On Fri, 16 Sep 2016, David Wright wrote:

Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2016 09:38:31
From: David Wright <deb...@lionunicorn.co.uk>
Reply-To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: How to arrange for booting to console
Resent-Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:43:51 +0000 (UTC)
Resent-From: debian-user@lists.debian.org

I missed this reply until Lisi bumped the thread.
These are my opinions, based of the pathetically little I know.

On Sun 11 Sep 2016 at 18:52:59 (-0400), Harry Putnam wrote:
The Wanderer <wande...@fastmail.fm> writes:

On 2016-09-11 at 17:04, Harry Putnam wrote:

How can I arrange to boot to console mode rather than X.   With the
ability to startx when I feel like it.


The way I usually do it is to uninstall gdm, kdm, xdm, et cetera; those
are the packages which hook in to provide a graphical login prompt. With
none of them present, what you get is the traditional text-mode login
prompt, and your configured shell after login.


That sounds promissing.

It ought to. It's the display managers that start X. If they're not
there, you've to start it yourself with startx.

Used one of the methods below and quickly
realized I was expecting a nice big framebuffered text console with a
much higher resolution than the standard.

But you got ... what?

If you want to know whether you're looking at a nice big framebuffered
text console, install fbset and type
$ fbset
If you see something like:

mode "1280x800"
   geometry 1280 800 1280 800 32
   timings 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
   accel true
   rgba 8/16,8/8,8/0,0/0

then you are.

BTW What's the "standard" resolution of which you speak?

(Previously my OS of choice
was gentoo), But of course all that has to be setup.... as I recall it
is done with a few extra bits on the kernel line grub.conf....

Using grub2 I'm thoroughly lost what or where one would edit to allow
a console frame buffer.

I've yet to install a Debian system where the kernel didn't boot into
a console (VC1) running at anything other than the native/maximum
resolution. Now, maybe I'm lucky. Maybe I've had good fortune with
graphics devices, screens and everything else. But I would recommend
investigating exactly what you've got on booting up before you start
fiddling. Oh, and if you see your huge screen with a blurry 80x25
console on it, don't mistake font size for resolution.

Use   dpkg-reconfigure console-setup   to set utf-8, Latin1, the font
and its size. With a framebuffer you get more choice of size.
Note: don't ever run dpkg-reconfigure console-setup if X is running,
whether or not you're using it (eg by typing Ctl-Alt-Fn). It won't
have the desired effect and it might have you troubleshooting
problems of your own making.

As for systemctl set-default, no idea, never used it wittingly.
As for runlevels, well, as Lisi said, Debian doesn't use them in
the way some distributions do, which can cause confusion.
1 is single-user, 2 is normal. Apologies if that simplicity has been
abandoned in stretch since I last checked.


edit /etc/default/grub then run grub-mkconfig to apply your changes like this:
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg



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