next up previous contents index
Next: Leaving the Computer Up: Starting to Use Your Previous: Takes Over

The User Acts

This section actually contains information needed to know how to use Linux.

The first thing you have to do to use a Unix machine is to identify yourself. This process, knowing as ``logging in'', is Unix's way of knowing that users are authorized to use the system. It asks for an account name  and password.  An account name is normally similar to your regular name; you should have already received one from your system administrator, or created your own if you are the system administrator. (Information on doing this should be available in Installation and Getting Started or The System Adminstrator's Guide.)

You should see, after all the boot-up procedures are done, something like the following:


However, it's possible that what the system presents you with does not look like this. Instead of a boring text mode screen, it is graphical. However, it will still ask you to login, and will function mostly the same way. If this is the case on your system, you are going to be using The X Window System . This means that you will be presented with a windowing system. Chapter 5 will discuss some of the differences that you'll be facing. However, logging in will be similar. If you are using X, look for a giant X is the margin.

This is, of course, your invitation to login.  Throughout this manual, we'll be using the fictional (or not so fictional, depending on your machine) user larry. Whenever you see larry, you should be substituting your own account name. Account names are usually based on real names; bigger, more serious Unix systems will have accounts using the user's last name, or some combination of first and last name, or even some numbers. Possible accounts for Larry Greenfield  might be: larry, greenfie, lgreenfi, lg19.

mousehouse is, by the way, the ``name'' of the machine I'm working on. It is possible that when you installed , you were prompted for some very witty name. It isn't very important, but whenever it comes up, I'll be using mousehouse or, rarely, lionsden.

After entering larry, I'm faced with the following:


What is asking for is your password. When you type in your password, you won't be able to see what you type. Type carefully: it is possible to delete, but you won't be able to see what you are editing. Don't type too slowly if people are watching--they'll be able to learn your password. If you mistype, you'll be presented with another chance to login.  

If you've typed your login name and password correctly, a short message will appear, called the message of the day.   This could say anything--the system adminstrator decides what it should be. After that, a prompt appears.  A prompt is just that, something prompting you for the next command to give the system. It should look like this:


If you've already determined you're using X Windows, you'll probably see a prompt like the one above in a ``window'' somewhere on the screen. (A ``window'' is simply a rectangular box.) To type into the prompt, move the mouse cursor (it probably looks like a big ``x'') using the mouse into the window.

next up previous contents index
Next: Leaving the Computer Up: Starting to Use Your Previous: Takes Over

Converted on:
Mon Apr 1 08:59:56 EST 1996