How to change default runlevel prior to installing NVIDIA driver? I know I have to press Ctrl+Alt+F1 on logon screen.

  • Take a look at /etc/inittab/rc-sysinit.conf
    – user4511
    Mar 18 '16 at 16:10

You can install the driver's in runlevel 3.

$ sudo init 3

Or if you want to stay at your runlevel but only want to clip off X:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop

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