Getting Started (2024)

Like many new users, learning how to work on your Red Hat Linux system can be both exciting and a little unnerving. To begin your journey, you'll have to log in. When you log in, you're basically "introducing yourself" to the system.

When you installed Red Hat Linux, you had the opportunity to install the X Window System -- also simply called X -- which is the graphical environment. You were also asked whether you wanted to use a graphical screen, rather than a console to log in. Although our emphasis throughout this book will be on navigation and productivity using X, we'll cover both the graphical and console methods of logging in and starting the X Window System.

Unlike some other operating systems, your Red Hat Linux system usesaccounts to manage privileges, maintain securityand more. Not all accounts are created equal: some have fewer rights toaccess files or services than others.

If you've already created a user account, you can skip ahead to Chapter 2. If you created only the root account, read on to learn how to set up a user account.

Getting Started (1)Don't "root" around

Because your Red Hat Linux systemcreates one account (the root account) during installation, some newusers are tempted to use only this account for all theiractivities. This is a bad idea; because the root account is allowed todo anything on the system, you can easily damage your system bymistakenly deleting or modifying sensitive system files. You may betempted to forego creating and using a user account during or afterinstallation, but you're playing with fire if you do.

Create a User Account

When you installed Red Hat Linux, you were asked to create a root password -- that is, a password for the root account, the system administrator. At that time, you were also able to create additional user accounts, which allow you to accomplish most tasks, without potentially harming your system -- as would be the case if you were to use your root account for everything.

If you didn't create a user account during the installation, that's yourfirst task. Here's what you'll do:

  • Log in from the console or from a graphical screen.

  • Open a terminal emulation window (also called an Xterm window or Xterm) on the desktop.

  • Create a new user account.

  • Log out, then log in to the new account.

Logging In As Root

Regardless of whether you've chosen a graphical or console login screen, you'll have to supply a login account name and the password associated with that account.

From a console screen, for example, you'll see something like:

 Red Hat Linux release 6.2 Kernel 2.2.14-xx on an i686localhost login:rootPassword:yourrootpassword 

Unless you've chosen to give your machine a name, as in a network setting, your machine will probably be called localhost.

To log in to the root account, at the login and password prompts, type root and the root password you chose when you installed Red Hat Linux.

If you're using the graphical login screen, similar to Figure 1-1, just type root in the box, press Enter and type in the password you created for the root account.

If you still see your console screen (instead of the graphical desktop) you can start the X Window System by typing startx as follows:

 [root@localhost /root]#startx
Getting Started (3)To change your login screen

To find out how you can change from a console to a graphical login screen see the section called Changing Login from Console to X at Startup in Chapter 15.

Once you start the X Window System, you'll find a desktop similar to Figure 1-2 in GNOME or Figure 1-3 in KDE.

Getting Started (4)

Figure 1-2. A GNOME Desktop

Getting Started (5)

Figure 1-3. A KDE Desktop

Starting an Xterm

Both GNOME and KDE offer quick launch buttons on their panels to open an Xterm window.

Getting Started (6)

Figure 1-4. The GNOME Panel

On the GNOME Panel, the button which launches an Xterm appears near the center and looks like: Getting Started (7)

You can also find launchers to Xterms from the GNOME menu, under Utilities. Items which will open Xterms include GNOME terminal, Regular XTerm, and Color XTerm.

Getting Started (8)

Figure 1-5. The KDE Panel

Similar to GNOME, the KDE Panel prominently features a quick launch button for an Xterm. The launcher looks like:Getting Started (9)

You can also find the launcher from the KDE main menu under Utilities=>Konsole.

Now, click on the Xterm button to open a window. You'll see the shell prompt inside the window, and will look like

 [root@localhost /root]#

Type useradd, then a space and the name of the new user account (name the account newuser, for example).

It may not appear that anything has happened, but you've just completed step one of creating the new account. All that remains is for you to give this account a password.

Getting Started (10)Picking account names

Often, user accounts are just variations on the user's name, such as jsmith for John Smith. You can choose whichever name you prefer, however, such as musicman or ElivsisKing.

Now, on the next line, type passwd, a space and type the name of the new account for which you want to create the password (passwd newuser).

Getting Started (11)What is a secure password?

You can be fancy or plain when you pick a user account name, but take precautions when you choose a password. The password is the key to your account, so it should be both unique and easy for you to remember. Your password should be at least six characters (actually, it can be 256 characters long, though you probably don't need that). You can mix upper- and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and characters. Avoid easy selections, such as qwerty or password. If you want to pick an easy-to-remember but somewhat unique password, consider a variation of a word, such as a!rPl8nE for airplane. If you need more information about passwords, see Chapter 12.

Next, you'll be asked to enter the password for the new user's account -- the prompt will state: New UNIX password. Enter a password that will be easy to remember and secure.

Type the password again for confirmation, and you'll see a message stating passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully, which means that you've successfully created the new account.

Getting Started (12)

Figure 1-6. Adding a user in an Xterm

In Figure 1-6, you can see a sample of an Xterm window with the commands and prompts.

You can exit from the Xterm by clicking the X button on the upper right of the window, or by typing exit at the prompt.

Logging Out of Root

Now, you should log out of the root account and log in to youruser account.

To log out from GNOME, click once on the Main Menu Button on the Panel and drag your mouse cursor to the first item, labeled Log out (as in Figure 1-7).

Getting Started (13)

Figure 1-7. The Log out Selection

When the confirmation dialog appears (see Figure 1-8), select the Logout option and click the Yes button. If you want to save the configuration of your Panel, as well as any programs which are running, check the Save current setup option, as well.

Getting Started (14)

Figure 1-8. Logout Confirmation

Similarly, in KDE, you can log out from the menu button on the Panel (see Figure 1-9).

By default, the Panel in KDE also contains a quick launch button to log out; it's located near the Taskbar, at the center of the Panel, and looks like: Getting Started (15)

Getting Started (16)

Figure 1-9. The Logout Entry in KDE

You'll either return to the graphical login screen or the shell prompt, depending on how you chose to log in.

If you're returned to a non-graphical console prompt, just type exit at the prompt, as in:

 [root@localhost /root]# exit
Getting Started (17)Another way to exit

You can exit at the shell prompt either by typing the word exit or by using the key combination of Ctrl-D.

Now, you can log into your user account the same way you logged in as root.

Getting Started (2024)


How to learn git easily? ›

Here is a basic overview of how Git works:
  1. Create a "repository" (project) with a git hosting tool (like Bitbucket)
  2. Copy (or clone) the repository to your local machine.
  3. Add a file to your local repo and "commit" (save) the changes.
  4. "Push" your changes to your main branch.

What is Git? ›

Git is a mature, actively maintained open source project originally developed in 2005 by Linus Torvalds, the famous creator of the Linux operating system kernel. A staggering number of software projects rely on Git for version control, including commercial projects as well as open source.

Why is Git difficult to learn? ›

The challenges of learning Git can vary. For experienced programmers, understanding Git's elaborate documentation and collaboration tools may be challenging, while for inexperienced programmers, learning to code in tandem with Git might be the most difficult aspect.

How long does it take to learn Git? ›

If you're trying to learn Git along with a new software language or work on a new project, it may take some time—up to a week or more. Of course, daily practice will help you become familiar with Git and further your mastery.

What is the simplest Git strategy? ›

Of the three Git branch strategies we cover in this post, GitHub flow is the most simple. Because of the simplicity of the workflow, this Git branching strategy allows for Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration. This Git branch strategy works great for small teams and web applications.

Is it easy to learn GitHub? ›

Important Git and GitHub commands

Git itself is very simple to work with. Beginners are often surprised to find out there are only about 12 git commands developers use on a regular basis, including the following: git pull to get changes from the server. git push to update a remote repo.

What is the easiest Git tool? ›

Top 3 Git GUI Client
  • GitHub Desktop is the best application for beginners. It is easy to navigate, and you get to see live changes in your repository. ...
  • GitKraken is an all-on-one GitOps solution for your development experience. ...
  • Sourcetree is another free Git GUI client for Windows and MAC.
Oct 3, 2022


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