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[ubuntu] Setting environment variables before opening Xwindows

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http://ubuntuforums.org – Hi, I'm installing 12.04 on a new machine. I've been using 8.04. In 8.04 I accessed my windows manager (either gnome or fvwm) from the command line, using startx. In this setup I was able to set a number of environment variables, which were utilized in my startup script. But 12.04 boots to a GUI, which is nice, but I can't set my environment variables. Is there a way to disable the initial GUI, so that I login the old-fashioned way, and can execute scripts from the command line, then use startx? Thanks, Leo (Hardware)