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Old 07-03-2009, 04:02 AM   #1
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oober newbie no user and password for linux

Heres the deal folks. Opening a new resale store and needed a point of sale system. Bought one today from a guy that bought out a feed store but he wanted the building and knew jack about the pos. Plug it in, goes to Redhat and i get the user: password: screen. Ive never used Linux before and i have no idea what to do or where to go. I have been reading for hours and i dont have a disc for this thing. I dont know what a "lilo" propt is and i have been trying for hours to get through this thing and am finally at a point where im thinking i might break it if i keep trying. Someone out there can undoubtedly make me feel super stupid by giving me simple non-computer guy instructions. That would be awesome. I know somewhere in this tangle of subjects someone has answered this but i cant find it. I have no disk, i dont know what a lilo propt looks like, and i dont have a clue what root is. But if you are ever in Dallas the first 12 pack is on me. Thanks
Old 07-03-2009, 05:44 AM   #2
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Let me see, if I can answer some of your questions, and get you going in the right direction.

i dont know what a lilo propt looks like,
This is a boot prompt, it appears just after the BIOS hardware checks have completed, and before the Red Hat system starts to load. It is a boot manager, and can be set up so you can load more than one operating system. There are two common ones used with most linux systems, lilo and grub. Look for a text screen offering you at least one operating system. The up and down arrow keys will move a highlight to indicate which OS you are selecting. Even if you have only one, lilo may appear. Three are configuration parameters you can adjust the amount of time it is visible. It may be there for too short a time for you to see it. If the OS is loading, then it becomes less important.

I have no disk
No problem, since you found this board. On the right hand side of most of these pages you will see a link for 'Download Linux'. If you need a disk, you can download one, to a windoze system and burn it to a blank CD. The instructions are all there.

root user
This is the user that administrates the system. This user has access to all files on the system. It is usually password protected, as you have found out. Regular users have access to use installed programs, and their own files. ( Unlike a windoze user that can destroy the whole system.

by giving me simple non-computer guy instructions.
I wish I could. The fact is there is a learning curve to using any linux system.

Now for your problem. It is possible to get control of the "lost or never known by you passwords". The way it is done, is to boot the system with a boot CD. This becomes difficult if there is no CD drive. ( but not impossible ).

Once booted, there are files to edit. By far the most simple way would be for you to buy, beg, or burn a Knoppix CD. Knoppix has lots of tools, that are easier for a novice to use. I have a book call 'Knoppix Hacks' that came with a Knoppix CD. It is well written and has instructions on how to fix lost passwords. Most major book stores will have a linux section. Go there, see if you can find either this one or another similar book. Publisher is O'Reilly and the author is Kyle Rankin.

Take your time, do some reading, and you will gain access to the system. This is the best advice I can give you.

You will find Red Hat is a serious system, meant for business. By design it is much more secure than any windoze system you will ever touch. Do not expect it to be trivial, it is not. If you need something quick and dirty, you might be best advised to look elsewhere.

Hope this helps. Feel free to post any questions.
Old 07-03-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Managed to get the root password changed but then it goes:
acs login: root
Password: -------
Last login: Fri Jul 3 4:32:27 onttyl
workstation assigned number is 1
[root@acs root]#

Now whatever i put after that it says:

-bash: whatever i wrote: command not found

I tried to do ls from one of the post and got a little progress....

Anaconda-ks cfg (bunch of stuff behind these)if it matters please let me know

but then it goes right back to
[root@acs root]#

I know its looking for a command but i dont know what to give it
Any help is greatly appreciated folks and thank you to the guy that has already started helping me
Old 07-03-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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[root@acs root]#
This is the default Linux bash shell command prompt (the bash shell is the most common command line interface to the system -- kind of like the MS-DOS prompt but much more useful). Once you're at this point you are into the system. I assume that since this is a POS system you are expecting it to run some sort of graphical display for putting in orders etc.? Unfortunately, without documentation it might be tough to figure out what to do to get it up and running -- did you get any documentation at all? Have you tried googline on the model number? One thing you can try is to type "startx" (no quotes) at the prompt to see if you can bring up a graphical user interface.

One other important thing to do is create a normal (non-root) account for yourself (you can use the "useradd" command to do this -- read the man page "man useradd" and google around for a basic intro to Linux tutorial to fill inthe details of what to do). The root user has full privileges on the system and can do anything. This means it's very easy to completely mess things up if you don't know what you're doing. It's much safer to work as a non-root user and switch to root only when necessary to perform administrative tasks.

While you're adding a user, you might want to look in the /etc/passwd file to see what other users have been defines, since that mioght help determine what all is installed on the system. Just type "cat /etc/passwd" and feel free to post here. You should also post the contents of "uname -a" so we know what version of Linux you're running (if it's a Red Hat based system, there will also be a file called /etc/redhat-release that tells what version of Red Hat it is),


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