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Is there a way to kil xserver and put me into a command prompt or something? (Ubuntu 11.10)

Normally killing xserver with sudo stop lightgdm puts me into a BIOS-esque black screen.

Where can I type but commands cannot be issued?

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Hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to a Virtual terminal. There are several more, from F1 to F6. F7 and F8 are usually used for running your X server and some messages.

Note that you need to login to those terminals first, before you can use them.

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perfect. how do i log in as root through this? and more importantly, how do i go about exiting the prompt (thank gawd for fast reboots)? – Michael Nov 3 '11 at 22:33
Just like you usually login as root. Either you have a root password set, so you login as user root and use the root password. Or you just login with your usual credentials and run sudo su to get a root shell. You can exit from the prompt using exit. (Note that you need to exit twice, if you use su: once out of the root shell and then out of your user shell.) – ChrisiPK Nov 3 '11 at 22:38

Have you tried Ctrl + Alt + F2 or F3 or F4? Then. you should be able to return to X with Ctrl + Alt + F8

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