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Welcome to the Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide!

By now, you should have read the Red Hat Linux Installation Guide and successfully installed Red Hat Linux. This manual is designed to help new and intermediate Linux users navigate and perform common tasks. Keep in mind that Linux looks, feels, and performs differently from other operating systems you may have used. Forget about the conventions of other operating systems and, with an open mind, approach Red Hat Linux as a new, interesting, and versatile alternative.

This manual is task-oriented. You will find useful tips, hints, warnings, and screen shots interspersed throughout. First, you will learn the basics of using Red Hat Linux, such as customizing a desktop, configuring a printer, and getting online. Once the basics are covered, the tasks covered in this manual become progressively more advanced.

Most users choose to work within either the GNOME or KDE graphical desktop environments (other desktop environments are also available). The Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide focuses primarily on how to perform tasks in these two environments.

Topics discussed include:

  • Using the graphical desktop environment

  • Managing files and directories

  • Working with documents

  • Using the Web and email

  • Working with a digital camera

After conquering the basics of your Red Hat Linux system, you may need information on more advanced topics. You can find this information in the Red Hat Linux Customization Guide, the Red Hat Linux Reference Guide, the Red Hat Linux System Administration Primer, and the Red Hat Linux Security Guide.

HTML and PDF versions of the Red Hat Linux manuals are available on the Red Hat Linux Documentation CD and online at


Although this manual reflects the most current information possible, you should read the Red Hat Linux Release Notes for information that may not have been available prior to our documentation being finalized. They can be found on the Red Hat Linux CD #1 and online at:

1. Changes to This Manual

This manual has been expanded to include new features in Red Hat Linux 9 as well as topics requested by our readers. Changes to this manual include:

Working with Digital Cameras

This new chapter discusses using a digital camera with gtKam.

Configuring Date and Time

A chapter on configuring your system time, your time zone, and how to connect to a network time server to get accurate time and date information for your Red Hat Linux system has been moved from the Red Hat Linux Customization Guide to this manual.

Diskettes and CD-ROMs

This chapter now includes information about backing up files to CD-R and CD-RW media using CD Creator in Nautilus.

Working with Documents

This chapter includes information on editing text files in a graphical environment (with gEdit) and at a shell prompt (with vi).

Using the Graphical Desktop

This chapter has been modified to reflect the new desktop environment and the various ways you can use and configure it, including how to change your desktop background, manage your printer, and more.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire