I remember when the kids decided that they wanted to adapt the unnecessarily complicated system V init system and I kissed the simple days goodbye (sometimes I miss early bsd/freebsd and sometimes i miss it alot). Nowadays even the sysv-init isnt complicated enough. We gotta have upstart.
So after upgrading two systems to Lucid, I can tell you that most of the details have been well paid attention to, and a few problems we were having with 9.10 and hardy actually got solved. But there is still stuff that wasn’t broken that the kids just had to fix. So without further adeau I will tell you how to get gdm (and X) to go away after you have installed sysv-rc configured it to runlevel 3 (multiuser – no x) and its still there.
Setting the runtime.
If you have a working inittab the existing scripts will reference it so you can skip to how to get rid of gdm.
if you don’t you will find that the default runlevel is set to 2 (linux’s ‘user defined’ graphical runlevel since rc5 wasnt good enough for some reason) in /etc/init/rc-sysinit.conf. This should be changed to look like this.
# Default runlevel, this may be overriden on the kernel command-line # or by faking an old /etc/inittab entry env DEFAULT_RUNLEVEL=3
rebooting and typing “runlevel” should verify the change.
Why is gdm/X still running?
Beats the begebes out of me. But if you want it to stop you need to edit the /etc/init/gdm.conf and comment out the “start on” conditions and change them so that they correspond to the appropriate runlevel.
#start on (filesystem # and started dbus # and (graphics-device-added fb0 PRIMARY_DEVICE_FOR_DISPLAY=1 # or drm-device-added card0 PRIMARY_DEVICE_FOR_DISPLAY=1 # or stopped udevtrigger)) start on runlevel  stop on runlevel 
If you don’t want gdm/x you probably don’t want the splash junk either. While /boot/grub/menu.lst allows you to set default options like nosplash every kernel upgrade i have done in the past year explicitly asks for quiet and splash way out at the end of each “kernel” line so just plan on hand editing the darned thing after each kernel update. I am sure you can uninstall splash but I prefer configuring things to keeping track of what needs to be uninstalled for a system to run correctly.
Hope this saves you some of your precious hair. All and all lucid (server and desktop) seems pretty sane and stable but they are still fixing things whether or not they were broken.
Dont even get me started on last weeks apparmor configuration update busting our dns.