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I installed Ubuntu 12.10 server to a laptop, and the grub file is along the lines of:

setparams 'Ubuntu'
    gfxmod $linux -gfxmod
    set root ='hd0,msdos/'

        search --nofloppy ...

            search -- noflopppy ...

linux /vmliuz -3.5.0-17 ??? root = /dev/map/dur2\-root ro
initrd /initrd...

(pardon, that was written by pencil and not complete, obviously).

How can I put something like GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text" in there to boot to text mode?

Or, is there another way to boot to text mode with a live, editable file system using GRUB?

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apparently change the linux line to: linux /vmliuz -3.5.0-17 ??? root = /dev/map/dur2\-root ro text will do the trick. (geoft on #grub freenode irc) – Thufir Apr 18 '13 at 3:03
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You seem to have answered your own question. You set GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text" in /etc/default/grub, then run sudo update-grub.

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