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Running Linux, Fourth Edition by Lar Kaufman, Terry Dawson, Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Matt Welsh

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Post-Installation Procedures

After you have completed installing the Linux software, you should be able to reboot the system, log in as root, and begin exploring the system. (Each distribution has a different method for doing this; follow the instructions given by the distribution.)

Before you strike out on your own, however, there are some tasks you should do now that may save you a lot of grief later. Some of these tasks are trivial if you have the right hardware and Linux distribution; others may involve a little research on your part, and you may decide to postpone them.

Creating a User Account

In order to start using your system, you need to create a user account for yourself. Eventually, if you plan to have other users on your system, you’ll create user accounts for them as well. But before you begin to explore you need at least one account.

Why is this? Every Linux system has several preinstalled accounts, such as root. The root account, however, is intended exclusively for administrative purposes. As root you have all kinds of privileges and can access all files on your system.

However, using root can be dangerous, especially if you’re new to Linux. Because there are no restrictions on what root can do, it’s all too easy to mistype a command, inadvertently delete files, damage your filesystem, and so on. You should log in as root only when you need to perform system administration tasks, such as fixing configuration files, installing new software, and so on. See Section ...

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