Can anyone explain the use of init3

Paul Howarth paul at
Wed Apr 19 17:25:12 UTC 2006

Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-04-19 at 11:45, Craig McLean wrote:
>> [snip]
>>>> You might want to go to runlevel 3 to change X drivers, which you
>>>> wouldn't want to do with X running.
>>> Actually, I'd quite like to be able to do that with X running, although
>>> I suspect there's not much demand.
>> Actually I suspect that many people would like to be able to do this,
>> but I also suspect that switching a running X instance to a new hardware
>> driver on the fly is as close to impossible (given the current design of
>> X) as makes no odds.
>> There is, perhaps, slightly more mileage in the idea of maintaining
>> window manager state across X restarts. That is, keeping the desktop the
>> same while X restarts underneath it. Again this is (AFAIK) unimplemented
>> rather than unfeasible.
> Doesn't ctl-alt-backspace kill X sufficiently to restart with
> new drivers without any of the other changes a runlevel switch
> invokes? 

Yes, if you're really confident that the new drivers/config are going to 
work. If they don't work, gdm will loop for a while trying to restart X, 
which will keep crashing, and you'll have to wait until gdm gives up 
before being able to try to fix the problem.


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