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  1. Linux Manual
  2. Installation & Internet
  3. About the Author
  4. Content
  5. Installation
  6. Choosing a Linux Distribution
  7. Partition types
  8. Fdisk
  9. Understanding Mount Point /mnt
  10. Linux File Structure
  11. Creating a boot disk
  12. Welcome to Linux Installation
  13. Installation mode
  14. Partitioning
  15. Creating partitions with Druid
  16. Creating partitions manually
  17. Formatting Partitions
  18. Individual packages selection
  19. The root account
  20. Network configuration
  21. The time zone
  22. Configuring Services
  23. Configuring X
  24. Installing Mandrake 9.1 & 9.2
  25. Installation Class
  26. The Drake X Partitioning
  27. Package Selection
  28. Configuring X
  29. The Internet
  30. Creating a new user
  31. Getting online
  32. Configuring the connection (Dial UP)
  33. High Speed Internet
  34. DSL Modems and Cable modems
  35. Connecting DSL as DHCP
  36. Setting up a Plain Cable Modem (DOCSIS)
  37. Connecting an ISDN
  38. Using Routers
  39. Login Protocols
  40. PPPoE
  41. WAN IP Address
  42. Commercial Configuration
  43. Troubleshooting

Creating a new user

If you don't have a regular user account yet, then you need to create one. You have to be root to do this.

[root@localhost root]# adduser user1 (user1 is the actual user name)

Now set the password for user1 (give your user1 a password).

[root@localhost root]# passwd user1 (granting user1 a password)

New UNIX password: type the password for user1 here
Retype the password:

If the password is a dictionary word you will receive a bad password warning, you can still use it, but keep in mind that it is a very weak password (easy to crack). Retype it for the system to finish setting the password. When the password is accepted you will receive the following message: all authentication tokens updated successfully.

Well you just created a new user, which is the beginning of system administration. From now on, you should login as your regular user and every time when you need administrative privileges you just switch to it. So logout now, and re-login as regular user.

Working as normal user

Your prompt should be now:

[user1@localhost user1]$

At your command line you can execute almost anything, but some commands will not be available to you as a regular user unless you become super-user or root.

Anyway let's try some basic commands so you know what they do in case you need them.

[user1@localhost user1]$ ls

The ls command lists the current directory, you can use it with several switches: R recursive, -S sort by file size, -l use long listing format, -a all.

For more switches type man ls at your command prompt to view the manual. After scrolling down the manual press Q to quit the manual.

[user1@localhost user1]$ cd /home

The cd command is used to move between directories. Notice the forward slash it is very important in Linux.

[user1@localhost user1]$ cp


The cp command is used for copying, useful to move and for backing up small portions of files. You can only copy files where you have permission.

[user1@localhost user1]$ mkdir mywork

The mkdir command is used to create directories. You can only create a directory in places where you have permission to do so. By default you have permission to write and delete in your home directory. If you become a super user, you can write anywhere you want. Be organized!

Become a super user

While logged in as a regular user, you might temporarily need root's privileges in order to do something that only root can do. You don't have to logout to gain this power.

[user1@localhost user1]$ su

At your prompt type su, that will ask you for a password. That password is root's password, type it and hit enter.

Now your prompt should look like this:

[root@localhost user1]#

Note inside the brackets says root, and now you have root's power to do anything you want.

[root@localhost user1]# exit

To exit root's privileges just type exit.