When you installed Red Hat Linux you were given the opportunity to create one or more user accounts. If you did not create at least one (not including the root account), you should do so now.
We cannot stress this point enough: You should avoid working in the root account unless you absolutely have to.
There are two ways to create new and/or additional user accounts: by using the Red Hat User Manager or from a shell prompt.
To create a user account graphically using the User Manager:
Click the Main Menu button and choose System Settings > Users and Groups. If you prefer, you can instead double-click the Start Here icon on the panel at the bottom of your desktop. In the new window that opens, click the System Settings icon, and then click the Users & Groups icon.If you prefer to use the shell prompt, you can start the User Manager by typing redhat-config-users at a shell prompt.
If you are not logged in as root, you will be prompted for your root password.
The window shown in Figure 5-5 will appear. Click Add User.
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. See Chapter 10 for details about additional options.
Figure 5-5. The Red Hat User Manager
Click OK. The new user will appear in the user list.
To create a user account from a shell prompt, follow these steps:
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) and 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 can be fancy or plain when you pick a user account name, but 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 easily guessed 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 that substitutes numbers and/or symbols for some of the letters, such as a!rPl8nE for airplane.