So i tried to edit the /etc/inittab with sudo nano /etc/inittab:

I changed:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty --noclear 38400 tty1


1:2345:respawn:sbin/getty --autologin {USERNAME} --noclear 38400 tty1

Then I went ahead and changed it to:

1:2345:respawn:sbin/getty --autologin {pi} --noclear 38400 tty1

And was so stupid to forget to remove the brackets. now it's saying:

Authentication failure
INIT: Id "1" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes.

I know that i can fix it by simply removing the brackets but i can't enter the raspberry pi now because it locks immediately.

How can i go about this?

1 Answer 1


As far as I know there's no way to boot into runlevel 1 on the pi without configuring it to do so first, which is not really an option at this point.

That line applies to runlevels 2, 3, 4, and 5; the original default is 2, and that's what you are getting.

The only thing you can do is take the card out and fix inittab.

If you can't access the second partition on Windows, you could try adding:


To the end of cmdline.txt on the first (vfat) partition, which should remain all one line. I can't promise this will work out, and you will certainly want to remove that afterward, but it may give you a command prompt.

  • how will i be able to access inittab by connecting it to my windows computer? from my previous experiences, i've never found anything that i need when simply connecting the card into my computer. like everything looks different. Dec 17, 2015 at 3:53
  • 1
    Windows doesn't come with ext4 (the filesystem type) support. There's some solutions to that recommended here, although I can't vouch for them. The other options would be to either use a linux "live CD", or install it in a virtual machine such as VirtualBox on windows (which requires the .iso image for CD and is more work, but does not require you actually burn a disk).
    – goldilocks
    Dec 17, 2015 at 4:00
  • 1
    I guess you might as well try...I've edited in another suggestion at the bottom, but it is a pretty sketchy one.
    – goldilocks
    Dec 17, 2015 at 4:06
  • 1
    If you have the option of burning the live CD, that's the surest bet. They are usually slow and awkward, but have a full GUI desktop.
    – goldilocks
    Dec 17, 2015 at 4:18
  • 1
    I think so, but you might want to insert it right after the root=... parameter.
    – goldilocks
    Dec 17, 2015 at 4:36

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