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Booting, Logging In, and Configuring

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This chapter is from the book

Hour 3: Booting, Logging In, and Configuring

What You'll Learn in This Hour:

  • How to perform preliminary Fedora configuration

  • How to shut down or reboot your Fedora system

  • How to configure your printer in Fedora

  • How to configure dial-up in Fedora

This hour, you start your Fedora 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. When this hour is finished, you'll have a fully functional Linux operating system ready to perform most any common task that a Windows computer can perform.

Booting Fedora

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.

Fedora 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 Hour 2, "Installing Fedora," and installed the GRUB boot loader, within a few moments you find yourself looking at the GRUB boot display, 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 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 Fedora 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 Fedora starts, you will at 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. Fedora 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 customize 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 Fedora shows a progress bar as it starts system services.

After Fedora starts all its components, the screen clears and graphics mode starts.

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