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Booting, Logging In, and Configuring Red Hat Desktop

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In this chapter, you start your Red Hat Desktop system for the first time. You encounter the GRUB boot loader, which you use to start Linux or Windows. Then, before you can begin to use Linux for everyday tasks, you take care of some preliminary tasks. After you finish this chapter, you'll have a fully functional operating system ready to perform most any common task that a Windows computer can perform.
This chapter is from the book

What You'll Learn in This Chapter:

  • How to perform preliminary Red Hat Desktop configuration
  • How to shut down or reboot your Red Hat Desktop system
  • How to configure your printer in Red Hat Desktop
  • How to configure dial-up in Red Hat Desktop

In this chapter, you start your Red Hat Desktop system for the first time. You encounter the GRUB boot loader, which you use to start Linux or Windows. Then, before you can begin to use Linux for everyday tasks, you take care of some preliminary tasks. After you finish this chapter, you'll have a fully functional operating system ready to perform most any common task that a Windows computer can perform.

Booting Red Hat Desktop

If your computer has been a Windows-only computer thus far, you are probably used to switching on your computer and watching Windows load more or less immediately, without any intervention from you. Now that Linux is installed on your computer, things will change a little.

Red Hat Desktop has installed the GRUB boot loader to start your computer system. GRUB can start Linux or Windows; if you have both installed, it offers you a choice between the two each time you start. Switch on your computer now. If you followed along with the installation instructions in Chapter 2, "Installing Red Hat Desktop," and installed the GRUB boot loader, within a few moments you should find yourself looking at the GRUB boot display, as shown in Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1FIGURE 3.1 The GRUB boot display presents you with the available list of boot options. This computer has both Windows (labeled DOS) and Linux on it.

At the GRUB display, you have five seconds to select which operating system you want to start. Use your up- and down-arrow keys to move the selection bar, and press Enter to select and start an operating system in the list.

Select DOS When You Want Windows

If you have Windows installed alongside Linux, you might find that Windows appears in the list of available operating systems under the DOS label. The DOS label is used by Red Hat Desktop to refer to most MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows operating systems. Selecting DOS therefore starts your Windows operating system.

If you do not select an operating system yourself, GRUB automatically starts the selected operating system after five seconds.

When Red Hat Desktop starts, you first see a great deal of text information scrolling rapidly across your display as Linux examines and adjusts to your CPU, mainboard and memory configuration, and other hardware. Red Hat Desktop then displays a progress bar in the center of your screen to show its progress as it launches system services and performs other housekeeping tasks (see Figure 3.2). This process might take several minutes the first time you start Linux. On subsequent boots, it will take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or so; the process is repeated each time you start Linux. If you customized your installation or performed a Server installation, you might see a text display containing more detailed information instead of a progress bar.

Figure 3.2FIGURE 3.2 Red Hat Desktop shows a progress bar as it starts system services.

After Red Hat Desktop starts all its components, the screen clears and graphics mode starts.

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