 3?
I strongly recommend the "start in run level 3" approach to anyone 
having trouble getting their video setup configured.  That way 
ctrl-alt-backspace can kill the X session if the need arises and you 
don't end up with X cycling until you reboot.  I got into the habit of 
starting in run level 3 when I first tried Linux with Red Hat Linux 
5.0.  I think my current installs to my laptop and workstation are the 
first time I've ever left the graphical login in place.


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