What if I'd like to exit the X session to use raw console without any X process running? I know I can always press Ctrl+Alt+F1/F6 to switch between a raw console and a graphical environment, but some times I just want the last to be gone (for technical reasons). So how to shut it down correctly, preventing from being automatically respawned?

3 Answers 3


To Stop X.Org Server:

sudo service lightdm stop

To Start X.Org Server:



sudo service lightdm start

To Restart X.Org Server:

sudo service lightdm restart

In all cases, replace lightdm with whatever greeter/display manager you use. lightdm is Ubuntu's default display manager.

  • Yes, I know you asked about how to stop it alone, but posting to start and restart the service in a single place might help others :) Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 9:11
  • 1
    Technically, you're stopping the desktop environment GNOME, which then shutdowns Xorg. Replace gdm by kdm, xdm, ldm or whatever desktop environment you're using.
    – Lekensteyn
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 9:18
  • lightdm in my case :-)
    – Ivan
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 9:33

On my ubuntu18, the command to stop X was:

sudo service gdm stop

When you type sudo service lightdm stop, it replies lightdm stop/status: This is a clue.

sudo lightdm stop
  • This is on Ubuntu 14.04 from a virtual terminal Ctrl-Alt-f1-6. You will probably have to hit Ctrl-C afterwords to get back to a command prompt.
    – Cormagh
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 22:21

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