"Unexplained" booting into console w/o GUI

Background: In the lovely Kingdom of Thailand, the Ministry of Information and Computer Technology with the cooperation of the Royal Thai Police have started to take crackdowns on pirated software seriously, in response to pressure from the WTO. I’ve never feared this myself, running FreeBSD or openSUSE on all the machines in my office. One of my partners, who has colocated his own business in the same building, has however been running A Certain OS[tm] and A Certain Productivity Suite[tm], which most shops pre-install on PCs without A Certain License[tm]. Considering 95% of the work his office people do requires only a word processor, spreadsheet, and web browser, he decided to make the switch to an OSOS which happens to be oS.

He outsourced the migration of all his machines to openSUSE to my office, and as I’m the only one on my staff with deep familiarity with UNIX-likes, I ended up doing all of it myself. They’ve been running for a week now without a complaint and nary a drop in productivity. An increase, actually, as his folks can’t just download and install the latest timewasters, and I also deselected Kopete in the install.

All the machines migrated flawlessly (except for online updating, owing to the inconsistent bandwidth and name resolution with overseas servers) but one. For some reason, it just wouldn’t start the GUI.

Having encountered this issue before, I immediately suspected the X server. Strangely, there was no Xorg error message at all. When startx' and later kdm’ launched without a hitch, I dug a little deeper. I played with xorgconfig' and sax2’ to no avail. It kept booting to console without GUI.

Finally, noticed this:

Master Resource Control: runlevel 3 has been ... reached

After slapping myself in the forehead (repeatedly) for not catching that earlier, I checked /boot/grub/menu.lst twice and missed the lone little 3' after the kernel=blahblahblah’ option in the boot params. It turns out, I accidentally hit the 3' key on the number pad when I used the number pad enter key while editing the GRUB options in setup. I removed it, init 6’-ed it, and voila! it booted into the login manager.

Tl;dr - I accidentally typed a `3’ when editing boot options during setup, causing the system to boot into runlevel 3 (multi-user console mode with no GUI) instead of runlevel 5, leading me to chase down non-existent Xorg errors. I only needed to remove one option, consisting of one character, in /boot/grub/menu.lst.

You mean /boot/grub/menu.lst

Better keep those little fingers under control:)

Yes, /boot/grub/menu.lst

Being moderator-ly, could you edit my initial post to correct that, in case someone runs across my anecdote while searching for a solution to a similar problem?

Welcome back to our forum.

My wife is Thai, and although she is a winXP lover and she uses it 95% of the time, she does insist I keep an openSUSE Linux partition on her PC, that she uses about 5%. I just updated her PC to openSUSE-11.2.

Her being a Thai expat living in Europe, the “key test” she gives me all the time, is whether the browser can properly display fonts and play multimedia from Manager Radio . The fonts can be tricky, as one needs to ensure that there are not inappropriate spaces between letters , special characters are appropriately placed above individual letters, … etc … and my not speaking Thai makes it even more challenging to recognize the font problems when they occur.

Thus far, 11.2 has been the easiest for me to setup. After the install, I then did a search for Thai specific font packages in OSS and Non-OSS repositories. Installed those. Then went to YaST and setup Thai as a secondary language (she wanted English the primary) and launched firefox, and amazingly the fonts were pretty good!

But not all video was played initially on Manager Radio so I tried the gecko-media player plugin (from packman), which promptly crashed her firefox most the time. So I removed that and put the depreciated mplayerplug-in (from packman) instead on her PC. That seems to work, and the Manager Radio site is mostly functional.

… but I have not yet tested to see if dolphin/konqueror will recognize all the thai file names that are used in winXP, and if they don’t, that will be a fail :slight_smile: … however I’ll probably need her help for that phase, with me being a non-speaker of the language.

Thanks for making me feel appreciated :). I didn’t realize it had been 10 months since I last logged in, let alone posted.

My wife is Thai, and although she is a winXP lover and she uses it 95% of the time, she does insist I keep an openSUSE Linux partition on her PC, that she uses about 5%. I just updated her PC to openSUSE-11.2.

Did you meet her here in the Land of Smiles or was she an expat in your locality already? If in LoS, when were you here and for how long?

Her being a Thai expat living in Europe, the “key test” she gives me all the time, is whether the browser can properly display fonts and play multimedia from Manager Radio . The fonts can be tricky, as one needs to ensure that there are not inappropriate spaces between letters , special characters are appropriately placed above individual letters, … etc … and my not speaking Thai makes it even more challenging to recognize the font problems when they occur.

If you add Thai as an additional language during setup, everything Thai, and I mean EVERYTHING, gets tagged for update/install. Thai fonts displayed properly without any additional fuss. The only thing you can’t do from the install (I think) is add a Thai keyboard layout, which apparently is set up on a per-user basis. This takes seconds to do, though, once logged in.

… but I have not yet tested to see if dolphin/konqueror will recognize all the thai file names that are used in winXP, and if they don’t, that will be a fail :slight_smile: … however I’ll probably need her help for that phase, with me being a non-speaker of the language.

Just make sure to turn LFN on (usually on by default) and add UTF8 to the mount options, then do a `mount -r’ on the Windows partition. That’s all it takes.

I took a 3 year “sebatical” from engineering in 1996 to 1999, working in Asia as a consultant in market/currency statistical analysis for those years. Two of those 3 sebatical/consultancy support years were spent living in a small “bachelor” cottage next to the water, in Phuket Thailand. It was there in 1998 that I switched to Linux and also there in Phuket where I met my wife. She is also an engineer, and perhaps it was that commonality of education that was a main factor in the mutual attraction.

Thankyou for that advice. Next opportunity I get to access her PC’s openSUSE-11.2 partition, I’ll take that recommendation into account in tuning its setup.