SDB:Switch runlevel

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This article describes the steps to take to switch between the different runlevels.

The cleanest method to switch runlevel is to use a text terminal (tty). If you are in a graphical mode (like KDE or GNOME) press Ctrl-Alt-F2 (all at the same time) to switch to virtual terminal 2; when you're done use: Ctrl+Alt+F7 to switch back to the graphical desktop.

You should see the computer awaiting your login:

and press Enter.

It will then prompt you for root's password:


Type the password for root and press Enter. Now you are the most powerful user on your computer.

init 3
, for instance, will change the runlevel to 3, which is text mode with networking.

Root can command the system to switch to different runlevels:

  • 0 to halt computer (turn off)
  • 1 for single user,
  • 2 for text mode
  • 3 for text mode with network
  • 5 for graphic system
  • 6 to reboot computer

For instance, to configure graphic cards, use text mode with network, aka runlevel 3:

init 3

and press Enter. Now you can start YAST or sax2 and configure your graphic card.

Then return to runlevel 5 with:

init 5

If you want to reboot, then type:

init 6

and the computer will reboot.

Of course,
shutdown -r
is a more polite way to reboot the computer, as it lets you give a message and a delay.