Booting to a Non Default Runlevel with GRUB

After you select a default runlevel, that runlevel will be selected every time you restart the system from a power-off state. There might come a time when you do not want to boot into that runlevel. You might want to enter the maintenance mode or start the system without an active X server and graphical login in order to modify or repair the X server or desktop manager. You'll need to follow several specific steps to boot to a non-default runlevel if you use the default boot loader for Ubuntu, GRUB.


If you have enabled a GRUB password, you must first press p, type your password, and then press Enter before using this boot method.

The GRUB boot loader passes arguments, or commands, to the kernel at boot time. These arguments are used, among other things, to tell GRUB where the kernel is located and also to pass specific parameters to the kernel, such as how much memory is available or how special hardware should be configured.

To override the default runlevel, you can add an additional kernel argument to GRUB as follows:

At the graphical boot screen, press e (for edit), scroll down to select the kernel, and press e again.

Press the spacebar, type single or 1 (Ubuntu allows s and s as well), and press Enter. Finally, press b to boot, and you'll boot into runlevel 1 instead of the default runlevel listed in


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