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I botched a gnome install on my virtual box and now when it boots it just hangs up at a black screen. I wante to get back into a command line and uninstall/reinstall gnome...

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    After all fails you can still boot into a root shell. – Takkat Dec 4 '14 at 7:48
  • I don't even know what the hell happened but somehow my box ended up booting to a command line after rebooting several times...so I din't even really get a chance to try any of your answers... – Matt44 Dec 4 '14 at 20:30
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Edit the entry from the Grub screen when it comes up (press e)

Find the kernel line and add either single or init=/bin/sh to the end of it then press Ctrl+X to boot.

Alternatively have you tried pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to a terminal?

See also https://askubuntu.com/a/132983/354175

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ya, if grub doesn't show a menu, hold [shift] when it's starting. Go to your Ubuntu version's menu item, and press 'e' to edit. Go down to the linux start line, which contains 'vmlinuz' followed by a bunch of other fun stuff. Insert 'text' before the part '$vt_handoff'. Removing 'splash' and 'quiet' will let you see what's going on. You should try that while trying to boot into desktop graphics as well!

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