Getting started with Linux
This document is written for people who have just installed Linux but
don't know what to do next. Most of the commands discussed here should
work on all distribution of Linux but since I use Red Hat 5.0 some of
them may be specific to Red Hat 5.0. I have also used Caldera
OpenLinux 1.3 and have included some Caldera specific information. If
any of you have any suggestions or ideas to improve this document,
they are most welcome. All commands are in quotes and you need to type
them without the quotes. For example if you see type "ls" then you
just need to type ls. You will also have to press the ENTER key after
typing each of the commands. There are some useful commands in the
document but for complete command reference you will need to refer to
Let us begin with first booting into Linux. When you boot Linux, you
will see a lot of messages coming up. You need not understand all of
them right now but if you get some errors while booting, you may want
to look at them. These help in understanding them and do any
troubleshooting if required. First thing you must do is login in to
your Linux system. At the login prompt type "root" (or whatever
username you have created) and put in the password. The password is
selected at installation. If you installed linux on your machine then
you are the root user and you have supervisory access to the system.
If you didn't choose any password then the system will not ask for a
password, instead take you straight to the Linux prompt. You will now
come to the Linux prompt. The prompt will be a # if you are root or
will be a $ if you are some other user and have chosen the BASH shell.
If you are new to Linux then you should use the BASH shell. Out of
several shells under Linux, I prefer BASH because it is easy to use.
BASH is also the default on most Linux Distributions. Your prompt may
look something like.
If you need to logout just type "exit".
Once you have logged in type "dmesg" to see the bootup messages. You
will see something like:
Serial driver version 4.13 with no serial options enabled
tty00 at 0x03f8 (irq = 4) is a 16450
tty01 at 0x02f8 (irq = 3) is a 16450
Real Time Clock Driver v1.07
hda: QUANTUM FIREBALL_TM2110A, 2014MB w/76kB Cache, CHS=1023/64/63