Network Administration: Linux Logon, Logoff and System Shut Down

Any user who accesses a Linux system, whether locally or over a network, must be authenticated by a valid user account on the system. In the following you find out how to log on and off of a Linux system and how to shut down the system.

Logging on

When Linux boots up, it displays a series of startup messages as it starts the various services that compose a working Linux system. Assuming that you selected X Window when you installed Linux, you’re eventually greeted by the screen shown in the following figure.

To log on to Linux, type your user ID on this screen, press Enter, and then type your password and press Enter again. (Note that this logon screen is for Fedora. Other distributions have similar logon screens.)

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As a part of the installation process, the Setup Agent created a user account for you. You should use this user account rather than the root user account whenever possible. Use the root account only when you are making major changes to the system’s configuration. When you’re doing routine work, log on as an ordinary user in order to avoid accidentally corrupting your system.

When you log on, Linux grinds its gears for a moment and then displays the GNOME desktop.

Logging off

After you’ve logged on, you’ll probably want to know how to log off. To do so, choose System→Log Out. A dialog box asks whether you’re sure that you want to log out. Click Log Out.

Shutting down

As with any operating system, you should never turn off the power to a Linux server without first properly shutting down the system. You can shut down a Linux system by using one of these two techniques:

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

  • Choose System→Shut Down.