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This section of the User Guide describes how to log in (or authenticate) to your Fedora system graphically and at a command line interface. The section concludes with an advanced discussion of the booting process and how to customize the way in which your computer prepares for use.

Logging into a Desktop

After the computer has booted, the system will display a list of users' names. These are the users who can log in to the system. To select your name, either:

  1. Click on your name in the list, or
  2. Type your name or username and press [Enter].

If you have more than one desktop environment installed on your system, you must select the one you wish to log in to now. This option is selected at the bottom of the screen. If you do not explicitly select a desktop environment, Fedora will use the one your user had most previously logged in to.

Once your name has been selected, you will need to authenticate. Type your password in the provided text box and press [Enter] to log in. Collectively, your user name and password are referred to as your credentials.

Alternatively, you can authenticate using a fingerprint scanner. Before using this feature, you must set it up from within your desktop environment. For more information on setting up biometric scanners, GO TO THIS LINK.

First-time login

After a fresh installation of Fedora, there will only be one user available for login -- the one you set up during the installation process.

Since biometric authentication has to be setup from within a logged-in desktop environment, you cannot use this method to login for the first time.

The authentication response

If your authentication information was correct, you will now log in to a desktop environment. Desktop environments will be discussed in-depth in this guide's proceeding sections.

Logging into a Terminal

Sometimes, it can be advantageous to log in to your system using the command line interface (CLI). In this case, you cannot type your full name; you must instead use your username. A discussion of the CLI is included later in this guide.

Logging into the CLI should not be necessary for desktop tasks in Fedora. If you encounter certain bugs or problems, however, a Fedora developer or troubleshooting documentation may often ask you to use the CLI. It may be worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the CLI in case you need to use it in the future.

The Multiuser Model

Fedora is a multiuser operating system. Multiple users, each with different login credentials, can be logged into the same computer at the same time. In addition to the standard desktop displayed on a computer's monitor, users can log in to a Fedora system over the network using SSH, VNC, or other protocols. Multiple users can even have desktops loaded for the main display, although only one can be displayed at a time.

The superuser

During installation, you provided a password for the system administrator's account (also called the superuser account). This account's user name is root.

The root account should not be used for your day-to-day computer use. The root account is reserved for changing system-wide settings and for administrative or maintenance tasks. You never need to log in as root to use desktop applications. In fact, because the root account has such powerful permissions, using the account may be dangerous and demands careful attention during use.

Troubleshooting the User Login

If you cannot login because of authentication problems, you may want to verify the following:

  • Remember that passwords are case sensitive; in other words, Fedora recognizes 'password' and 'PaSsWoRd' as two different passwords. Is your [Caps Lock] indicator on?
  • Did you select the right user?
  • If you're authenticating via a biometric scanner, have you previously registered your fingerprints? Is the scanner plugged in all the way? Does Fedora support your hardware?

If you have made the above checks but still cannot log in, despair is not yet in order. You may wish to ask for help on user forums or chat rooms; your password can still be recovered or reset. Password recovery is beyond the scope of this guide. For more information on chat rooms and getting help, read the section on communications.

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