F11 User Guide - Logging into the Desktop

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This section of the Fedora User Guide explains how to identify yourself (or log in) to your system. During the post-installation process, you created an identity with a user name and a password, called an account. If you have forgotten any of your user account details, read the section I Cannot Login: HELP!. For additional information about the login process, refer to the section Logging In : A Technical Explanation.

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When you restart or turn on your computer, it goes through a process called booting. During the boot process, your computer hardware powers on and performs a series of self-tests. Immediately after the computer has finished booting, the login screen appears. The login screen displays one or more user names, depending on the number of user accounts present.

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Here is how to log in to your account.

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To start, enter your user name. To do this, do one of the following:

  1. Type your user name and then press the [Enter] key. The user name is case sensitive (capitalization matters; A is not the same as a).
  2. Click on your user name in the list of choices.

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Using Non-default Desktop Environments
If you wish to use desktops besides the default choice, use the Desktop or Session combo box on the bottom of the screen to select the desktop you wish to load before you enter your password. The default is usually GNOME.

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Next, enter your password in the text box and press the [Enter] key. The password is also case sensitive.

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Keep Your Password Secret!
To keep your password secret, the password field displays a dot for every character entered. As with any password, keep your account password private. Do not share it with anyone or write it down in plain view.

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Now the desktop environment loads. In some desktop environments, a small box containing a logo and some icons called a splash screen may temporarily appear. When your splash screen (if you have one) disappears, your desktop is ready for use. You can now launch applications to access the Internet, manage files, and play media. These tasks are described in the following chapters.

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Logging In: A Technical Explanation

Fedora is a multi-user operating system. Multiple users, each with different access privileges, can be logged into the computer at the same time.

During installation, you provided a password for the system administrator account, sometimes called the superuser. The user name for this account is root.

After installation, Fedora asked you to set up a normal user account. Use that account, or any other such normal account, for daily use of the system, and the root account for administrative and maintenance tasks.

This design has many benefits:

  • Limited privileges reduce the possibility of doing significant damage to the entire system.
  • Each user account has individual settings.
  • Each user account maintains its data separate and private from others.
  • A problem in one user account does not put the entire system at risk.
Do not login as root!
Do not use the root account for routine purposes. A normal user account can run all the desktop applications, and greatly increases your security and safety. Applications that require root privileges prompt you for the root password when they need it, there is no need to log in as root to use them.

I Cannot Login: HELP!

A common mistake during login is accidentally having the [CapsLock] key turned on. This situation can cause the login process to fail because usernames and passwords are case sensitive. If problems persist, re-enter your username and password a few times to ensure that you have typed them correctly.

Recovering the password for a user account is not a difficult process, but it is beyond the scope of this guide. You may wish to ask for help on user forums or chat rooms for further assistance.

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