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"init: Id "x" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes."

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The problem that happens both with RHEL 5 and RHEL 6. The following is a typical environment in which problem occurs:

System could not start Gnome GUI on level 5 and goes back into line prompt. The screen keeps showing the message:

Id "x" is respawning too fast, disable every 5 minutes

The same effect is if you boot to runlevel 3 and then try to change to run level 5 with "init 5". Again no Gnome login script is displayed and the same "X is respawning too fast" messages pop up.

The "respawning too fast" message is telling you that your X-server (or Gnome) is miss-configured, and is crashing when it tries to start and trying to restart too fast or too often.

From the command line, look at /var/log/Xorg.0.log to see why the X-server crashed

Diagnostic steps:


Looks like bug in RHEL introduced in RHEL 5.10. The latter was released on October 2, 2013

This problem does not exist in RHEL 5.9. It also exist in RHEL 6.x (not sure about exact version).

Generally the only way to fix the problem in Red Hat 5 is full reinstallation of X11 and Gnome, see

Reinstallation of X11 and Gnome Desktop in RHEL

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Old News ;-)

[Nov 06, 2013] RE INIT Id x respawning too fast

Check /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Checking X
> configuration can be directly done using "startx", and
> "Ctrl-Alt-Backspace" to kill X if needed.

Hannibal S. Jackson wrote:
> > Rebooted HP ML370 (Red Hat WS3) and then it came back with the
> > INIT: Id "x" respawning too fast: disabled for 5
> I've searched
> > and searched and have not been able to find a viable solution.
> read
> > RH's Knowledge base and they stated it was related to the
graphic card
> > settings. Problem is I can not log in to make those changes.
> tried
> > to boot into single user mode, run level 3, but nothing has
worked thus
> > far. It comes back to the login prompt but as soon as I try to
log in it
> > goes right back to the login screen never asking me for a
> I've
> > read it could also be an issue in the inittab file but I
can't log on
> to
> > view that or make any changes. Any assistance is greatly
> > Getting that error but still can not log in at the console to
make any
> > adjustments because the password prompt never comes back. Also,
> > noticed even when I try to tell it to boot the kernel into run
level 3,
> > it still goes back to 5.
> >
> 1) password prompt:
> Are you able login, then immediately go to init 1? Init 1 is single
> mode. If not you can try booting from a livecd. Then mount the
> (assembling raid if needed), and edit /etc/inittab to boot to runlevel
> (or 1).
> 2) X spawning too fast is often due to an X misconfiguration, or
> graphics card drivers. Check /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Checking X
> configuration can be directly done using "startx", and
> "Ctrl-Alt-Backspace" to kill X if needed.

> Hope that helps. =)
> Regards,
> Junhao

[Nov 06, 2013] init Id x respawning too fast disabled for 5 minutes.

This is old and incorrect, but still contains some useful info (unlike many other posts on the topic ;-)

In most distributions this means that the system is booting by default
into runlevel 5, which is supposed to respawn (re-start again after
it's been exited) a graphical login via xdm, kdm, gdm, or whatever,
and the system can't locate the program.

However, "Id" can also indicate the absence or misconfiguration of
another program, like mingetty, if init tries to respawn itself more
than 10 times in 2 minutes.

Id "x" is the number in the leftmost column of the /etc/inittab file:

# Run gettys in standard runlevels
1:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty1
2:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty2
3:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty3
4:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty4
5:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty5
6:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty6

Commenting the offending line out and then fixing the errant program
and testing on the command line will allow you to see any error
messages that go to standard error output (console) if the errors are
not going to the system log file. Uncomment the line and restart init
with "kill -SIGHUP 1" or "telinit q" to cause init to reinitialize and
reread the /etc/inittab file.

Some systems, however, rewrite /etc/inittab when booting. In that
case, refer to the init man page, and/or the settings in

Refer to the init and /etc/inittab man pages for detailed information.

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