A good thing i like in BackTrack was it boot in console mode. It is quite helpful if we have to run few console commands instead of using full GUI.
But Kali linux directly boot into graphical mode. To make it boot into command line mode we need to remove auto start of xdm service (or kdm or gdm based on your desktop manager) from current runlevel.
To do it first we need to know current runlevel. Issue following command
$ who -r
Remember your current runlevel from output of previous command. Mine is 2.
We also need to know service name of display manager we are running, check it with following command (replace 2 with your run level)
$ chkconfig --list | grep '2:on'
It will list all services set to autostart for run level 2. Look here for entry similar to gdm or kdm or xdm etc. I am running gdm3.
Ok, now we have identified which service (gdm3 in my case) we have to turn off at which run level (mine is 2).
Now issue following command to stop gdm3 service for run level 2.
$ chkconfig --level 2 gdm3 off
Now on next boot it will boot into command line login. After login use startx command to start xsession.
Failsafe: If something went wrong or later you decided to boot again into graphical mode, revert it back with following
$ chkconfig --level 2 gdm3 on
Note: I do not remember if chkconfig is pre-installed with Kali or i installed it manually. In case it say ‘chconfig command not found’ then you can install it with following command
apt-get install chkconfig
That’s all. Happy pentesting with Kali linux 🙂