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Ubuntu 12.04 can be started in console mode (without GUI) by adding the file /etc/init/lightdm.override with the content manual:

echo manual | sudo tee -a /etc/init/lightdm.override

When I start Ubuntu in console mode, however, there are three odd things happening:

  1. The command startx reads my .xsession file (rather than .xinitrc).

  2. My .Xmodmap with key mappings is no longer read.

  3. When I exit X Windows the computer hangs with a black screen.

Any clues?

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Unless there is something particular you're trying to do with lightdm, the canonical way to boot into the console is to simply add change the kernel boot options from quiet splash to text -- startx works perfectly then. –  izx Jun 16 '12 at 10:31
    
I have tried that too but it gives me the same result. –  August Karlstrom Jun 16 '12 at 10:57
    
Instead of startx, try sudo service lightdm start.. –  izx Jun 16 '12 at 11:00
    
My reason for booting into console mode is that I want to start X Windows without using a display manager (like lightdm). –  August Karlstrom Jun 16 '12 at 11:08
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