I don`t get it with init5 and init3

Well I usualy just install nvidia driver how is come but many others told me get out of init5 and type init3.

Please,please and I appreciate very much that some of you can help me out so that I can understand how it works.:wink:


It’s simple: The difference between level 3 and 5 is that 5 runs a GUI. Since you cannot install a new video driver while the GUI is running, you have to drop to level 3 to do that.

I appreciate for your answer,could you please be explain me how or give a picture.
Hmm do I have to log out first?:\

The Nvidia website has everything you need to get up and going.

The second link down gives you a link to what you need to read first, before you download the driver.
Nvidia Installer HOWTO for SUSE LINUX users

Download the driver that pertains to your card
Unix Drivers Portal Page

This is a page for the Nvidia card I have in my very old box. (This is an example, you have to get the driver pertaining to your card)
Linux Display Driver - x86

It gives you step by step instructions on how to install the driver.

To drop down to init 3, you use ctrl+alt+f1

This will bring you to tty1. Login as root and type

init 3

Then install the driver

To get back to the GUI type

init 5

Hope this helps!


I think you should take a konsole but I don`t know which one,I let the expert tell you.

Good luck


It’s just that there are some scripts connected with the execution of init 3 and 5. When running init 5 you got most services including graphic. You can tweak it in YaST in “System Services RUNLEVEL” to get the idea.

Well, every Unix like operating system make use of what is called “runlevels”. These are numbered from 0 to 6 (actually there are more, but these are the usual and documented ones). When you restart your computer you just tell your system to enter runlevel 6. When you shutdown the computer you simply tell the system to enter runlevel 0.
Unix is a multiuser system, meaning that more than one users can be logged into the same system at the same time. By telling your linux box to enter runlevel 1 (by issuing init 1) you make your system to enter a special mode that is supposed to be used by your root account and only, and it is for maintenance purposes. This is the single user mode. To make it more clear to you, suppose that you need to clean-up your file system. In that case only the root user that runs the clean-up process must be logged in. Any other user must be forbidden to login, because that would launch processes that would create and manipulate files.
Now, when your system enters runlevel 5, it enters a multiuser mode (many users can be logged in the same system) using a graphical environment. This is the runlevel your system enters when boot-up. If you enter runlevel 3, the system still provides the multiuser ability but without graphical environment. Only the terminals are available.
You can see that if you enter just the number 3 in the kernel parameters to be passed on your GRUB screen. The result would be just a login prompt in a terminal after booting and no graphical environment or login screen;). Then if you login as root, you can issue the command init 5 and then you will see the graphical environment (the graphical login screen).
When you want to install a graphics driver, no graphical environment is allowed (imagine that is something like driving a car while you have your tires changed!..:P). So you have to enter runlevel 3 first. This will drop your graphical environment so it is better to logout from it first. If you press the keys CTRL+ALT+F1 your screen will turn to a terminal. Then you login as root and enter the command init 3. After that you can install your new graphics driver freely, without problems. When finish you can enter init 5 to launch the graphical environment again and test the new settings.
I hope this made the init thing more clear to you.

eliaschr, i must honestly admit that is one of the best explanations online i’ve ever seen!! Every newbie could understand that, if ever everything could be explained that way:)

All of you are saying me in init3 is no graphic.I have Nvidia card and what do I have to do to download and install in init3 (typing).

Yes it is the fist time ever I will use init3 and please I need another push how to learn about to download or install in init3.

Please could you be kind to help me out.
I appreciate fro helping me;).


If you’re just trying to install a package you can do “zypper in [name of package]”

Without being clearer about what you’re trying to install it’s hard to answer…

What is the card? Do you know which driver you’re meant to be installing?

I`m using Nvidia 7100gs.
But could you please tell me how can I use zypper and where to look for thank you:)


If I am understanding what you are asking, which is “how do you obtain the installer package, while in runlevel 3” The simplest way to do this, would be to download the package, while in run level 5, say to your desktop. After the package is downloaded, Use Ctrl+Alt+F1. This will bring you to your terminal.

After in terminal, and once you have logged in as root, you would than issue the following commands:

init 3

cd /home/username/Desktop *Replace "username" with your username.

sh PackageName.run

Than once the installer has run, and completed, issue the following command:

init 5

This should accomplish what you have been trying to do.