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How To Set Or Fix Linux Default Runlevel?

By default, Linux boots up to multi-user mode, which is normally either runlevel 3 or runlevel 5.

If you want to fix or change the Linux default runlevel, it could be just a simple change in the inittab configuration file.
RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL), for example, supports 6 runlevel:
  • runlevel 0 – halt (shutdown)
  • runlevel 1 – single-user text mode and no network access
  • runlevel 2 – not used by system (to allow user customization)
  • runlevel 3 – multi-user text mode with networking support
  • runlevel 4 – not used by system (to allow user customization)
  • runlevel 5 – multi-user graphical mode with networking support

If your RHEL system boots to runlevel 5 by default but you would like to change it to runlevel 3 on each reboot or boot-up, then open /etc/inittab with your favorite editor, look for “initdefault” and change the 5 to 3, as this:

After making that simple change, just save the file and it is done :)

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