Welcome to the Official Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide!
By now, you should have read the Official Red Hat Linux x86 Installation Guide and successfully installed Red Hat Linux. This manual will help new and intermediate users navigate Red Hat Linux and perform common tasks.
This manual is task-oriented. You will find useful tips, hints, warnings, and screen shots interspersed throughout. First, you will learn the basics of using Red Hat Linux, such as customizing a desktop, configuring a printer, and getting online. Once the basics are covered, the tasks covered in this manual become progressively more advanced.
Most users choose to work within either the GNOME or the KDE graphical desktop environments. The Official Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide focuses primarily on how to perform tasks in these two environments.
Topics discussed include:
Using the GNOME and KDE graphical desktop environments
Managing files and directories
Navigating the filesystem
How to connect to the Internet
Common questions and answers
A glossary of frequently-used technical terms
After conquering the basics of your Red Hat Linux system, you may need information on more advanced topics. You can find this information in the Official Red Hat Linux Customization Guide and the Official Red Hat Linux Reference Guide. All of our manuals are available in HTML and PDF formats at http://www.redhat.com/support/manuals.
When you learn about a new operating system, you will also need to learn new terminology. Here are a few basic terms to become familiar with before you continue reading this manual. You will see these terms often:
Shell prompt: A software interface (similar to a DOS screen) between the user and the operating system. The shell interprets commands entered by the user and passes them on to the operating system. The shell prompt displays the command line.
Command line: The place in the shell prompt where commands are typed.
Command: An instruction given to the computer, most often with the keyboard or mouse.
Graphical User Interface (GUI): A screen with icons, menus, and panels for the user to click on to initiate functions.
GNOME and KDE: Two popular GUIs included with Red Hat Linux.
Panel: A GUI environment toolbar, usually located across the bottom of the screen. The panel contains the main menu button, among other things, and can be customized by the user.
Root: The root user account is created during installation and has complete access to your system. You must be logged in as root to accomplish certain system administration tasks. User accounts are created so typical user tasks can be done without using the root account, to reduce the chance of damaging your OS.
su and su -: The command su gives you access to the root account or other accounts on your system. When you su to root, or switch to your root account while still inside your user account shell, you have access to important system files that you can change, or damage, permanently. Logging in with the su - command makes you root within the root account shell. If you log in as root with su -, you have access to certain commands that the su command does not grant. Use caution when you are logged in as root.
Man page and info page: Man (short
for manual) and info pages give detailed information about a command or file (man pages tend to be brief and provide
less explanation than info pages). To read the man page for the su command,
for example, type man su at a shell prompt (or type info
su for the info page). To close one of these pages, press
X or X Window System: These terms refer to the graphical user interface environments. If you are "in X" or "running X" you are working in a GUI rather than a console environment.
Console: Console, shell prompt, terminal, "the screen that looks like DOS" these are all the same thing: a non-graphical interface. This environment has no icons, limited menus, and requires that you type commands to perform tasks, rather than pointing and clicking with your mouse.
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