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Old 08-04-2004, 06:43 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Deli Linux
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command line spits out jibberish!

Hello I'm a brand new linux user and I guess i'm doing things the hard way. I have deli-linux installed on an old pc. I finally got it up and running with lots of reading and now im teaching myself how to navigate around the commandline.

problem is the command line (is there another name for this btw?) spits out jibberish when i try to modify a user or add one or other commands (still havent tried many)

for instance i am logged in as root right now trying to modify a user. I type "usermod" and it gives me some switches like -u -o -d, etc but next to them is just jibberish. Wierd characters that i dont even know how to type in windows without copying and pasting from character map :P

The reason i'm trying to modify the user is because i created one and it apparently doesnt have a home directory being created with it for some reason. I think this because when i login it says "no directory, logging in with HOME" I'm reading up trying to figure out why this is so but its hard to work when i cant read whats on my screen! Thanks for any help

deli linux is what i'm using btw and one more question. Is HOME the default directory for root? Hence the reason why i cant save to it when I was messing around with my other user account

Last edited by orangeh; 08-04-2004 at 06:46 AM.
Old 08-04-2004, 07:12 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Munich
Distribution: SuSE 9.2, 10.2, 10.3, knoppix
Posts: 276

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I have no idea concerning the jiberish characters, but the home directory of root is /root. Other users have their home directory in /home directory,
typically named with their login name. So if you have a user "linuxuser", his or her home directory would be /home/linuxuser. Just create it if it is
not there:
Login as root, type
cd /home
mkdir <login name in question>

HOME is also an environment variable containing the path of the home
directory of the current user. You may look at it's content by typing
echo $HOME
at the console, which, if you logged in as root, would spit out
or, for user linuxuser/

To find out as who you are logged in, just type
at the console.

Old 08-04-2004, 07:26 AM   #3
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Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Deli Linux
Posts: 18

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thanks for the reply. I re added the user and while i was putting in the password I got a lot of jibberish still but i managed to get by. User still had no home directory but i added it in per your instructions and when i logged in as the user and did echo $HOME it gave me /home/username! Thanks a lot!

I still have the jibberish problem though. If I understand this right the place where i am typing all these commands is a shell.. Is there a way to check which shell i'm running and update it or change it? Or is this something built into the kernel

I hope i dont sound like a complete moron with that question
Old 08-04-2004, 08:40 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Deli Linux
Posts: 18

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ok i figured out problem and heres the solution for anyone that finds this in a search or something and is having same problem:

first off i tested the problem with the command "usermod" which by itself brought up a bunch of switches that can be used with this command. All these switches were in jibberish for me. Anyways run delisetup and go to change language and find EN_US if you dont have this (like I didnt) then go to "install additional software packages" and install a bunch of packages! unfortunately I dont know which one of the packages i installed fixed my problem but I believe it was something from libraries (I installed everything under library except pcmcia stuff) After you do that go back to Setup Language and see if you have EN_US.. select that and the jibberish should be gone!

Heh I probably sound dumb but I hope this helps someone :P
Old 08-04-2004, 12:06 PM   #5
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 927

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not familiar with deli linux, but the typical shell in Linux environments is bash. the file /etc/passwd will list the default shell for the user. the shell is just a program like any other, and is updated frequently. there are many other shells available for you to try, but I've always used bash.


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