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Welcome to Red Hat Linux!

When your Red Hat Linux computer system is started for the first time, Red Hat automatically displays the Welcome to Red Hat Linux! screen. Beginning at this screen, you are led through a few remaining configuration steps that were not taken care of by the Red Hat Linux installer. The next section walks you through this process.

Finishing First-Run Configuration

At the Welcome to Red Hat Linux! screen, click the Forward button to proceed to the Date and Time Configuration screen, shown in Figure 3.3. Use this screen to be sure that your current date and time are correctly set.

Figure 3.3Figure 3.3 The Date and Time Configuration enables you to set your current date and time.

You can choose a month and year using the navigation arrows; after the correct month and year are displayed, you can choose a day simply by clicking its number. If you need to adjust the current time (shown in 24-hour format), enter the correct values into the hour, minute, and second entry boxes. Alternatively, if your computer is connected to the Internet, you can choose to automatically set your time using network time servers by checking the Enable Network Time Protocol check box and selecting a server at random (it does not matter which server you use) from the time server drop-down list.

When you have set your date and time correctly or chosen to let the network set your date and time for you, click the Forward button to proceed to the Red Hat Update Agent screen, shown in Figure 3.4.

Figure 3.4Figure 3.4 The Red Hat Update Agent screen enables you to sign up for Red Hat's premium update service.

At the Red Hat Update Agent screen, you are given an opportunity to choose to register with Red Hat's premium update service. Because this service is an optional premium feature, we don't discuss it in this book. If you would like to sign up for the feature or learn more about it, visit http://rhn.redhat.com for details; otherwise, select the No option as shown in Figure 3.4 and click the Forward button to proceed to the Install Additional Software screen shown in Figure 3.5.

Figure 3.5Figure 3.5 At the Install Additional Software screen, Red Hat gives you the option of installing more software from your CD-ROMs.

You learn how to install additional software from Red Hat CD-ROMs any time you like using desktop tools in Hour 21, "Installing Software," so there is no need to spend extra time here installing additional software. Click the Forward button to proceed to the Finished Setup! screen.

Click the Forward button to display the Red Hat login prompt.

Logging In for Configuration

After you finish the first-boot configuration discussed in the previous section, you find yourself looking at the Red Hat Linux graphical login prompt, shown in Figure 3.6. This screen is displayed every time you start Red Hat Linux.

Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 Every Time you Start Red Hat Linux from now on, you will see the Red Hat Linux graphical login prompt.

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If in Hour 2 you chose to perform a server installation or chose to customize your software selection and subsequently did not install the X Window system graphical environment, you will not see a graphical login prompt. Instead, you will see a text login prompt. Proceed to Hour 4, "Navigating Linux at the Console," for details on logging in and using Linux in text mode.

Identifying the Parts of the Login Screen

The Red Hat login prompt is primarily designed to enable you to log into the Red Hat desktop to use your computer. Before you log in for the first time, though, there are a few functional areas of the login screen that you need to become familiar with.

If you chose to install more than one language when you installed Linux, clicking the Language button displays a list of languages from which you can select, as shown in Figure 3.7. The language you select is the language used by Red Hat for communicating with you in the desktop environment. The default language is English.

Figure 3.7Figure 3.7 Clicking the Language button enables you to select the language Red Hat will use when interfacting with you.

If you chose the Desktop or Workstation install or chose to install the KDE and/or GNOME environments at the software customization screen as you were installing Linux, clicking the Session button at the login screen enables you to select the environment you want to use, as shown in Figure 3.8.

Figure 3.8Figure 3.8 Clicking the Session button enables you to select the type of desktop environment you want to use.

The GNOME and KDE options instruct Red Hat Linux to log you into the GNOME and KDE desktops, respectively. The Failsafe instructs Red Hat Linux to log you into a very basic X Window System desktop in an environment called TWM. The Last option instructs Red Hat to log you into whichever desktop environment you used last time you logged in. You can learn more about logging in to KDE and GNOME specifically in Hour 10, "Introducing the Red Hat Desktop."

The System button is perhaps the most important of the three buttons on the Red Hat Linux login screen. Clicking it presents you with options related to shutting down Red Hat Linux, as shown in Figure 3.9.

Figure 3.9Figure 3.9 Clicking the System button enables you to shut down or restart your Red Hat Linux computer.

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Before you turn off your Linux computer, you should always remember to return to the Login screen, click the System button, and choose to shut the system down. Though it isn't likely, it is possible that not shutting down correctly could cause you to lose some of your data.

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