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The command sudo service gdm stop would successfully disable the X server in Ubuntu 11.04 temporarily.

However, this same command no longer works in Ubuntu 11.10, because "gdm" is an "unrecognized service" according to Terminal. How, then, do I disable the X server in Ubuntu 11.10?

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if you just want to restart x server just log in and out, otherwise ctr+alt+backspace normally does it to... perhaps that shortcut needs to be enabled under keyboard preferences –  HTDutchy Oct 13 '11 at 22:01
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possible duplicate of How to stop the login server? –  Nathan Osman Oct 16 '11 at 19:31
    
The question should be "how to stop the session manager" but as many people thinks that gdm is an "X server" this should stay like this. –  Emmanuel Dec 6 '13 at 9:14

5 Answers 5

Technically speaking gdm or lightdm are managing desktop session requests they are not X servers. (an X server is serving events to X application, xorg is an X server :) .

Edit

To stop the X server killall X or sudo killall X if you are not owner of the process.

Of course you must have a terminal to do that.

One way if you cannot open a gnome terminal or an xterm is to start a text console; press simultaneously Ctrl + Alt + F1 keys, then login at the prompt (your password will not be shown, not even as asterisks). (F1 to F5 are ok)

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Yup, exactly. And the question was how to shut "X server" down? I have no gdm or lightdm installed, I have nothing to do with them. We started server: "X &" as root. How can we stop it ? –  Tele Dec 6 '13 at 2:59
    
@Tele Just made an edit –  Emmanuel Dec 6 '13 at 9:10
    
Yes I know about killall, but isn't there something more delicate, regular and official. I don't like brutality. Do we have to wipe the process out like a frozen one? –  Tele Dec 7 '13 at 5:38

@Oli pretty much nailed it, but I wanted to note that this probably won't help you out much if you need to do something from the command line without X.

For that, you should press Ctrl+Alt+F1, then log in from the console. Afterwards, you can kill and restart the lightdm service as needed.

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The reason that doesn't work is because Ubuntu 11.10 has switched from GDM to LightDM.

Try this command instead:

sudo service lightdm stop
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You can also use the keyboard shortcut:

Alt + PrtScn/SysReq + K

A bit of a long winded keyboard shortcut, maybe too many people were pressing Ctrl+Alt+Backspace so they changed it to this.

I can confirm this as working from 10.04 through to 11.10.

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GDM was switched out for LightDM, so:

sudo stop lightdm

Or in your service parlance:

sudo service lightdm stop

For future reference, all these upstart services (that can be run with initctl's service command and shortcuts) are .conf files in /etc/init/

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Thats what i was looking for, thanks! –  Drewdin May 4 '12 at 20:27

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