Managing User Accounts in Lindows
A program called the User Manager, which is a KDE program called KUser, is used to manage user accounts. At the end of Lindows setup, you have a chance to create user accounts. After the initial setup, you are prompted to remove the Lindows install CD and reboot. Then, for your first login, you can login as the root user. (No other users exist yet at this point in the Lindows setup process, only root.) Once you have logged in to the Lindows desktop, a window called First Time Setup opens and offers a license agreement. At the bottom of that window are three buttons: Set Time, Advanced and Finished. To create user accounts, click on the Advanced button, which opens the Advanced Settings menu. From there, click on Add Users to access the User Manager. Note: if you didn't set a password for the root user account yet, you can do it from the Advanced Settings menu as well; click on Set Administrator Password.
At anytime while running Lindows, you can run the User Manager by clicking on the Lindows menu button in the lower-left corner of the desktop and choosing Settings, User Manager. The User Manager has menus, a toolbar and two tabs. The toolbar provides convenient access to the most common operations. The two tabs are Users and Groups.
The Users tab shows a list of all users. UID is the User ID number, and User login shows the user account name. Full name is used optionally to specify the full name of the user for the account.
If you double-click on a user, or click on the Edit button from the toolbar, you get the User Properties dialog. This has three tabs. The User Info tab lets you change various information associated with the account. I suggest you edit the User login and Full name fields and leave all the other fields alone. The last fields, Office #1, Office #2 and Address all are comments. Linux ignores these fields; they simply are there for the system administrator's use. Notice that the User Info tab has a button, Set Password, that brings up a dialog to set a new password.
The second tab is the Password Management tab. I suggest you leave all of its settings alone. Oddly, it is not possible to change the password from the Password Management tab; you must use the Set Password button on the User Info tab.
The last tab, Groups, lists the groups to which the account belongs. A checkbox next to each group controls whether the account is a member of that group. By default, Lindows does a good job of setting up all the groups a user might need, so you probably will not need to make many changes here.
Adding or removing groups from the system is possible, as is changing group ID numbers, from the User Manager's Groups tab. By default Lindows does a good job of setting up your system here too; it is unlikely that you will need to use these features for a desktop Lindows system.
The User Manager actually can be a little bit dangerous. If you delete the root user, for example, bad things can happen: for one, you will no longer be able to reboot the system. It is possible to recover from this problem without completely re-installing your Linux system, but it's a job for an expert. In short, use the User Manager to manage non-root users, and leave the root account alone.
Using the User Manager, create at least one user account for each person who will be using your Lindows system. I recommend you add each user account to the following groups: audio, dialout, dip, cdrom, video, and user. In addition, if your users are connecting to the Internet using a modem, make sure they are members of the dialout and dip groups.
When a user logs in to a user account, the Click-N-Run Installer automatically opens and runs. Every time it runs, it pops up a dialog box that asks for the root password. The official solution for this, from the Lindows support Web site FAQ 325, is to remove the Click-N-Run Installer from the autostart programs by moving the file /usr/share/autostart/clicknrun.desktop somewhere else.
Security always involves more fuss and bother than does no security--until someone takes over your system or a virus wreaks havoc or you accidentally clobber a file and your system stops working. The extra initial work it takes to set up user accounts and use them is worthwhile.
Lindows does not run as smoothly with user accounts as it does when you run as root all the time; be warned that you need to do a bit of extra work to set up things correctly. As a first step, I hope this article helps you get user accounts working well on your system.
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July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
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