Welcome to the Official Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide!

By now, you should have read the Official 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 available). The Official Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide focuses primarily on how to perform tasks in these two environments.

Topics discussed include:

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 Official Red Hat Linux Customization Guide and the Official Red Hat Linux Reference Guide. All of our manuals are available in HTML and PDF formats at

About This Manual — Read This? Please?

This book explains how to get started with Red Hat Linux using both the graphical user interface and the shell prompt. New users tend to be more comfortable using the graphical interface, so each chapter explains graphical procedures first and shell prompt procedures second (see the section called A Note About Environments and Chapter 10 for more on working from the shell prompt).

Also, there are chapters in the printed version of this manual that contain only general explanations of the topic at hand (specifically Chapter 9, Chapter 10, and Chapter 12). The documentation CD and the Red Hat website ( have the Official Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide in its entirety. This non-printed information is certainly important, but not vital to getting started with Red Hat Linux. Placing this information online helps keep the printed manual smaller, easier to handle, and more focused.