When GRUB loads up: type enter to select boot loader.
Once highlighted, hit e on your keyboard to ‘edit’ this option.
You will see 3 lines (well, on my own at least):
/vmlinuz-2.4.nn-n ro root=LABEL=/ hdc=ide-scsi
Select the 2nd line in the example above, i.e. the one with the kernel /vmlinuz… and hit the e key once again (to edit)…
Now you should be able to edit this line and this is exactly what you want to do; add the word single to the end of this line e.g.
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.nn-n ro root=LABEL=/ hdc=ide-scsi single
and hit Enter.
Finally hit the b key on your keyboard to boot into Linux…
Just as soon as the boot process completes, the cursor stops at a prompt that looks like this on my machine:
Details at: http://www.gidforums.com/t-1472.html
If you want to boot at text mode then edit /etc/inittab file with: id:3:initdefault:
If you are already in X, use the CTRL-ALT-[F1-F6] key combo to get to a console, login and type su, enter root password, then telinit 3 to go text mode (console)
Otherwise: telinit 5 or startx to go graphic mode