I was recently trying to install the lastest NVidia video drivers to a laptop running Linux Mint. The process was quite painful, as the NVidia installer require absolute and exclusive access to X. All information I could find came from posts dated at least from 2012, and most of them from 2009/2010. Most of these posts involved modifying the boot records to start to the console rather than the login client. Many suggested the CTRL + 1 shortcut to open a terminal. I really didn’t want to modify my boot records. The terminal command wouldn’t work either, as there was still another terminal running X.
If you find another program wanting exclusive access to X like the NVidia graphics installer, remember sudo telinit 1 can be your friend.
Of course this is all moot anyway because the NVidia installer destroyed my X configuration so that the machine could no longer boot into X. I decided to just reinstall Windows 7 in the end.