NOTE: CentOS Enterprise Linux is built from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. Other than logo and name changes CentOS Enterprise Linux is compatible with the equivalent Red Hat version. This document applies equally to both Red Hat and CentOS Enterprise Linux.
Creating a User Account
When you first started your Red Hat Enterprise Linux system
after installation, you were given the opportunity to create one or
more user accounts using the Setup
Agent. If you did not create at least one account (not
including the root account) you should do so now. You should avoid
working in the root account for daily tasks.
There are two ways to create new and/or additional user
accounts: using the graphical User
Manager application or from a shell prompt.
To create a user account graphically using the User Manager:
Select (the main menu on the
panel) => System Settings =>
from the panel.
You can also start the User Manager
by typing redhat-config-users at a shell
If you are not logged in as root, you will be prompted for your
The window shown in Figure
1-16 will appear. Click Add User.
Figure 1-16. The Red Hat User Manager
In the Create New User dialog box, enter
a username (this can be an abbreviation or nickname), the full name
of the user for whom this account is being created, and a password
(which you will enter a second time for verification). The name of
this user's home directory and the name of the login shell should
appear by default. For most users, you can accept the defaults for
the other configuration options. Refer to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Administration
Guide for details about additional options.
Click OK. The new user will appear in
the user list, signaling that the user account creation is
To create a user account from a shell prompt:
Open a shell prompt.
If you are not logged in as root, type the command su - and enter the root password.
Type useradd followed by a space and
the username for the new account you are creating at the command
line (for example, useradd jsmith). Press [Enter] . Often, usernames are variations on the
user's name, such as jsmith for John Smith. User account names can
be anything from the user's name, initials, or birthplace to
something more creative.
Type passwd followed by a space and the
username again (for example, passwd jsmith).
At the New password: prompt enter a
password for the new user and press [Enter] .
At the Retype new password: prompt,
enter the same password to confirm your selection.
You should take precautions when you choose a password. The
password is the key to your account, so it should be both unique
and easy for you to remember. Your password should be at least six
characters. You can use both uppercase and lowercase letters, as
well as numbers and characters. Avoid easy selections, such as
qwerty or password. If you want to pick an
easy-to-remember but somewhat unique password, consider a variation
of a word, such as a1rPl4nE for