I was having problems logging in this morning to my laptop. When I entered my password, it just hung. I pressed Ctrl-f2 to switch to an alternate tty, logged in as root and checked for errors in /var/log/messages.
Not seeing anything, I figured, I’d try and restart the Xserver. Still not being completely familiar with the sysctl paradigm it wasn’t obvious how to restart it.
So, as root, I simply switched the runlevel to 3, and then back to 5 via the following commands, restarting the Xserver and was then able to login.
# telinit 3
…. wait for a bit ….
# telinit 5
Login, get to work.