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I'm running Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.10 (on a pandaboard), and it doesn't boot with grub (so I can't pass it the 'text' parameter at boot time).

How do i disable gdm so it doesn't start at boot? There is no /etc/gdm/gdm.conf.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

To disable gdm from booting automatically, you need to alter its upstart service file, /etc/init/gdm.conf

Look for the start on(...) lines, and comment them out with #.

It should look similar to this:

# gdm - GNOME Display Manager
# The display manager service manages the X servers running on the
# system, providing login and auto-login services

description "GNOME Display Manager"
author      "William Jon McCann <>"

#start on (filesystem
#          and started dbus
#          and (drm-device-added card0 PRIMARY_DEVICE_FOR_DISPLAY=1
#               or stopped udevtrigger))
stop on runlevel [016]
[~30 more lines]

You can still start the service manually by running service gdm start.

Not an elegant solution, but it will improve for natty.

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this is probably the most elegant, because it leaves the ability to run gdm at all (compared to uninstalling everything). Ideally i'd like to pass the same boot parameters like grub does, but without grub this will do. – machinaut Apr 12 '11 at 2:11

You could try uninstalling gdm.

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Does uninstalling gdm remove Gnome packages or prevent starting Gnome on-demand? – jocull Apr 29 '12 at 2:08
@jocull: I don't think so. I know for sure that it doesn't prevent Gnome from starting. – Scott Severance Apr 29 '12 at 8:23
This could use more info. – hexafraction Aug 16 '12 at 13:27

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